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Heritage Language Education Network


HLE Network

We envision a world where multilingual children have the opportunity to develop the language that they speak at home through an effective education program. Our mission is in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to ensure inclusive education that promotes a culture of peace, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Heritage language programs, also called “mother tongue” schools, allow children to develop a language that they speak at home, but are not able to study at school. In the Netherlands and many other countries, heritage language programs are usually non-profit initiatives founded and operated by parents from a non-majority language community to maintain the language and culture of their heritage. Lessons take place after school or on the weekend.

HLE Network brings together heritage language programs and provides opportunities for networking and professional development. We reach out to the public about the importance of understanding, recognizing, and supporting this valuable form of education.

Boy Writing on a Blackboard
Children and Teacher in Kindergarten
Blonde Boy Reading

Quick links

Liever Nederlands? Lees een Nederlands overzicht van onze site.

Discover the many heritage language programs in our network.

Learn more about our charitable organization's team and activities.

Join us each November for networking and workshops at our annual conference with international partners.

Find out how heritage language education is organized in other countries, plus other interesting reads.

Check out the International Guidelines for Professional Practices in Community-Based Heritage Language Schools, co-authored by HLE Network.

Mother and Daughter Hugging

A child from the Polish school is featured in a Studio040 news piece about heritage language education and the Thuistaal Toppers! contest.

May 27, 2022


International Children's Book Collection at Eindhoven Library

HLE Network facilitates the International Children's Book Collection


HLE Network News


The winners of the "Thuistaal Toppers!" contest are announced

July 5, 2022


Spanish: the heritage language of the princesses

Did you know that the three princesses of the Dutch royal family can speak Spanish because Queen Máxima passed the language on to them as one of their mother tongues? We know that this took dedication from the queen, who even enlisted the help of Argentinian nannies. Read more about this in JAN Magazine from May 17, 2022 and Beau Monde from May 15, 2022.

photo: Patrick van Katwijk Getty Images

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Support our work

HLE Network is a charitable foundation. We appreciate donations to help finance our activities.



The following organizations have contributed to HLE Network.

Thank you for your support!!



We value our partnerships with the following organizations.

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