Learn Dutch the way you would eat ice cream
“Would you like to join us for an ice cream?” is an offer that not many people would turn down. On the other hand, if you were asked, “Would you like to learn Dutch with us?” how would you react? The team at Regina Coeli explain how learning a foreign language is similar to eating ice cream.
Chances are you’d have to think about that a little more and all sorts of doubts would pop up in your head, such as: Why would I? Do I even have time for it? Will I succeed, or will it just consume precious time and energy?
But if you can really enjoy ice cream, then you have everything you need to learn Dutch well. Read on to find out what this actually means!
1. Take little bites, bit by bit
Ice cream melts quickly, so you automatically keep eating it. But it is also important to not eat it too fast because then you miss out on all the subtle flavours. The same goes for learning a language. You absorb a language bit by bit and if you stop before you cross the speaking threshold, you’ll end up empty-handed, with the equivalent of a melted ice cream. Then you’ll do nothing more with the language and you may have to start from scratch again later on.
Have you already started a Dutch training course but still consider yourself a beginner? To get over the speaking threshold, you should put more time into studying at the very beginning. Furthermore, choose a longer or more intensive training course if that suits your needs better. It is also wise to practise speaking the language frequently.
2. Enjoy consciously
You can eat an ice cream mindlessly, but you’ll enjoy it more if you very consciously savour the flavour and pay attention to its texture. You can enjoy learning something new like a foreign language in the same way. When you take time to learn the nuances of the language, you’ll discover how beautiful it is and only want more.
3. Choose the right flavour
Of course, it starts with choosing a specific flavour of ice cream. Sometimes, you feel like a sorbet, which is nice, light and refreshing. It’s like listening to a pleasant and lighthearted Dutch song. Other times, you may go for a classic flavour such as vanilla or chocolate which is akin to reading a book or a news article. But perhaps you are craving a slightly heavier flavour like tiramisu or amaretto cherries, which is similar to learning Dutch grammar.
Dutch language training also comes in all sorts of flavours. You can opt for conversation training, or you can take a course based more on learning the grammar. The better training courses offer you the full range with the right variety - that way, you learn all the flavours of Dutch.
4. Choose the right environment
Ice cream is a lot tastier when you eat it on a sunny terrace with nice people around you. It is definitely much better than trying to eat an ice cream while walking down a busy street with a lot of traffic from bicycles, cars, and other pedestrians. Similarly, your language learning experience has everything to do with where you do it. You can make learning Dutch a positive experience by looking for a lovely environment with friendly teachers and interesting fellow students.
Eating ice cream isn’t something you have to take seriously; you can play around with how you eat it. Whether you want to take little bites, big bites, or slow licks, you should eat ice cream in whichever manner you fancy. When learning a language, you can experiment with the pronunciation of words in the same way.
Play around with a language’s specific sounds and intonation. You can also try to mimic different accents within the language. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Just as you can discover different ways to enjoy your ice cream, you can also experiment with different learning styles to find your own voice.
6. Refresh your mind
Eating ice cream is especially refreshing on a hot summer’s day and learning a foreign language can be similarly refreshing to the mind. Enjoy the journey, discover new words and phrases, and immerse yourself in the culture. The language-learning process can bring intense pleasure and satisfaction!
In short, choose the right language course in an environment that appeals to you. Enjoy, experiment and make sure you cross the speaking threshold so you don’t end up empty-handed.
Think about this again the next time you eat an ice cream. Who knows, you may soon find your mouth watering when you see grammar books, hear Dutch songs or get the opportunity to chat with a local!
With an intensive training course in Dutch from Regina Coeli, you learn all the flavours of Dutch. From the heavier ones like grammar to the light-hearted sorbets of cheerful conversation.