Frisian Literature in Education

Frisian Literature in Education

Eric Hoekstra (Fryske Akademy, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Netherlands) and Gerbrich de Jong (Department of Languages, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3379-6.ch008
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Frisian is a minority language taught at least one hour a week in primary schools. As a result, Frisian literature occupies a smaller position in the educational system than Dutch literature, since Dutch is the national language. This chapter discusses systematically the position of fiction and literature in the various types of education in primary schools, secondary schools, universities, and courses for adults. Special attention is given to the way in which officially established attainment goals affect the end term requirements set for the final examinations.
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Primary education in the Netherlands starts at the age of four and lasts for seven or eight years. After that, there are three options for secondary education:

  • 6 years of pre-university education

  • 5 years of senior general secondary education

  • 4 years of pre-vocational secondary education.

The first two prepare young people for higher education. The last one prepares them for senior secondary vocational education and training for 1 to 4 years (depending on the level), which leads to a specific job. The upper years of pre-vocational secondary education have four learning pathways: the basic vocational programme, the middle-management vocational programme, the combined programme end the theoretical programme.

In the Netherlands two types of higher education programmes are offered: research-oriented degree programmes offered primarily by research universities, and professional higher education programmes offered primarily by universities of applied sciences. Higher education in the Netherlands is a binary, three-cycle system in which bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees can be obtained (Nuffic 2019).

Children already get acquainted with fiction and story-telling before the age of compulsory education. There are educational programs involving story telling for pre-schoolers, broadcast by Omrop Fryslân [the Frisian Broadcasting Company]. Parents can buy picture books for pre-schoolers at the bookstores in the province of Fryslân [Frisia].


Main Focus Of The Chapter: The Position Of Literature In Various Types Of Education

  • 1.

    Primary education: goals, materials and trilingual education

  • 2.

    Secondary education: goals and materials

  • 3.

    Higher education: research, degree programmes, future teachers

  • 4.

    The Afûk: education for grown-ups

Key Terms in this Chapter

Literature: The collection of literary works meeting a certain standard, but in minority languages the standard is for practical reasons often lowered so as to include all written works.

Minority Language: A language spoken on the territory of a national state without being that state’s first or official language.

Council of Europe: The continent's leading human rights organisation, which includes 47 member states, 27 of which are members of the European Union.

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: The European convention for the protection and promotion of languages used by traditional minorities. Several national governments have signed it, but are slow to put the required measures for the protection of minority languages into practice.

Frisian: One of the traditional four West Germanic languages (which also include Dutch, German and English), and the language which is closest to English.

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