ACCESS NL > Education in the Netherlands > Dutch school system > Primary and secondary education > I want to raise my children bilingually. Are there any Dutch schools that teach (partly) in English?
Primary and secondary education
I am planning to stay here for a long time. Should I send my children to a Dutch or an international school?
I have a 14 year old daughter who is coming to live with me in the Netherlands. She does not speak any Dutch. Therefore, can you recommend a Dutch state school where my daughter can learn the language as well as being taught the normal academic subjects?
Do all international schools teach in English?
What are the principle aims of Dutch primary school education and what subjects will my child be taught?
I want to raise my children bilingually. Are there any Dutch schools that teach (partly) in English?
There are an increasing number of schools providing bilingual lessons. Most of them are secondary schools. In the Netherlands, Tweetalig Onderwijs – TTO (bilingual education) came into existence in 1989. In most cases, TTO refers to bilingual (mostly English-Dutch) and Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs – VWO, where this is the pre-university stream in Dutch secondary education.
In the TTO schools, a wide variety of subjects such as history, geography, math, physics, biology, chemistry, economics, IT, arts and music are taught in English. Bilingual lessons are taught over the preceding six years leading up to university entrance. Whilst in the last three years, students will focus upon the academic subjects that they will be examined on (in Dutch), some of the lessons will still be provided in English. Bilingual students also have the opportunity to sit the internationally recognised International Baccalaureate (IB) English Certificate. A successful result qualifies these students to enrol at English-speaking universities.
The aim of bilingual education is to prepare students for an increasingly global environment. Hence, whilst foreign language skills are important, the lessons are taught in a broad, internationally oriented context.
It should be noted that the Dutch bilingual school system has been set up with the emphasis upon native speaking Dutch children becoming competent in speaking English as their second language rather than vice versa.