Education Minister Claude Meisch in Lycée Michel Rodange; Credit: MENEJ

Luxembourg's Ministry of Education, Children and Youth has announced the introduction of the Luxembourgish language as an optional additional subject for upper cycle pupils at Lycée Michel Rodange.

At a press conference on Thursday 27 January 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, presented this new upper cycle subject, which forms part of a pilot project, in the presence of the secondary school's Deputy Director, Claire Simon.

For the 2022-23 school year, Lycée Michel Rodange will include Luxembourgish as a subject for pupils pursuing the A specialisation section. Pupils in sections B, C, D, E, F and G will also be able to choose Luxembourgish as an additional language.

For clarification, the upper secondary years of classic secondary education in Luxembourg (public school system) include a specialisation cycle, made up of different sections, for pupils in their last three years of shool: section A focuses on modern languages; section B is dedicated to mathematics and physics; section C focuses on natural sciences and mathematics; section D revolves around economics and mathematics; section E focuses on plastic arts; section F is dedicated to musicology; section G revolves around human and social sciences.

Luxembourgish as an additional language subject

In 2022-23, in addition to Spanish and Italian, upper cycle pupils at Lycée Michel Rodange will be able to choose Luxembourgish as their fourth language. The course and will cover many aspects of the Luxembourgish language and the country, including literature but also linguistics and orthography. The course will take place three hours a week in the fifth year (3ème) and five hours a week in the penultimate (2ème) and last (1ère) years of secondary school.

From the next school year on, pupils in sections B, C, D, E, F and G at Lycée Michel Rodange will be able to choose Luxembourgish as an additional language. The course will include elements from literature, cultural history, linguistics and orthography. Classes will take place three hours a week and will replace German or French in the penultimate and last years of school.

Certificate in Luxembourgish Language and Culture (ZLSK)

In addition to the Luxembourgish course, pupils in all sections will have the opportunity to obtain the "Certificate of Luxembourgish language and culture" (Zertifikat Lëtzebuerger Sprooch a Kultur - ZLSK) during their last three years of secondary education. This certificate will allow them to organise Luxembourgish language courses in adult education, for example in municipalities, and thus gain practical experience during their studies.

Luxembourgish as a subject in 4th year

In the 2021-22 school year, the subject of Luxembourgish was introduced in the fourth year (4ème) of classical and general secondary education. The subject was thus integrated in the upper cycle, instead of the first year (7ème) of secondary school, as was the case previously. According to the Education Ministry, upper cycle pupils (i.e. older pupils) have a more critical mind and assessment ability to deal with language and culture(s). 

The new Luxembourgish subject comprises three main components: general knowledge about Luxembourg and society, the Luxembourgish language and culture. The various topics are linked to texts from Luxembourgish-language literature or from current affairs, which are designed to be the starting point for discussions in class.

Minister Meisch explained: "In the last years, the interest in and significance of the Luxembourgish language has clearly increased. By integrating Luxembourgish into the upper cycle of secondary school and with the introduction of Luxembourgish as a fourth language, we are also justifying this development in schools".