P r o j e c t   s u m m a r y
Intercultural Heritage Project for Students of Dutch as a Second Language

1 Project name
The History of Our Own Surroundings: Intercultural Heritage Project for Students of Dutch as a Second Language.
2 Contact
Dineke Stam, Netherlands Museum Association, tel.: +31 (0)20-5512900; e-mail: dstam@museumvereniging.nl; private e-mail address: dineke.stam@planet.nl.
3 Partner organisation
The regional training centres worked with various heritage organisations to develop educational programmes.
4 Partner organisation type:
Museums, archives, listed buildings and an archaeological excavation.
5 Funding
A grant from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Mondriaan Foundation and VSBfonds.

Lesson folder, audio CD, dialogue, film

1 Aims / objectives
To introduce adults learning Dutch (e.g. in an integration course) to Dutch history.
2 Who it was for
Students of Dutch as a second language: students enrolled on an integration course, newcomers and settled immigrants.
3 What learning was involved
Speaking, listening, discovering cultural heritage out of doors, identifying with others, observing, reading, writing and analysing.
4 Which methodologies used (if applicable)
The heritage staff members provided most of the basic input; the teachers were responsible for establishing the teaching methods and structuring the lessons.
The lessons series consists of three parts. The first lesson prepares students for a visit to the heritage organisation and introduces them to the topic. In the second lesson, the students visit the organisation. During the third lesson, an evaluation and follow-up discussion take place.
The student materials for each organisation were printed separately and are available from each of the heritage organisations. For the sake of completeness, they have also been compiled in book form. The audio CD contains engaging lesson material, which serves to evoke an historical atmosphere and to allow students to practise speaking and improve their oral comprehension.
5 Where it was
At fifteen different locations in the Netherlands: the Amsterdam Historical Museum [Amsterdams Historisch Museum], the Museum of Zaandam [Zaans Museum], the Frisian Museum [Het Fries Museum] in Leeuwarden, the Rotterdam Maritime Museum [Maritiem Museum Rotterdam], the Catharijne Convent Museum [Museum Catharijneconvent] in Utrecht, the Rotterdam Historical Museum [Historisch Museum Rotterdam], the Dordrecht Museum [Dordrechts Museum], the Biblical Open-Air Museum [Bijbels Openluchtmuseum] in Nijmegen, the National Archives [Nationaal Archief] in The Hague, the Historical Centre of Overijssel [Historisch Centrum Overijssel] in Zwolle, the Kennemerland Archives Department [Archiefdienst Kennemerland] in Haarlem, the Foundation for the Old Churches of Groningen [Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken] in Groningen, the Society of Friends of the Castles of Gelderland [Stichting Vrienden der Geldersche Kastelen] in Arnhem and the Heerlen Thermae Museum [Thermenmuseum Heerlen].
6 When it was
With museums from 1999 on and with other heritage organisations from 2001 on.
7 Planning / preliminary work
Interculturele Programma's ('Intercultural Programmes', IP) brought various heritage organisations and educational institutions in a particular region into contact to collaborate on the museum project and the heritage project.
  The following organisations collaborated on the museum project:
- the Amsterdam Historical Museum and the Regional Training Centre [ROC] of Amsterdam;
- the Museum of Zaandam and the Regio College Regional Training Centre in Zaanstreek-Waterland;
- the Frisian Museum and the Regional Training Centre of Leeuwarden;
- the Maritime Museum of Rotterdam and the Zadkine College Regional Training Centre;
- the Catharijne Convent Museum and the Regional Training Centre of Utrecht;
- the Rotterdam Historical Museum and the Albeda College Regional Training Centre;
- the Dordrecht Museum and the Da Vinci College Regional Training Centre;
- the Biblical Open-Air Museum and the Regional Training Centre of Nijmegen.
8 The following organisations collaborated on the museum project:
- the National Archives in The Hague and the Mondriaan Educational Group [Mondriaan Onderwijsgroep] in The Hague;
- the Historical Centre of Overijssel in Zwolle and Deltion College in Zwolle;
- the Kennemerland Archives Department in Haarlem and Haarlem Nova College;
- the Foundation for the Old Churches of Groningen in Groningen and Noorderpoortcollege in Groningen;
- the Society of Friends of the Castles of Gelderland in Arnhem and the Renkum chapter of Rijn IJselcollege;
- the Heerlen Thermae Museum, the Regional Training Centre of Eindhoven and Arcuscollege in Heerlen.
9 Any exhibition / art / artefacts involved
10 Any follow-up / longer-term contact with the target group
Collaborating with IP staff, employees at the organisations mentioned above came up with their own component of the lesson material. The original structure was developed during joint meetings. The participants then formed groups and got down to work. The project was integrated permanently by the organisations that had collaborated on the regional project. The project also serves as a template for other organisations.
11 Involvement of other partner organisation
The organisations themselves were responsible for organising the visits with the students of Dutch as a second language. This undertaking was successful to varying degrees. Of all the heritage organisations involved, only one failed to receive a group; some schools made the visit an integral part of the curriculum, as the Regional Training Centre of Nijmegen did with the Biblical Open-Air Museum. The three-lesson format - consisting of the preparatory lesson at the school, the visit itself and the lesson during which an evaluation took place - were also approached differently. Some organisations, like the Heerlen Thermae Museum, stuck to this format, while others limited the programme to the visit to the heritage organisation.
In some cases, the original project was modified because e.g. the permanent collection had been rearranged or renovations or a move was under way. Some heritage organisations extended the project to include branch museums.
12 Key words to reflect the concept of the project
'Now that I am familiar with this history, I feel more connected to this country, more at home in the city.' (Elvan Akyildiz)

