The number of people who have registered to learn Luxembourg has more than doubled in the last decade, from 2,614 in the 2011-2012 school year to 5,681 in 2021-2022. However, demand is not only growing in the country, Education Minister Claude Meisch (DP) said at a press conference on Thursday. “The demand for Luxembourgish teaching is international.”
The ministry has worked with the Luxembourg embassy in Paris to offer an intensive weekly course in February and plans to expand the program to other locations. According to the minister, the US embassy, for example, also showed interest.
The platform will launch in September
The free online platform, scheduled to launch in September, will offer content for beginners at levels A1 and A2, which will gradually be extended to advanced level C1. The interface will be available in English, French, German, Portuguese and Luxembourg to facilitate access for students from different backgrounds. The content will include Luxembourgish grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation lessons, as well as small talk and modules dedicated to various professions.
In cooperation with Ad, INL already offers specialized programs to job-seekers, for example in healthcare and hospitality, in order to improve their Luxembourgish and increase their chances on the labor market.
The SFA Adult Education Service offers language courses in the Greater Region as part of an agreement with the Ministry of Education and vocational schools in France and Germany for students who want to integrate into the local labor market.
In addition to the new online curriculum, the design of the INL “Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch” textbooks is changing from a classic textbook to an online concept that is more interactive and easier to update than the printed edition.
New legal framework for INL
As its role in Luxembourg language teaching has expanded over the years, INL must be given a new legal framework that will formally make it the national authority responsible for setting standards for Luxembourg language teaching, certification of programs and training of Luxembourg language teachers.
In 2017, the government launched a strategy to promote the Luxembourg language. It included the creation of the Zentrum fir d’Lëtzebuergescht (Center for Luxembourgish), which publishes grammar and spelling rules and addresses issues related to the correct use of the language.
Meanwhile, in early 2022, the Chamber of Deputies included Luxembourg as the national language in the Luxembourg Constitution.
Learning Luxembourgish will help develop a sense of unity, Claude Meisch said on Thursday. Knowledge of the language is also a prerequisite for obtaining Luxembourg citizenship. Applicants must pass a test to show that they have A2 level for oral expression and B2 level for hearing. The INL said on Thursday that it did not know how many of its students had passed the language test, nor how many of them had stopped teaching after passing it.
He wrote this article
in English, translated and edited by Paperjam in French.