European Platform’s site mentions a number of 36 Dutch schools involved in the ELOS-programme. As my school opted out, I guess the correct number is 35.

The parochial school in its rural catchment area at which I started to work decades ago has transfigured over the years into an internationally oriented educational institute. Twenty-five years ago a happy few students travelled to Palermo, Sicily, to meet peers from all over the European community in an international project. Now all our students are travelling at least for one week to a European country, or to the United States, for that matter. We are a TTO-school, this year a first group of students will attain their IB certificate. The school’s entrance hall features some nice plaques touting this international interest.

Unfortunately a plaque had to be removed recently. We cannot preen ourselves any more for being involved in the ELOS-programme. Meeting the standards of the ELOS-programme with respect to the proficiency in two foreign languages would take extra language lessons in the curriculum for those students that are poor in languages. For example: The Dutch standard asks for a B1-level in English and an A2 level in German or French with all our VMBO (TL)-students. We just cannot afford the investment needed to attain this level with all our VMBO-TL students.

Most peculiarly the Dutch programme is more demanding than the programme for other European countries, which indicates vaguely an A2-B2 level depending on schooltype. I wonder why all our students have to more proficient than any student who lives 15 kilometers further across the German border. That seems to me a far cry from the idea of internationalisation.


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