Type of project
All the senses
Website : www.museumvereniging.nl/nmv/ip

Roughly how many people were involved?
1 As direct participants
Approximately 3,000. Students of Dutch as a second language. The students' prior education and language proficiency varied greatly. A single group often comprised newcomers and settled immigrants alike. The students' individual education levels ranged from well-educated to illiterate. The teachers' material thus began with a short description of the course participants' profile. Every effort was made to ensure that the course material used in each city met the students' needs. The interactive approach also made the lessons quite flexible. The lesson material could be tailored to specific groups in many ways.
2 As indirect beneficiaries
A pproximately 10,000.
3 As staff
Forty members of staff from the heritage organisations and the regional training centres.

Participants' ages
All ages, young and old. People in their twenties studying Dutch as a second language and settled immigrants aged 50 to 60 who, after having lived in the Netherlands for ten to fifteen years, were given the opportunity to do this course.

Disadvantage due to social or economic factors, discrimination or disability
1 Migration / Immigration issues
A cross section of groups of foreigners in the Netherlands studying Dutch as a second language.
2 Learning difficulties
The students had highly varied educational backgrounds: some had had no schooling and were illiterate, while others were university graduates. Some of the students could not read or write.
3 Unemployment
Some students were doing the language course so that they could then enrol on an advanced programme and find a job similar to the one that they had held in their country of origin.

Participants' needs
Students said that they found it important to become familiar with Dutch heritage in this way.

Outcomes and lessons learned
1 Evaluation process
Please contact Dineke Stam for further information (please see general information).
2 Overall learning points
- Collaboration between organisations:
The lessons were developed in working groups consisting of a member of staff from the heritage organisation, a teacher of Dutch as a second language and an IP employee. Supply and demand were thus coordinated as effectively as possible. Permanent partnerships may result from this initiative.
- An organisational form based on collaboration such as this could prove to be vulnerable. In many cases, instructors must oversee the project alone or with a single colleague at the school. If they leave, the visits are sometimes discontinued for an extended or indefinite period.
- Additionally, it can be difficult to incorporate the project into the standard curriculum or lesson plans because e.g. the teacher is busy and he/she must exert extra effort to ensure that the visit takes place. Creating lesson material for a target group made up of students with such different educational backgrounds (i.e. ranging from individuals who could not read or write to university graduates) is also difficult. The instructor must adapt such lesson material himself/herself, which requires extra effort.

> Download pdf 'The History of Our Own Surroundings'

> Project summary