2021-02-18 HLSE Meetup.JPG

HLSE Meetup online once again

February 19, 2021

Face-to-face Meetups for people involved in HL programs in Eindhoven are still not able to take place due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, on a Thursday evening, February 18, 2021, individuals from seven HL programs in Eindhoven and one interested parent came together online in honor of UNESCO Mother Language Day.

Each person had a chance to tell the others what has been going on with their HL program during the previous months. A common discussion these days is to compare the advantages and disadvantages of online lessons. The advantages include being able to skip the commute to the lessons, to employ teachers virtually from the home country, and to group children more according to level by having smaller groups or by joining with children located outside of Eindhoven. Online learning opens up many more options, for instance, to visit a museum virtually in the home country. The disadvantage is that some students and parents do not like online learning as much because the social aspect of the heritage language classes is a big factor in the learning process. Of course, the children miss meeting each other and playing together.

It was also discussed that in light of the RIVM guidelines, which are always being updated, organizing face-to-face HL lessons for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year could be problematic. Each HL program differs in size, host location, and other factors, which means that a solution for one program would likely not apply for all programs.

It is convenient for people to meet from their homes for a quick catch-up chat. We will consider keeping this format for some of the Meetups in the future, after face-to-face meetings at a pub or cafe are possible again. Particularly for the Meetup that takes place in the middle of the cold winter each February!

The next Meetup will be scheduled for September 2021, in honor of European Language Day. Sign up to the HLSE newsletter to stay informed.