Knowledge of Dutch grammar among Flemish pupils has seen a steep decline over the last decade, according to an assessment carried out among 360 pupils.
In the classroom, there had already been signs indicating a widespread decline in students’ general language level. The study, although limited, is the first to test this supposed reality empirically.
The Flemish students’ difficulties are above all to be found at the level of sentence analysis.
“In 10 years, knowledge of grammatical functions has declined drastically,” the researchers who carried out the study observed. The average score has gone from 60 in 2008 to 40 in 2018, which is below the average.
Flemish students, in any case, obtain a better score than Dutch pupils given the same test, which focuses on spelling, comprehension of word types and sentence analysis. Girls also do better than boys, just as pupils studying Latin were found to achieve better results than the others.
The Brussels Times