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More opportunities with multilingualism

In the past, Frisian primary schools often faced either a bi- or a trilingual reality with Frisian, Dutch and English. Nowadays, however, an increasing number of migrant languages are present in the class room. Primary schools are searching for new techniques to deal with and make use of this multilingualism. Teachers don't want to ignore migrant languages, but find it difficult to sufficiently appreciate and use them. In addition, teachers would like to combine languages in their teaching, as opposed to teaching each language separately: academic research suggests that such an approach may well have better results.

Research theme
Multilingualism and Language learning

Coordinating partner
NHL Hogeschool Leeuwarden

Mercator staff
Joana Duarte, Cor van der Meer, Mirjam Günther-van der Meij


Province of Friesland, Raak-Pro

Collaboration with
De Flambou, De Tille, Papillio, OBS De Twa Fjilden, OBS De Trije Doarpen, OBS De Eestroom, CBS Koningin Wilhelminaschool, OBS De Wynwizer, AFUK , RuG, Universiteit Gent / steunpunt diversiteit, Cedin, European Center for Modern Languages (ECML), Universiteit Utrecht, SLO, OBS De Barte, PROLOOG, FURORE, Stichting ROOBOL, EP Nuffic, Provincie Friesland, Rutu Foundation, OBS De Jasker, OBS De Balkwar, OBS De Tsjelke

Project goals

The goals of the 3M-project are to develop, experiment with, and evaluate new approaches and didactic tools for multilingual education. Academic research has provided validated approaches: these will have to be extended, combined and tailored to the needs of individual schools. A consortium intends to stimulate multilingual primary education, not only in Frisia, but in the whole of the Netherlands

Project activities

  • Twenty four teachers from twelve primary schools shall develop an innovative approach for multilingual education. This approach will focus on more room and appreciation for migrant languages and offer techniques to combine the teaching of Frisian, Dutch and English. 
  • All products will be collected in a digital 3M-toolbox, available for all schools.  
  • During the project, language attitudes will be researched in a separate effect-study.