Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does the level test work?
    We test a range of language skills. The content of the test is based on two decades of teaching experience. Our courses have a high pace, since we believe that using a language is the best way to learn the new language. Of course, an online test is never the best way to fully evaluate someone’s language skills. If you think your score is too low, just send us an email or give us a call and we can evaluate which course is truly best for you.
  • Do I have to pay extra for books and other materials?
    No, everything is included in the course fee. We use our own books and course material as communication skills, confidence in speaking, and ‘trying out/doing’ Dutch are essential. Besides using these materials, we have developed a system of online exercises to drill and reinforce grammar concepts, and to develop listening skills and vocabulary.
  • How are the courses structured?
    Survival, Small talk, Conversation, Discussion are consecutive courses, meaning they are intended to be followed one after the other. Although students will get all the grammar they need, it is not the main focus, on the contrary: We believe that the best way to learn Dutch is to start using the language as soon as possible. Doing Dutch is learning Dutch! Our courses have a fast pace and focus on pronunciation, rhythm, and flow of the language. You will start talking Dutch right from the start and build up your vocabulary by 'doing'. From level 3 and up, conversation, reading, and discussion topics change with every new round. So in case you would like to do a level twice, the lesson content is never the same and will always be fresh and new.
  • Will I have homework?
    Yes! Practicing the language and getting yourself acquainted with hearing and speaking it outside of a classroom setting is key to improving your Dutch. You will get out of the class what you put into it and that includes homework. To make this as easy and efficient as can be, we have developed a broad range of online exercise for the first three levels. Each exercise takes about 5-8 minutes. You can do these exercises anywhere, as long as there is an Internet connection. You can do one exercise at a time or do a series of exercises depending on your time schedule. Every week you will find new exercises in your community account treating the same subjects as during the lesson(s). Doing homework doesn't mean spending a whole Sunday afternoon doing boring tasks. Homework means doing a few fun online exercises every day. Why not make it to a habit to do a few exercises during work? It will encourage your Dutch colleagues to have small conversations with you in Dutch. Dutch people are delighted to see an ‘expat’ trying to master their language.
  • What computer requirements do I need to complete the online exercises?
    The online exercises are built in Flash so any regular computer/browser with Flash installed will do as long as it's connected to the internet. It doesn't matter if you are a PC or Mac user and for browsers we recommend the latest version of Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari. If you have any problems opening the homework exercises, please update your version of Adobe Flash and try again. If for some reason you don't have a computer or internet access, you can use these facilities for free at the public library.
  • Can I change groups?
    Yes! No problem. If after the first or second lesson the course turns out to be either too difficult or too easy, then in consultation with the instructor, you can move on to another group at a more appropriate level. If you have to change because of your own time schedule, you can move to another (same level) course if there's one running at the time. If there is no alternative course and you would miss more than half the lessons, you can join the same kind of course in the next round with a reduction for the missed lessons.
  • What kind of people are attending your school?
    People from all over the world! England, Argentina, France, Malaysia, Spain, the United States, Australia, etc. They usually come to the Netherlands for the same reason you do; work, love, an appreciation of 'Dutch life', coincidence, and more. What they also share is that they are mostly working in and for international companies. We’ve seen some great friendships develop in our courses!
  • Can I do a try-out lesson to see if I like the class?
    Yes! However, it is only allowed to try-out a class of the round before the one you would like to take. For instance, you are more than welcome to come sit in on a class of a level you would like to take, before signing up for the same level in the next round. All students starting in a round must have enrolled in the class and paid the course fee.
  • General Terms and Conditions
    Confidentiality All information provided by customers (companies) and/or course participants of the School for Dutch, or mentioned in e-mail correspondence, will be treated with confidentiality by the School for Dutch. Payment receipt Customers will get by the enrollment an automatically generated invoice through the book-keeping system. Customers may request an (extra) copy at any time. Prior to an in-company course, the conditions and costs are discussed and recorded in a contract. Companies may request an (extra) copy at any time. Enrollment and cancellation The School for Dutch reserves the right, if too few participants have enrolled for a course, namely fewer than three participants, to cancel a course. The potential participants will be informed of the cancellation of the course no later than one week in advance. They may then choose either to have their fee reimbursed or to participate in a comparable course. If an individual participant has enrolled 14 days or more before the scheduled starting date, he or she may cancel the enrolment up to 10 days prior to the starting date. If this cancellation occurs within 10 days prior to the course, then they are offered the opportunity to take part in a comparable course later in the year. Lesson materials and copyright The School for Dutch holds the copyright on its teaching material; it may not be used in other teaching situations without permission from the School for Dutch. Teaching material provided by the School for Dutch is the property of the customer, on the understanding that it may not be copied except for personal use by the customer. Complaints procedure The School for Dutch will respond immediately, or no later than 10 days, after receiving a complaint from a customer. The customer will be informed as to any action to be taken and of the existence of the complaints committee. If the customer is not satisfied with the response to the complaint, he or she may submit it to the complaints committee. The members of the complaints committee are: Ed Vriesema, Former business owner P. Propstra, Translator/advisor to arts councils A person designated by the customer The complaints committee will deliver a binding decision on the complaint within 14 days, and will of course provide an explanation of the decision. Complaints will naturally be treated confidentially.
