First-Language and -Culture Learning in Light of Globalization

Eugeen Roosens

in Learning in the Global Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520254343
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941496 | DOI:
First-Language and -Culture Learning in Light of Globalization

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This chapter examines the issue of first language and culture in Flanders, Belgium, and describes the current state of ‘intercultural education’ in Belgium in light of globalization, focusing on the case of Muslims. It distinguishes between the reality of current efforts and the ideal content and pedagogy advocated by the immigrant community via the Flanders Forum of Ethno-Cultural Minorities. The chapter offers recommendations for how to reach the fine balance of teaching immigrant students both native and second language and culture. It also looks at the current xenophobic attitudes in European politics and media; a dynamic significantly shaping policy debates on immigration and integration while also obscuring important issues such as the most appropriate options for immigrant education. The chapter describes the fall from grace of such concepts as ‘multiculturalism’, and blames federal and regional policy makers who continue to leave the youngsters in the hands of the imported traditional sectors as far as knowledge of their culture, language, and history of their religion is concerned.

Keywords: Flanders; Belgium; intercultural education; immigrant students; globalization; first language; second language; culture; Muslims; multiculturalism

Chapter.  6004 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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