New speakers’ role in the revitalisation of West Frisian

Since 2020, a team of researchers has been investigating language learning motivations, attitudes, ideologies, and practices amongst new speakers of West Frisian—with the aim of ascertaining how these new speakers can contribute to minority language revitalisation.

The project New speakers of West Frisian: Promoting language learning and use to foster revitalisation focuses on new speakers of West Frisian in the province of Fryslân, in the north of the Netherlands. A questionnaire was used to gather quantitative as well as qualitative data regarding these new speakers’ motivations for learning West Frisian, their attitudes towards the language, their ideological evaluations of its different varieties, and their language use patterns. The project findings are written up in three academic articles, all of which discuss the implications of the findings for potential language planning measures to encourage the learning and/or use of West Frisian amongst new speakers. Moreover, the project outputs include research-informed teaching materials for Afûk educators, a research report for the government of the Province of Fryslân, and a research-informed language promotion campaign.

Find out more on the project page!


Picture: Mirjam Vellinga (left) and Ruth Kircher (right) - photo: Hindrik Sijens