  • What happens if I miss a lesson?
    Our students usually have busy jobs and social lives. This means that from time to time they miss a lesson, due to work or social obligations. Learning a language is like dancing a tango; two steps forward and one step back. Repetition is part of this process, so we do encourage students to attend as many classes as they can. In the case of an absence of 1 or 2 lessons, the instructor will offer assistance and coaching to catch up with the group. If however you miss more than half the lessons, you will likely be recommended to repeat the same course in the next round.
  • What happens if I have to leave the course for personal reasons?
    If for some reason you need to quit a course, you can always join the same level course in the next round or another round during the whole year after the canceled course. It is also possible to let somebody else participate in a same priced course instead of the registered student. Unfortunately because our groups are small, we can't return the course fee (similar to breaking off a package tour for instance).
  • Do you teach children?
    Yes, we love teaching kids! We believe learning Dutch can be a fun experience (and not just for children). It is our experience that children are fast learners because they're less frightened to 'do' the language or make mistakes. However, we do recommend a minimum age of 13 years or older for our group classes. If you are looking to learn Dutch as a whole family, we recommend looking into our private lessons. While we’re happy to evaluate your individual situation, it is useful if the child can read and write in their native language, in order to get the most out of our instruction.
  • Can I get an official exam or a Dutch language degree?
    No, we do not offer any official diploma or certification. However, by learning Dutch your chances of succeeding at any kind of Dutch exam greatly increases. The School for Dutch has chosen to develop its own unique learning method and the courses concentrate on the ability to speak Dutch. We focus on helping students feel comfortable in handling the Dutch language right from the start and this method conflicts with the more grammar driven approach that many official institutes use. If necessary, students can receive a written confirmation from their trainer after finishing the course. We are also happy to recommend additional practice or advice on taking official Dutch state exams if need be.
  • How do I sign up and pay for a course?
    If you are a beginner, you can sign up for the next Level 1 course [here]. If you have some experience with Dutch and believe you should be placed into Level 2, 3, or 4, please first complete our [level test] to see which course best suits you. Complete as much of the test as you can and you will receive a recommended course with a link to sign up for the next round. Having issues signing up and paying for a specific course, or want to enquire about a private class? [Send us an emai]l and we’re happy to help.
  • Can I have lessons at my workplace?
    Of course! We also organize in-company courses. An in-company course can save you time and will be tailor-made to your needs. The price for a in-company course is calculated differently and depends, among other things, on the number of participants (6 or more), but isn't necessarily more expensive than a regular evening course. Read more about our [in-company courses] and get in touch to discuss setting this up at your organization.
  • Does the school intermediate for my residence permit?
    No, we don't. Only within the context of (limited) exchange programs of some universities, polytechnic colleges or schools of economics, it’s possible that the educational institute will take care of those kind of papers. You won’t however need a residence permit to learn Dutch at our school! Anyone with a sufficient educational background is welcome. We also encourage students to help each other with information and we also provide a lot of links to useful agencies.
  • Are the different levels related to the Common European Framework of Reference?
    More or less. Even though we use our own course levels, it's still possible to compare our levels to the CEF system: The Survival course equals the A1 to A2 CEF level: basic knowledge of the language, familiar everyday expressions and simple phrases, familiar with frequently used expressions and conversation on routine matters. The Small Talk course equals the A2 CEF level: can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. The Conversation course equals the B1 CEF level: can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue. The Discussion course equal the B2 to C1 level: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

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Are you interested in following a course with us, or do you have a general question regarding our teaching methods and philosophies? Please head over to our contact page to get in touch.

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