Methods & Philosophy

To talk is the first focus. Pronunciation, articulation, dialoguing and conversations are the keywords and key activities and only thén comes grammar.

Learning Dutch

Learning Dutch

How did you learn your first language.  The first book your parents gave was not a grammar book ( I hope). You learned your first language(s) in a very easy process of copying, mimicking all the sounds and facial expressions around you. You developed your speaking skills step by step in the context of questioning and answering and that all  in the frame of your daily activities and events. With that it all started.

This is exactly what you’re going to do in your Dutch course(s) at the School for Dutch. In a much faster process.

In a comfortable environment you will increase  your confidence to speak by 'trial and error'. Dare to make mistakes, helps to increase your confidence and let you grow into the language, into ‘handling / doing ’ the language.

Trial & Error

You can’t learn without making mistakes, it’s trial and error. And for that feeling free to try out ánd make mistakes, you need a comfortable environment, then you will increase your confidence to speak, and so your fluency.

Yes, daring to try is the first step, 'just do and don't think', don’t (over) control yourself. Just do it and try it, practice is the key. This practice takes place within a familiar, personally relevant contexts - in class, at work, in shops and at home.

Realize language always functions in a frame.

Learning a language means far more than just memorizing words and learning grammar rules. Language always functions in a frame. The same word in a different frame means probably mostly something different. Becoming aware of those frames is more important than just learning words and rules.

And don’t forget that learning a language is first and foremost a physical activity which starts with just ‘doing the language’.

Learn whilst having fun.

Please don’t see learning a language too much as a ‘working’ activity, rather see it as a ‘playing’ activity. The more you see and feel the playful side the easier your learning process will be.

We do that by using songs, language games, role playing, recent news events, daily dialogues and relevant stories we create a comfortable and playful environment in which people feel free to work together.

In your class you will be challenged constantly to try out your ( growing) Dutch. 

Test your level.

Most people have being in the Netherlands after a while already some understanding and feeling about the Dutch language.

The test gives an impression where your stand. But.. a test is just a test, you (can) do it in your own pace, it’s not very communicative, a test is more  brainwork, it doesn’t test your ‘doing’ the language. Some people know already a considerable amounts of the Dutch language, but their doing/talking/responding skills are behind. Logical passive knowledge is easier to get than active …..

For that reason a short telephone conversation can clarify and support the test you have done online.

 

A general remark about the different levels, and your ‘going’ from one level to a higher level. The courses are building up in gradual way. And ‘your learning= doing a language’has a lot to do with increasing your confidence, fluency, and your being on ease. So sometimes it’s better to go one level down then the test tells you theoretically or to a level 2 course twice (rare) or to do the level 3 course more than once, dit  komt vaker voor. It looks like failing, it’s not. The course are just a lesson series of 10 X 1,5 hour , that a limited time period, so taking more time for growing into more confidence, fluency can be a wise decision, which you always  take in overleg met de trainer.

“Learning a language means far more than just memorizing words and learning grammar rules."

- Wessel

“To talk is the first focus. Pronunciation, articulation, dialoguing and conversations are the keywords and key activities and only thén comes grammar."

- Learning methods and philosophy

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.

If you do not succeed for the first test it means that we need to work on the foundations of your knowledge of the language. This is also to prevent weak spots that will strike up later and will stop you to fully participate in the group process (= talking Dutch). It will be more fun and more effective and it will give you the confidence needed to start speaking Dutch. Constantly trying to catch up with your fellow students is not very stimulating. That is why it is important to start your Dutch adventure on the appropriate level.

If you succeed the first test, but not the second test, it’s better to start with the 'small talk' course for the reasons outlined above.

If you succeed for the first two tests, we will contact you for a short telephone conversation in Dutch. After that, we will decide what the most appropriate course is.

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 because communication skills, confidence in speaking and ‘trying out/doing’ Dutch are essential. Besides using these books, we developed a system of online exercises to drill and reinforce grammar concepts, and to develop listening skills and vocabulary.

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.

Every week the trainer sends each student a short report about the previous lesson and a summary of what should be done for the next lesson. Don’t forget that every week a new set of online exercises will cover the lesson of that particular week. And besides that students can, and actually do, contact each other for help. This is stimulating and fun for everyone involved.

In the case the an absence, longer than 1 or 2 weeks, the trainer will offer assistance and coaching to catch up with the group.
If however you would miss more than half the lessons, you can join the same kind of course in the next rou

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 a 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.

Because our groups are small we can't return the course fee (similar to breaking off a package tour for instance).

What is the right course for me?

If you haven't been in the Netherlands for too long and you haven't had the opportunity to take Dutch lessons then the survival course (level 1) will probably be the right course for you.

Do realize that although the survival course is a beginners course, it is not an elementary course at all.
The pacing is high and encouraging; you'll start ‘trying’ to speak Dutch from the very first moment.

Maybe you've been here a little longer.
Perhaps you started a course but never finished it.
Maybe Dutch has already become familiar; you might not speak it, but you do understand a lot.

Well...
Do the test !

The test is not about spelling. It will however give you and us good insight in your language skills (the present tense, the negation, the question words, the past tense etc).
If you succeed the test we will have a short conversation by telephone to hear what your active level is. After this conversation you get an advice from your trainer and you can register for a course on the appropriate level.

How are the courses structured?

Survival, Small talk, Conversation, Discussion and Views & Opinions are consecutive courses.

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 onwards conversation, reading and discussion topics change with every new round. So in case it is necessary to do a level twice, the lesson content will be new and inspirational.

See all questions

Contact us.

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.