High demand for ‘Dutch as a second language’ teachers

High demand for ‘Dutch as a second language’ teachers

Never before have so many educators enrolled in "Dutch as a Second Language" programmes in order to become qualified to teach Dutch to internationals.

More internationals in the Netherlands

There currently is a shortage of teachers qualified to teach Dutch to internationals. The rising numbers of expats settling in the Netherlands and the arrival of refugees are one of the reasons for this.

In Amsterdam alone, 140 new companies opened up offices in 2015, a record number for the second year in a row, bringing along with them 1.394 jobs. These new jobs attract more internationals.

Expat families often want to learn the local language by taking Dutch language courses. An expat who succesfully finishes the course "Dutch as a Second Language" is then ready to apply for Dutch Language certification by taking the State exams for Dutch as a second language (Staatsexamen Nederlands als Tweede Taal or NT2).

The second reason for the increase in enrollment by instructors is that the job market for grade school teachers is a very competitive one in the Netherlands. In this manner teachers increase their employment options.

Three-fold increase in enrollment

Teaching Dutch as a second language is a specialisation that requires already having an HBO degree.

Trouw reports that, during the last two years, the number of teachers enrolled in the "Dutch as a Second Language" programme has tripled to 333 in 2016.

The waiting list for the study has another 300 instructors who would like to be able to teach Dutch as a second language.

Teaching Dutch to immigrants

A teacher who has successfully completed the course is qualified to teach the inburgeringscursus (integration course). Qualified teachers will also be able to teach Dutch at the various refugee camps and schools for young asylum seekers across the Netherlands.

Shortage of Dutch language instructors

It is unclear exactly how many new Dutch language instructors are currently needed, but estimates range from the hundreds to a few thousand.

In a stop-gap measure, Dutch State Secretary Sander Dekker has announced that graduates of the grade school teacher programme (PABO) will be allowed to teach young refugees Dutch after successfully completing a crash course in teaching Dutch as a second language.

Thomas Lundberg


Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

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