to inform and inspire

HLE Network actively connects with other projects in the Netherlands and around the world that have to do with research, collaboration, and good practices in heritage language education and non-profit management. We have carried out and posted more than 10 original interviews here -- check them out!


Zurich’s Herkunftssprachlicher Unterricht  (HSU): a well-functioning model of heritage language education


“Without alliances, you can do nothing . . . Without the commitment of organized language communities, we would not have anything.”

In the Canton of Zurich, more than 10,000 children attend 400 heritage language courses in 27 languages. To understand how heritage language education became recognized and coordinated in Zurich, we spoke with Markus Truniger, former Head of the Department for Intercultural Education in Zurich and Sabrina Marruncheddu Krause at the Zurich University of Teacher Education.

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A story of language loss: Sicilian Americans in New Orleans in the 20th Century


The Managing Director of HLE Network shares a personal perspective about heritage language maintenance in her own family in the U.S. She looks into why the Italian community in New Orleans did not manage to maintain the Italian language two generations ago.

Helping the supplementary schools of England achieve excellence: Meet the NRCSE


Interview with Pascale Vassie of the National Resource Center for Supplementary Education (NRCSE) in England. Executive Director of the NRCSE (2012-2021), Ms. Vassie has years of experience working to empower migrant communities and is committed to raising the standards of supplementary schools in England.

How to revamp a HL program: the story of the Polish School of Eindhoven

Interview with Dr. Ania Kijak, manager of the Polish School of Eindhoven.

The Polish School of Eindhoven is one of the oldest heritage language (HL) programs in Eindhoven. Dr. Ania Kijak started managing it in 2018. Armed with a positive attitude and a degree in linguistics, she more than doubled the number of students and gained access to more funding. We find out from her what steps she took to revitalize the school.

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Uniting heritage language programs across a nation


An interview with Stefan Romaniw, OAM, Executive Director of Community Languages Australia (CLA)

In Australia, each state and territory has its own association or federation that brings together heritage language ("community languages") programs. What Community Languages Australia (CLA) has done is brought all of these associations under its umbrella. What is it like to coordinate community languages programs nationally, with 110,000 students across Australia? We talked to Stefan Romaniw, OAM, the Executive Director of CLA, to find out.

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Perspective from Austria: "It's a beautiful law, but there are problems with the system"

An interview with Julliane Rüdisser, a heritage language teacher and researcher

In Austria, there is a law that guarantees a right to heritage language education, but this right is not exercised automatically by all multilingual children. In practice, it takes a whole community to make sure that the law is implemented. We spoke with Julliane Rüdisser to learn about her experience getting Portuguese lessons into the public school system in Innsbruck, Tirol.


Serving Ireland's multilingual families

An interview with Dr. Francesca La Morgia, founder and director of Mother Tongues

Mother Tongues is a non-profit organization in Ireland, started in 2017, that raises awareness about the benefits and challenges associated with multilingualism. Francesca La Morgia has more than ten years' experience running workshops for multilingual families, teachers, and other professionals. We contacted her to find out more about her organization.


How New South Wales supports its heritage language schools

Interview with Ken Cruickshank from the Sydney Institute for Community Languages Education (SICLE)

New South Wales in Australia has more than 37,000 students learning one of 64 heritage languages taught by 3000 volunteer teachers! We reached out to Prof. Cruickshank to find out about the types of support and training they offer to HL teachers and managers.


Words of wisdom from a Canadian coalition

Interview with Trudie Aberdeen and Nina Paulovicova of the International Heritage Language Association (IHLA) in Edmonton, Alberta.

Having operated for over 40 years, the IHLA is an umbrella organization in Edmonton, Canada, which offers several benefits to its member heritage language schools, including regular professional development and an annual joint celebration between language schools. We asked them about their history and current projects. It is inspiring to see what is possible when heritage language schools join forces!

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More language choices for students with Taal naar Keuze

Interview with Karijn Helsloot from Taal naar Keuze

Helping secondary school students take final exams in one of their home languages, expanding language options for Dutch students -- these are among the goals of "Taal naar Keuze." Find out more about this new stichting and its services.

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Heritage language education now part of Brainport's vision for internationalization in schools

Interview with Mieke Zijlstra from Brainport

"We have seen the research that shows that there are benefits for children who maintain their mother language, so we now will include this in our activities."

Read the interview to find out how Brainport now promotes heritage language education and how it values the working relationship with HLSE.

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Discover Stichting Supportpunt's services in Eindhoven

Interview with Yardena Raatgever and Arjen Buit from Stichting Supportpunt

Many heritage language schools are in the form of stichtingen (or verenigingen) or are planning to take the step to become a stichting or vereniging in the future. Stichting Supportpunt has been providing a range of services exclusively for stichtingen and verenigingen in Eindhoven for more than ten years. We spoke with them to find out more!

The interview is available in English and in Dutch.


Inspiration and advice from an Icelandic coalition

Interview with Maria Sastre and Renata Emilsson Peskova from Iceland's "Móðurmál" coalition of heritage language schools

The NGO "Móðurmál" has 25 years of experience supporting language groups in Iceland. We reached out to them to learn about their many successes, including a new international library in Reykjavík. We also ask what advice they have for new coalitions getting started.

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Tapping into multilingualism as a resource in Dutch primary schools

Interview with Joana Duarte of the 3M project Meer Kansen Met Meertaligheid

Joana Duarte, PhD, is a professor of multilingualism at the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden. We reached out to Joana because she runs the 3M project “Meer Kansen met Meertaligheid." We asked Joana how primary school teachers in Eindhoven can use the 3M toolbox to incorporate multilingualism into their classrooms.

The interview is available in English and in Dutch.

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Taking inspiration from a U.S. coalition

Interview with Joy Peyton of the Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

Joy Kreeft Peyton, PhD, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C. Joy has over 35 years of experience in linguistics and with the promotion of heritage languages. She agreed to answer a few questions from HLSE about her experience running a coalition of heritage language schools.

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