Page 25 - Second language development of newly arrived migrant kindergarteners - Frederike Groothoff
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Introducing the context 25 In order to remedy to these delays programs have been developed in the Netherlands to boost the language development of these pupils (Leseman & Veen, 2016). Specifically, in the Netherlands, a policy started in 2000 to stimulate families with a migration background to join early child care and education (Emmelot, van Schooten, Timman, Verhallen, & Verhallen, 2001). Such programs were usually offered to children aged 2.5 to 6. Upon entering the Netherlands, the newly arrived migrant pupils involved in the present study were already 4 to 6 years old (“kindergarteners”) and expected to start immediately with compulsory Dutch primary education. 1.4 The educational settings in the Netherlands The Dutch education system is made up of primary education, secondary education, and higher education. For all pupils in the Netherlands, education is compulsory from the age of 5 to 16, most pupils (98%) start attending school right after their fourth birthday (CBS, 2003). Primary education in the Netherlands consists of eight years of schooling (Groups 1 through 8, see Table 1.1). Since 1985, early childhood education has been incorporated into primary schools, which means that primary school in the Netherlands starts at the age of 4. Even though the first two years of schooling (Group 1 and 2), when pupils are 4 to 6 years old, are seen as preschool/kindergarten (called kleuterklassen in Dutch), they are part of the public primary schools and there is an educational curriculum including all eight years1. Throughout this dissertation we will use the term “kindergarteners” for pupils in school aged 4 to 6. Table 1.1: Overview of the Dutch Primary Education System    “Kindergarteners” Primary Education          Age 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Level Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8 1.4.1 The educational setting for newly arrived migrants in the Netherlands Compulsory education laws also hold for newly arrived migrant pupils. According to the Reception Conditions Directive for the reception of asylum seekers Article 142, EU member states must ensure access to the education system as quickly as possible and school entry shall not be postponed for more than three months after arrival. In a 2015 letter the Dutch minister of education acknowledges this principle by saying that based upon international treaties refugees until the age of 18, regardless of their status, have a right to 1 For an extensive description of the Dutch education system we like to refer to the website of the Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education: 2 Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (recast), OJ 2013 L180 (Reception Conditions Directive)      

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