Language teachers criticise naturalisation exam in the Netherlands

Language teachers criticise naturalisation exam in the Netherlands

Language teachers in the Netherlands claim there are many faults with the naturalisation exam in the Netherlands.

Dutch teachers

Teachers who teach Dutch language courses have criticised the civic integration exam. They say that some of the tests are too difficult for immigrants and it doesn’t allow those who sit the exam to get feedback on their mistakes. Furthermore, there are long waiting lists to take the exam, which is impractical.

The biggest criticism that language teachers have, however, is that the tests focus primarily on language rather than participating in society.

The penalty fee

One in three of the people who started the course in 2013 have not yet passed the exam. The penalty fee for not passing the exam within three years can rack up to 1.250 euros.

At the beginning of April, the education agency DUO stated that around 500 students had been fined, but the figures appear to be closer to 1.500.

In 2017, 9.000 immigrants still have to pass their exam if they want to avoid getting a fine.

Teacher opinions

Many teachers feel the situation has gone too far and that the system, in their eyes, is flawed.

Monique Schoorl of the NT2 professional association claims that it was easier to learn in previous years when people had to get out and use the language, for example, when visiting the housing association, or in a conversation with the doctor. "Now it’s mostly theory behind computers."

Kiri Scully


Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five countries over three continents. Fuelled by culture curiosity at an early age,...

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