HLE Network's mission
Our mission is to increase and improve opportunities for multilingual children to further develop the language(s) they speak at home through an effective educational program. This education should support them in their identity development so that they can grow up confidently and integrate into local society. We aim to promote and improve heritage language (HL) education in the Eindhoven region and beyond.
Activities of HLE Network
We will achieve our objective by:
Ensuring that accurate information about available HL programs is visible and easy to find
Creating a sense of community between HL programs, where achievements can be celebrated, appreciation can be shown for their work, and challenges can be discussed
Organizing professional development activities or research projects with the aim of maintaining/improving the quality, success, and sustainability of HL programs
Informing and reaching out to the public about the importance of understanding, recognizing, valuing, and supporting HL education
Forming meaningful partnerships with other organizations
How HLE Network got started
In 2018, the founders of the Eindhoven Italian School "La Lampadina" reached out to several heritage language programs in Eindhoven for advice about getting started. It was discovered that the heritage language programs in Eindhoven have been operating independently of each other for decades, yet they all face similar issues, namely: finding and keeping volunteers, teachers, and families; staying afloat with limited funds; finding a suitable and affordable location, creating appropriate materials, handling a special student population (with mixed levels of skills and motivation); and offering a valuable program with limited class hours and limited planning time.
This sparked the idea to create a collective platform that will allow for an inventory of the programs and other such collaboration projects. The schools are run by dedicated people who accomplish a lot in the face of these many challenges, so it is also worth coming together to recognize and celebrate these schools' achievements.
The platform was run under the name Heritage Language Schools Eindhoven (HLSE) from 2019 to July 2021. In July 2021, the foundation Heritage Language Education Network (Stichting Heritage Language Education) was created.