Minority language rights to education in international, regional, and domestic regulations and practices: The case of Frisians in the Netherlands

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Abstract

This paper examines minority language education in the Dutch province of Fryslân from a rights-based approach. To conduct the analysis, we employed a qualitative (legal) content analysis. We explored minority language rights at different levels to answer the following question: To what extent are international and regional standards on minority-language education applied domestically to education in Frisian and through the medium of the Frisian language? We discuss the historical trends in the international community regarding minority-language education and elaborate specifically on the Netherlands’ shifting approach on the matter. Our analysis of international, regional, and domestic regulations shows that the issue of exemptions and the reduction in the Frisian core objectives have weakened the position of Frisian in education. Owing to the lack of proper implementation of the current regulations, the Netherlands has been deficient in fulfilling the right to mother-tongue education in Frisian primary schools. The analysis further shows that the Netherlands do not treat Frisian education as a right. Legal solutions to remedy this situation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • language law
  • language policy and planning
  • multilingualism
  • language contact
  • human rights

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