Plurilingualism in another way: Belgium

Chocolate smell is in the air, waffles shops surround you, fries in every corner and best beers in the world in every pub. Welcome to Belgium!

Greet and Sophie, 2 Belgian girls are studying one semester in Almería, as Erasmus students, but…how is language learning in Belgium?

Language learning is compulsory in Belgium.  “In the Flemish part of Belgium, children begin to learn French when they are in their 5th year of elementary school, or in their 3rd year when they live in specific cities around Brussels. In the French part, they have to start learning a second language (they can choose between English, German or Dutch) in their 5th year of elementary school. However, in the German part of Belgium, French Education begins in the kindergarten.” Greet tells us.

Greet is studying at the Catholic University of Leuven. She studies Clinical Psychology for children and adolescents.

“You can study some classes in English, as in the University of Almería, but very often the classes and courses are taught in Dutch and just the required books are in English.” Greet comments.

Sophie studies Applied Economics at the Ghent University and, in this case, she has almost all her subjects in English, such as Business planning and Entrepreneurship.

To obtain their degree, Belgian students don’t need any language certificate, as we analysed in other countries. “You don’t need a language certificate, since everybody in Belgium has a basic level of English, especially people, who go to University.” Sophie explains to us.

In the future the girls want to freshen up their French knowledge, but at the moment they are concentrating on learning Spanish.


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