Second annual Marnix Plan public event – 27.9.2014


Trilingualism FR-NL-EN also for Brusselers with yet another home language? Relevant experiments inside and outside schools

Second annual event of the Marnix Plan for a Multilingual Brussels

Question: Does the objective of French-Dutch-English trilingualism make sense for the growing number of children and adults in Brussels who have none of these languages as their home language?
Date and place:

Saturday 27 September, 9.30 am-1pm, VUB, U-Residence, Boulevard Général Jacques 271, 1050 Brussels
Language regime: French, Dutch, English, no simultaneous translation
Provisional programme 

9.00: Registration

9.30: Introductory plenary session

Introduction to the theme of the day by Piet Vervaecke (directeur, Onderwijscentrum Brussel) and Nicole Bya (responsable Langues, Secrétariat de l’enseignement catholique)
The challenge: proportions of pupils with a home language other than the school language in Brussels schools
How is the challenge currently addressed and how could and should it be addressed?

10.00-11.30: Parallel workshops

(a) Accommodating to pupils with diverse linguistic background

“Mijn taal” project of the Brussels Onderwijscentrum: experience at the Gemeentelijke Basisschool Sint-Joost-aan-Zee (Mara LeSage, volunteer at the school, and Elke Van den Ende, OCB)

Experience of the classes passerelles for newcomers in French-medium Brussels schools (Elodie Oger, assistante à l’UCL et enseignante en classe passerelle à l’Institut Ste Marie, Schaarbeek)

European School pupils without linguistic section in their native language (Kari Kivinen, Secretary General of European Schools) See presentation here: SWALS PRESENTATION VUB

(b) Practicing languages outside school

BxBrussels: helping 1000 young football players to improve their French, Dutch and English (Pieter Van Leemputten)

Huis van het Nederlands : six golden rules for language learning by volunteers in Dutch-speaking associations (Lauriane Van der Eecken)

11.30-12: Coffee break

12-13: Concluding plenary session

How realistic is the Marnix Plan in the light of the outcomes of the experiments and the governments’ commitments?
Some conclusions from the workshops by Alex Housen, Anna Sole-Mena, Piet Vervaecke and Nicole Bya (tbc)
Overview of the commitments relevant to language learning in Brussels in the programmes of the five relevant governments (RBC-BHG, FWB, VG, COCOF, VGC) and discussion of future actions and activities (Philippe Van Parijs)



We wish all students, teachers, staff members and management teams an excellent school year!

Dear all,

The 2014-2015 school year starts this week. I have pleasure in announcing that two new Accredited European Schools have opened their doors to pupils. The Copenhagen School was officially opened by Princess Marie last Friday. Europa School UK will continue the European schooling tradition on the Culham site. In addition, Europese School Den Haag opened its secondary cycle on 1 September.
I wish to extend a warm welcome to the European School family to all the new Schools, their students and staff.

The population of the European Schools in Brussels is increasing as usual and all the nursery and primary classrooms are now fully occupied. There is also a substantial increase in pupils at the Frankfurt School as a result of the creation of the new European Stability Mechanism. A proportion of the school’s classes will start the new school year on temporary premises.

Our most ambitious internal project is not directly linked to pedagogy. Since last December three pilot schools and the Office have made huge efforts, in conjunction with an SAP team, to be ready to launch a new accounting system starting from 1 January 2015! The project is perfectly on schedule and we are confident that ‘going live’ will be successful.

All primary pupils will receive a new type of school report this school year as part of the first phase of implementation of our new assessment policy.

In the secondary cycle the first decisions on reorganization will be implemented in years S1-S3: L3 will start to be taught as from S1, optional Latin courses will start in S2, whilst optional ICT will begin in S3. Most religion and ethics courses will be taught in second language in S3.

Based on the cost sharing agreement, many Member States have provided seconded staff members to fill the vacant posts. We warmly welcome all new members of staff. I would like to extend a special welcome to Mr Bordoy, the new Head of our Baccalaureate Unit.

We wish all students, teachers, staff members and management teams an excellent school year!




Deputy Secretary-General