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."
“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