14 May “For us, D-Teach is their umbilical cord with Flanders”
Jack (16 years) and Casper (14 years) have been students at D-Teach for several years. The brothers still live in Mumbai, but will move to Vienna soon. Their mom Katya told Vlamingen in de Wereld (VIW) their story. What does their life as a Belgian expat look like? How do they choose a new school for their children when they change from post to post? How do they maintain their ties with Flanders and Belgium? And the Dutch language? Katya tells a story that is very recognizable to many of our parents. She sees Jack and Casper growing up in a multicultural world. We read their story with a lot of pride and are grateful for their wonderful words.
“Jack and Casper grew up almost entirely abroad and visited Belgium for a short duration at the most. “We consistently speak Dutch at home. Jurgen is the reader in the evenings, especially Flemish and Dutch youth classics. Such a hold is important. Consequently, you teach young children ‘the feeling’ for the Dutch language. You also use different vocabulary than you would during regular conversations. ” For young children, this is enough to keep the mother tongue, but as soon as they start school, the school language takes over as the predominant language at lightning speed. Children are flexible and learn quickly. In proportion, attention for the mother tongue decreases. If they are not taught Dutch on a regular basis, that language will slowly disappear into the background. ”
“For us, D-Teach is their umbilical cord with Flanders, with the Flemish culture, with the Flemish accent with which they speak. They are eager to speak Dutch. Our boys saw D-Teach as their teddy bear that they took from location to location. ” Interaction is the key word here. Supported by virtual technology, the physical distances between Belgium and the world are bridged and teachers and students feel at home with each other.”
We would like to thank Jack, Casper, mama Katya and papa Jurgen for this wonderful article, and we wish you all the best with your impending move to Vienna.
A word of thanks also goes to Vlamingen in de Wereld, and Koen Van der Schaeghe for making this article possible. Thanks!