Teaching children Dutch as quickly as possible is the goal of the International Transition Class (ISK) on Broodberglaan. In two years, students between 12 and 16 are prepared for the transition to a secondary school. The numbers of students needing Dutch classes is growing steadily. This is why the second location for these students is now full. A third location will open soon.
The two current locations (Broodberglaan and Oude Bosschebaan) cater for some 530 students, but this number is expected to rise. The intermediate step the ISK offers is important for these students, says Vicky Vinders. We offer not only a place to learn the language and culture, but also a safe environment and a good start in a new country”
“I can read Dutch reasonably well, but I still find it difficult to speak it”, says Karim slowly but clearly. Karim is from Syria having fled the war, but the internationals the school caters for are not only refugees but also the children of expats and other immigrants. “We have an immensely diverse intake”, says Vicky Vinders. She is the mentor of the entry class. “The children in this class need special care. They have been through a lot and need more than Dutch lessons, they need extra attention”.
A future in The Netherlands
Tania from Ukraïne en Remsen from India have their Dutch lessons on Broodberglaan. After just a few months they have no trouble reading Dutch texts and understanding simple coversations. Tania: “I understand people well, but I do not yet have all the words to respond”. Remsen has little difficulty. Even if his parents were to return to India, he might wish to stay behind. “I would like to study here, because the education here is better”.
The two years are different. Lessons in the first year focus on Dutch acquisition. In year two, the teenagers have classes in the subjects they will also have in secondary school, such as biology or English. Gaby Evers is a second-year teacher. “In my class the 18 hours of Dutch are reduced to 15. We also teach the special vocabulary that comes with the various subjects”.
The ISK guides students to the place from where they can continue. Gaby Evers: “We help the students find the secondary school that suits them best. We maintain contact with these schools and offer extra guidance on what to expect when an international student joins your school”.
The new location will offer room for an addtional 300 students. It will have a new name: Global College.