Dutch test for non-native speakers to be standardized from 2023

From September 2023, all non-Dutch speakers who follow a Flemish course in adult education will take a similar test, announced Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA) this Tuesday 19 July. A standardized test should help to guarantee the same language level and to ensure that the test and the attestation have the same value everywhere. 

"A good basic knowledge of Dutch is the key to our society", says Minister of Education Ben Weyts. "With this test, we offer leverage to anyone who wants to integrate in Flanders," said the minister.

About 26,000 people are following a course of 'Dutch as a Second Language' (NT2) spread over 113 locations in Flanders. About half do this voluntarily, the other half follow a compulsory process. At the moment, each Center for Adult Education (CVO) and Ligo Center for Basic Education (CBE) has its own training and its own Dutch test. Therefore, there is little confidence for the labor market in the equal quality of the certificates.

From 2023, there will be a standardized test of Dutch for non-native speakers following an NT2 course in a CVO or CBE. Regardless of the location of the training, the aim is to achieve the same language level, namely A2. In this way, the test and the certificate delivered must have the same (high) value everywhere.

According to Weyts, the introduction of the standardized test takes place with respect for the freedom of education. For example, representatives of the CVOs and CBEs will be able to fully develop the new test themselves and the own evaluation of each individual training center will continue to weigh heavily in the final result of a student. Specifically, the standardized test will account for 60 percent of the assessment and the training center's own evaluation will determine 40 percent of the result.

Test skills

The new test will assess four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The rollout will take place in two phases. From September 1, 2023, Dutch reading and writing will be tested in a standardized manner. From September 1, 2024, speaking and listening to Dutch will also be tested in a standardized manner.

The CVOs and CBEs have an entire school year to prepare for this reform. A greater effort will be required from the integrators. For example, from 1 September 2023, immigrants will also have to pay a registration fee of 180 euros for their NT2 training. 




© BELGA PHOTO (Hollandse Hoogte - David Rozing)


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