Interactive training for all Dutch Subject Teachers of the high schools by expert Petra Roël (Bureau NVT)

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Friday September 22, 2023 twenty-one Dutch subject teachers of St Maarten Academy PSVE & Academic Campus, MAC CSE, Charlotte Brookson Academy, St. Dominic High, Sundial School and Milton Peters College gathered at MPC to discuss and experience creative strategies to get students fully engaged in practicing Dutch in class.

Since Dutch is a foreign language (NVT) for the vast majority of St. Maarten students and proficiency levels vary greatly in class, teachers have quite a challenge at hand to balance keeping language learning fun while preparing the students for high level Dutch exams. Trainer Petra Roël, an expert of 20+ years in Dutch as Foreign Language Training and former Dutch teacher at Saba Comprehensive School, stressed on keeping students motivated and active and showed several entertaining and highly effective exercises that can be used in multiple ways in the classroom.

The teachers got very enthusiastic when practicing these games, especially during the try-out of the  Lingobingobox game of which each school received a free set, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Division of Educational Innovations. After the lunch break the teachers shared their challenges as well as good practices with each other. 

The training was made possible by the Division of Educational Innovation and the willingness of Netherlands-based Petra Roël to add an extra workshop day on her way to training Dutch Subject teachers of Saba. 

In the beginning of the year the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports installed a SXM-group as part of the broader NVT Carib Network (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten) which aims to strengthen and improve the teaching of the language Dutch at all 6 islands. Oralie Boirard and Ruth Linger from the Division of Educational Innovations represent the SXM government in this network and Mireille Regalis, Mavis Lestrade and Saskia Kliphuis are part of the expert group.

More activities, in the form of trainings and material development can be expected within soon from NVT Carib Network and the SXM group. The Dutch language teachers at the workshop warmly welcomed this training and stated that they look forward towards receiving more support, training and sharing in order to serve our students best.

DEI wants to thank all schoolboards for allowing their teachers to participate and MPC for hosting the workshop.