Structure of the programme
Our Master programme is unique in combining teaching many of the aspects at play in the world of multilingualism with a practical, research-driven approach. The programme is situated in Leeuwarden, capital of the officially multilingual province of Fryslân, in the north of the Netherlands. By choosing this location students are given immediate access to a multilingual laboratory. Students learn how to deal with day-to-day issues such as helping companies overcome communication problems, designing language policies, or advising schools on how best to teach children with foreign language backgrounds. They receive an MA degree in Linguistics from the University of Groningen.
The Master Multilingualism was initiated by the Departments of Frisian Language and Culture and the Applied Linguistics programme at the University of Groningen in co-operation with University Campus Fryslan (UCF) and NHL University of Applied Sciences.
This Master programme is all about applying theory to practice. We do this by letting the students experience multilingualism in real life. An opportunity for this are the many visits the students make to multilingual environments and institutions. One of our MA students shares her experiences:
“I think it’s really nice that the programme arranges excursions. Seeing minority languages in real life situations, and their challenges, really made me think about how I could help solve them. It is very interesting to see various multilingual situations such as the role of a minority language in religion, which really opened my mind.
Other excursions to the Fryske Akademy and the Provincial house in Leeuwarden bring the challenges faced by policy makers researchers to life. It made me feel involved in something current and important. The excursions help me to look at the minority situation in my own country from a different point of view.”
Multilingualism exists at many levels in society each with their own problems and solutions. Here in the Netherlands we find different problems such as how to deal with minority migrant languages in education and how multilingual education should and could develop. To find answers to such a problem a multilingualism expert would do field research and give advice to the organisation in charge. By having in depth knowledge of multilingualism combined with their own skills and interests our students are well equipped to contribute to the globalising world.