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Bilingual education

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CSG Willem van Oranje is the only high school in the region where bilingual education is given. We have been a senior tto-school for many years.This means that our teachers teach their subjects in English at a very high level. Students start with tto in havovwo- or vwo first class, after which they can continue bilingual havo, atheneum or gymnasium.

Bilingual education has many advantages:

  • Students can prepare for a study career in an ‘internationally oriented’ society.
  • More and more parents and students are seeing the importance of a more internationally oriented education.
  • Research shows that the use of modern foreign languages as a language of instruction in other subjects can also yield efficiency. Tto-students score an average of 0.5 point higher in other subjects.
  • Bilingual education encourages students' cognitive growth and social awareness.
  • Tto-students also learn to debate, present and write essays in a foreign language.

Tto in the Lower forms
Students who attend our school will receive at least half of the subjects in English during the first three years. The language of instruction during these classes is English and the books are also in English. Studying and learning the language go ‘hand in hand’.

The following courses are taught in English from the beginning: geography, history, music, art and design, biology, mathematics, physical education and, of course, English. In year 2 physics is added to this list and in year 3 economics.

In the upper forms ANW (Science for Public Understanding), physical education, CKV (Culture and The Arts) and social science will be given. In many cases, English is also the language of instruction in workgroups and during practical assignments.

Tto in the Upper Forms
From grade 4 on , the number of courses offered in English is lower due to the choice of profile and because of the preparation for the Dutch exams. The aim is to keep at least 25 percent of the study hours in English.

All tto-students also go on an internship in an ‘English-speaking’ environment, many students travel abroad, but this is not mandatory. Students of 4 tto-havo have to go on an internship of at least 40 hours , half of which is in their own time. For 5 tto-vwo the internship period is at least 80 hours, of which 40 are in their own time. There is an emphasis on internationalization, on preparation for the final exam and the extended essay is written in English. During classes the students prepare for the English B higher level (havo-tto) or for English A Language and Literature higher level (vwo-tto) for the International Baccalaureate (IB).

This is obligatory in order to be a fully certified senior tto-school. The Nuffic which coordinates tto in the Netherlands, has developed a standard that our school must abide by. Billingual education will make the transition to HBO and/or university easier because the target language in higher education often is English too. The level the students reach at our school is that of near-native speaker of English.

The students follow the regular exam program in the Upper Forms, and at the end they obtain their havo- or atheneum-school diploma. A tto-student thus, obtains besides the regular diploma, the IB certificate English B higher level for tto-havo or English A Language and Literature higher level for tto-atheneum / tto-gymnasium.

Bilingual education requires extra effort from a student. Perseverance and good motivation are therefore very important. A tto-student must also have language competence: learning and understanding English on top of the ordinary lesson program. Our experience is that tto is an additional challenge for many students, which they enjoy as well. Within a short period students learn to speak English fluently.

Bilingual education is not limited to English lessons only. This form of internationalization lets the students literally and figuratively cross the borders. There are contacts with other countries and we focus on the culture and history of European and (other) English-speaking countries. Students participate in an exchange program with a school in another European country, an educational trip is made to an English-speaking country and they go to international internship.

Other English activities include: visiting theatershows, museums, following email projects, speaking contests and contacting foreign companies in the Netherlands. The classes are taught by native speakers, highly educated bilingual teachers and guest speakers.

The tto-program will gradually build up over the years. On behalf of the Ministry of OC & W, the Nuffic guides all tto-schools and addresses the quality of bilingual education in the Netherlands.

In the fourth year of this course it is mandatory for our bilingual students to visit an English speaking country/environment for one or two weeks and either work or study there. The whole idea is that our students are immersed in the English language for the duration of their stay. We hope the students will not only improve their English, but also gain a sense of responsibility and independence from their experience. Quite often this is the first time our students have undertaken such a trip on their own, so it is a very exciting prospect for them.

The pupils have to write a detailed report about their stay in which they show that they have studied different aspects of the society they visited; without this report they cannot graduate. For a foreign internship, the school will give an incentive premium of up to € 170, - this amount will be paid if the internship report has been approved of.

Bilingual education involves additional costs compared to the regular havo/vwo-program. These expenses are made for English study material, excursions, museum and theater visits, sports clinics, speaking contests, native speakers, etc. This amounts to € 250,00 per year.


Attention!  The Wet Vrijwillige Ouderbijdrage emphasises the voluntary nature of these costs. Not being able/wanting to pay this premium wll not mean exclusion from the program. However, we can only offer bilingual education and its extra's if we receive enough support. You can find more information here.



De Willem: toekomstgericht, uniek en verbonden.