Tto: bilingual education

Twee-Talig Onderwijs (tto) is the Dutch form of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Tto is an educational approach in which non-language subjects such as geography or biology are taught through the English language.

The Main Goals of Bilingual Education
In a tto-classroom, teachers and students communicate in English and not in Dutch. Tto has two important goals: to increase the student’s aptitude in foreign languages and to encourage their development of international awareness. The tto curriculum is developed around content, communication, culture, and cognition. This approach has been implemented in over 120 schools across The Netherlands since 1989.

Bilingual Education at the Gomarus College
In 2008, Vondelpad 3 offered its first bilingual English-Dutch academic program to students between the ages of 12 and 15. The program originates at the order of the Ministry of Education through the European Platform, which coordinates bilingual education in The Netherlands. Tto is offered to students who possess high academic and language abilities at the Gomarus College in Groningen.

The school’s vision states that we wish to develop the student’s capacities. On the one side of the intellectual spectrum, the school provides custom education to basic vocational pupils. On the other side of the spectrum the school desires to challenge pupils with an above average intelligence sufficiently. Therefore, the Gomarus College offers gymnasium and tto. The tto program and other forms of internationalization provide challenges to these academic students. It prepares our students for a follow-up study in university education or higher vocational education.

The first three tto forms receive bilingual education at Vondelpad 3. The student's involvement as a Christian, European citizen is strengthened through the lessons and related tasks. An example of the classes taught in English are: geography, history, physical education, music and religion. Exchange weeks and visits abroad are arranged within and beyond Europe. Upon successful completion of the three years in tto, the students write an Advanced exam approved by the European Platform in order to establish their level.

Upon completion of the three years of tto, a student may enter the Strengthened Language Education at Vondelpad 1. The fourth, fifth and sixth forms offers the students a Dutch education with an English focus. The students write their graduation assignment in English, and have an extra excursion to Great Britain. The goal of this program is to receive the Cambridge Certificate.

The Tto Staff
The Gomarus College is proud of its motivated tto staff. To teach in bilingual education classes, the teachers must meet certain criteria. First, the teachers must possess the Cambridge Advanced Certificate. The school encourages and supports the teachers to get the Cambridge Proficiency Certificate. Furthermore, the teachers should possess the following competencies: teamwork, development-oriented, internationally oriented and have the drive to excel. The school promotes the international exchange of teachers. 

Tto Acceptance Requirements
Our foremost tto requirement is a pre-university advice from an elementary school, based on test results of the last three graddes of the  school. 
In addition, we also require a particular attitude from a bilingual student. He / she must be willing to: 

  • Learn/communicate in English
  • Establish and maintain contacts with students in foreign schools 
  • Receive guests from foreign schools 
  • Visit schools with whom we have contact

Tto Costs
Parents are requested to provide an additional contribution for the funding of English cultural activities and exchanges with foreign students. 

Information Evenings
The school holds two parent information evenings for the prospective tto students during each school year. These are held in November and March. Please contact the school for the exact dates.

Open House
Vondelpad 3 hosts an open house once a year in January. The open house is for all prospective students and their parents. Visitors can have a tour through the school, meet the staff, participate in activities and receive presentations about the various programs that are offered.