Multilateral project within the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission
The aim of this project is to create the eLearning platform Dutch++ (written almost entirely in Dutch) which provides learners of Dutch with knowledge and skills that they need for daily linguistic practice. It targets users in the Lifelong Learning sub-programmes Erasmus, Grundtvig and Comenius. The platform will offer an integrated package of information and exercises aiming at enhancing the learners' ability to deal with 'real Dutch' in interaction.
The exercise part combines a set of repetition exercises which build on material from existing Dutch textbooks with exercises which train learners to understand Dutch spoken at normal speed and with exercises that focus on learning to cope with varieties of Dutch as they are spoken and written across the pluricentric language area: in Belgium, the Netherlands and Surinam. In addition, the platform will include an online 'guide to variation' providing information on variation within Dutch which is relevant for learners and teachers of Dutch.
Dutch++ is meant both for teachers of Dutch who can use it as additional material for regular classes and for learners of Dutch for self-study or in addition to a language course. Moreover, the platform is designed as a model for online learning material for other pluricentric languages (such as German, Portuguese or Arabic). It will serve as a prototype for how to prepare learners attending regular language classes for the daily practice in a diverse language area. The eLearning platform will be designed by experts in didactics, linguistics, eLearning and educational cooperation and it will be based on their experience with teaching Dutch as a second and foreign language to the target users.
Dutch++ will be freely accessible for all learners of Dutch. It will be promoted as a solution for additional language training in a pluricentric language at workshops and conferences and through online networks, both for Dutch and for language learning and teaching in general.
The coordinating partner of Dutch++ is the Dutch department of the university of Vienna (Austria). The other partners in the project are the Language Center at Tilburg University (the Netherlands), the Departement Mens en Maatschappij, Onderwijs at Thomas More (previously Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen in Geel, Belgium) and the department of Dutch philology at the Freie Universität Berlin. During the first project year (2012), the Instituut voor de Opleiding van Leraren (IOL) in Paramaribo (Surinam) was a Third Country Partner in Dutch++.