Partial immersion education in the Netherlands from the perspective of a child with SLI.

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In September 2014 the Dutch minister of Education, Culture and Science launched a new pilot on bilingual education in Dutch primary school (European Platform, 2014). Even though an elaborate brochure has been published on the goals and methods of TPO (tweetalig primair onderwijs), the pilot seems to ignore the fact that some children may have difficulties acquiring language such as children with SLI (specific language impairment). These children might have difficulties in acquiring a second language in school and therefore lag behind. It is important to be aware of the fact that some children with SLI have difficulties in acquiring vocabulary and grammar in their first language. This thesis will pay attention to how these children may develop a second language, should they go to a bilingual school and whether this might increase their difficulties in language. The main focus of this thesis will be on the characteristics of SLI and how these relate to the curriculum that TPO offers. T his will be done by juxtaposing literature on SLI to literature on bilingualism and bilingual education in primary schools. By doing so, this thesis aims to find how children with SLI might experience learning a second language in school. This thesis will ask the following question: To what extent are children with SLI able to meet the goals that are created for TPO? Key words: TPO, bilingual education, specific language impairment, SLI, children, typical development, morphology, vocabulary.
Faculteit der Letteren