How did you learn your first language? Your first book was (hopefully) not a grammar book. No, you learned your first language through a very simple process of copying, mimicking, and reproducing the sounds and facial expressions around you. You developed your speaking skills step by step through questions and answers in the context of your daily activities.
This is the same process you’ll follow at the School for Dutch.
You can’t learn without making mistakes; trial and error is an inevitable part of learning anything new, but especially a new language. At the School for Dutch, we focus on creating a safe, supportive space, where everyone feels confident to take that first step and just try. When learning a new language, it is important not to overthink things and accept mistakes as part of the process. We provide a judgement free environment that will help you build the courage to practice beyond the classroom in restaurants, shops, at work, at home, and beyond.
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 context can mean something very different. Becoming aware of these frames is more important than just learning words and rules. At the School for Dutch, our courses focus on teaching you to recognize frames and contexts in order to understand the correct words and grammar to use.
You can easily compare learning a language to learning new music. At first, you might remember only part of the tune, but as you hear a song more and more, you start to remember the whole flow and add the lyrics in bit by bit. So is it with language. You need to listen, repeat, and be immersed in order to progress. Even if it’s for only 5 minutes a day, putting yourself in a “Dutch bubble” by listening to music or watching TV will help you understand how the language is used in everyday life. At the School for Dutch, we’ll give you the tools to make the most of your everyday Dutch moments in order to build up the language bit by bit, just like a new hit song.
Learning Dutch shouldn’t be a chore. As kids, we saw learning a language as playing, not working. The more you see and feel the playful side, the easier your learning process will be. At the School for Dutch in Amsterdam, we do this by using songs, language games, role playing, recent news events, daily conversations, and relevant stories to create a comfortable and playful environment where people feel free to work together.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
– Nelson Mandela
If you’ve been in the Netherlands for a while, chances are you’ve picked up some Dutch along the way. Complete our simple test to assess your level and find out which Dutch class is right for you!
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.