About TEL2L
   Contact Details
Bilingual Education
Bilingualism and MBE
Bilingualism and bilingual education
Models of Bilingual Education
World Links
   MBE Issues
   Case Studies
   Inside the MBE Classroom
   Discussion Forum
Click to view this page in Spanish




Language Use in Society

  • languages used are Letzeburgesch, German and French
  • almost 100% of the people are trilingual
  • about 26% immigrants, most of them with little knowledge of Letzeburgesch
  • Letzeburgesch: primarily for oral communication
  • French and German: written languages (e.g. in courts or correspondence)
  • the more educated the inhabitants are, the more likely they are to use French in oral communication


General Information about the Trilingual School System

The Education System

  • nursery school starts at the age of five, lessons are offered on three mornings and two afternoons
  • primary school from six to eleven, lessons are offered on six mornings and three afternoons
  • secondary schools are divided into complementary, technical and general schools
  • Luxembourg has no universities of its own
  • all teachers have to prove their mastery of Letzeburgesch, French and Standard German before they can begin their work at school
  • See Appendix for table


Language Use in School

Type of School

Medium of Instruction

Nursery school

only Letzeburgesch

Primary school

first years: Letzeburgesch

transition to German by the end of grade six
German is taught as a subject in the first year
French is introduced at the end of grade two

Secondary schools

for the first three years, most classes are taught in German

- general and technical

French replaces German in the fourth grade
some classes are still taught in German

- complementary

pupils have a less well–developed knowledge of French
  • proficiency in French depends on the length of time pupils stay in school
  • German given primary emphasis in primary education, French is primary emphasis in secondary education
  • mother tongue is totally replaced by two languages as the medium of instruction


Immigrants in the Luxembourg School System

  • high percentage of people from foreign countries
  • Ministry of Education created special reception classes, children are supposed to learn German or French
  • after this one-year course, integration in the normal school programme takes place

Results and Future Prospects

  • language of primary emphasis changes during the school system
  • Letzeburgesch remains unthreatened
  • two major languages (French and German), one minor language (Letzeburgesch)
  • three-language policy in education can be successful if certain conditions are met
  • advantage for studying and working in Europe

bot_a.jpg (4688 bytes)BackTopWebsite of Del Digital