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  • Writer's pictureHLE Network

UN Global Goals and Heritage Language Education

June 16, 2021

Nearly all the countries in the world have promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030. They have committed themselves to 17 goals, outlined by the UN in 2015. These targets, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or "Global Goals," include ending extreme poverty, giving people better healthcare, and achieving equality for women. The work of heritage language programs can easily be linked to the UN Global Goals.

Webinar: Sustainable Development Goals & Heritage Language Programs

On Wednesday, June 15, there was an interesting talk that took place online by Dr. Renata Emilsson-Peskova from Iceland about how heritage language programs can connect their work with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

HLE Network was mentioned by Renata because we have summarized how our activities and goals align with three SDGs. HLE Network has been engaged since 2019 in activities that are in line with three of the UN's Global Goals:


HLE Network promotes the inclusion of and fights against the discrimination of (Global Goals Targets 10.2 and 10.3) children who speak a non-majority language at home (who are migrants or children of migrants) by informing the public through outreach events, presentations, trainings, and press coverage about issues that are important for multilingual students.


HLE Network works towards ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all (Global Goals Target 4.7). It does so by bringing together the HL programs, promoting them, and organizing activities that aim to improve the quality of HL education, such as networking events and professional development workshops. HL education by its nature helps learners acquire knowledge and skills that sustain a culture of peace, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity.


HLE Network works towards making cities inclusive (Global Goals Target 11.4). We do so by helping the language groups of Eindhoven to protect and safeguard the world’s linguistic and cultural heritage, in particular through promoting literacy in the home language. We have facilitated the addition of children's books in 7 languages at the Eindhoven Library, with 12 more in the pipeline. We will continue to spread information in Dutch and English from our campaign "The Joy of Reading in the Heritage Language."


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