• ISSN: 2155-7950
  • Journal of Business and Economics

Multilingual or Failed? Is the Trilingual Luxembourgish Public Education
System a Failure or a Success Story?


Ursula Schinzel
(United Business Institute, Luxembourg)

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to describe and explain the Luxembourgish trilingual public education system and, consequently, to determine whether the Luxembourgish trilingual public education system is a system of success or of failure. The aim is to determine whether people in Luxembourg and the rest of the world have a positive or negative opinion towards the trilingual public education system in place, or if they rather would prefer a bilingual public education system, or any other combination of languages of instruction in education. 154 questionnaires were collected and 36 interviews conducted among (1) Luxembourgers with Luxembourgish Nationality (Lux.Nat.), (2) Luxembourg residents including Lux.Nat. and foreigners who reside in Luxembourg (Lux.All.), and (3) the rest of the world (World). More specifically cross-cultural management theories by Hofstede et al. (2010), Hofstede (2001) and House et al. (2004), in combination with language theories by Lewis (2006), Blackledge and Ceese (2010), (Cummins (2000), García (2014, 2009), and language and management theories by Brannen, Piekkari & Tietze (2014) serve as basis for the language as identifier theory (Schinzel, 2013a). There is a high failure rate of school students who tend to not understand the language of instruction especially in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and history, and the command of the English language in schools is insufficient. The results indicate that most respondents prefer integration not separation of the population, the system should maintain its instruction in the three official languages of the country: Luxembourgish, French, German. Residents should adopt a geocentric approach residing in a multilingual and multicultural reality in Luxembourg. Some of the interviews are reprinted; discussion, implications, and recommendations for future research follow.
Key words: language and management; Hofstede, education; cross-cultural management; international
business; language; trilingual public education system; Luxembourg
JEL code: F

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