My child goes to a Dutch-speaking school (kindergarten - elementary school), but I speak little or no Dutch. How can I encourage my child to practice Dutch in their free time?

Practicing Dutch in their free time will really help your child improve their Dutch language skills. There are plenty of opportunities to do that during activities organised by brede scholen (community schools), at VGC-speelpleinen (VGC-playgroups), Dutch-speaking sports clubs, youth clubs, local community centres, etc. While children or young people play games, play sport, draw, or make music... they can also practice their Dutch!

Some examples:

  • Brede scholen (community schools): are networks of schools and organisations that are committed to providing the best possible development opportunities for children and young people. They do this by working with the neighbourhood, parents and all kinds of organisations. Many Brussels schools are part of a community school. They make sure that children and young people have the chance to take part in interesting activities both during class as well as after school, providing an extra opportunity to practice their Dutch in a very specific context. Read more about the brede scholen in Brussels.
  • The VGC organises speelpleinen (playgroups) for children between the ages of 3 and 15 in collaboration with Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels. The animators, teachers and schools provide a dynamic, linguistic and educational play environment during the Easter and Summer holidays. The VGC also organises playgroups specifically for non-Dutch-speaking newcomers between the ages of 6 and 12, the Lenteschool (Spring School) and the Zomerschool (Summer School). Read more about the VGC speelpleinen or about the Lenteschool and Zomerschool.
  • In Brussels there are plenty of leisure activities (sports, games, culture, etc.) offered in Dutch, both throughout the school year and during the holidays. More information is available on the BrusselBazaar website.
  • At Dutch-language deeltijds kunstonderwijs (part-time art schools), children and young people learn how to make music, draw, and dance... in Dutch. Read more about art academies in Brussels.
  • Libraries are a great place to find Dutch-language CDs, DVDs and books. Read more about Dutch-language libraries in Brussels.