Online learning: A global experience
If there is one thing that can be defined as a positive outcome of the corona crisis, it is that we have found out that online learning can be as effective, educational and fun as classroom learning. Teachers and students worldwide have come to this conclusion. What initially seemed an almost impossible task turned into a huge challenge and eventually resulted in a completely new way of working and learning. Online learning has proven successful!
On March 15, 2020, it became clear during a press conference what had been afoot for a few weeks; to prevent the spread of COVID19, everyone in the Netherlands had to stay at home as much as possible. But surely staying indoors shouldn’t mean quitting learning Dutch? Language institute Taalthuis did not hesitate for a moment and immediately offered all of their lessons online, starting the day after the lockdown was announced.
A new way of teaching
All Taalthuis teachers immersed themselves in this new kind of teaching and are happy with the knowledge and skills they have acquired. Remote learning turned out to have so many more options that not everyone was aware of, so it gradually became more fun teaching this way. Sharing your screen and discussing assignments in the breakout rooms are options that make online teaching as interactive and educational as in the classroom.
Through a Facebook group “NT2 teacher online”, founded by teacher Anouk van der Linde, NT2-teachers from various language institutes exchanged all kinds of information about fun tools and teaching methods that are possible in remote learning. She had founded this group just before the corona crisis.
Anouk: “In this Facebook group, teachers share their best practices and ask for tips on how to make their online lessons more student-focused and interactive. I never thought it would become such a popular group. Over the past few months, the Facebook group has grown, with 600 members.”
Taalthuis teacher Katelijne Verswijvelt emphasises that online teaching is much more intensive than teaching in the classroom. The utmost concentration is required of both teachers and students.
Katelijne: “Certainly, in the beginning, it took some time to get used to this new way of teaching and the first weeks were quite challenging. Teachers had to learn a lot of new skills to apply the new lesson techniques and had to get out of their comfort zone. Interactive and activating lessons, but now at a distance. Quite a challenge, but it worked! And how nice it is that we now have this expertise to teach online, everywhere!"
Full online courses for everyone, no matter where you live
Students from all over the world are registering for Taalthuis courses! Join them now!
Students of current courses had obviously not registered for online lessons. Therefore, a few asked to be allowed to postpone the classes until September because it was expected that classes could only be given in the classroom by then. But the vast majority took up the challenge.
Taalthuis now offers full online courses. When registering, it no longer matters where a student lives, all lessons are online. To the surprise and delight of Taalthuis, students from all over the world are registering for the courses!
Students from England, France, Poland, America, and even all the way from New Zealand, enrolled in the Beginners Basic Course based on self-study. Normally, Taalthuis only offers this course during the summer months, because there are no regular courses offered then. Taalthuis thought that this tutorial could be a nice product during these special times. And nothing proved further from the truth, as over 100 people are now taking this course, consisting of two textbooks and access to the e-learning platform.
Taalthuis students share their experiences
Student Lenique from South Africa, who has a Dutch husband, wants to emigrate to the Netherlands. She enrolled in an online Beginners Plus Course supported by a teacher because her goal is to be able to understand the people in the Netherlands. Lenique: “I want to be able to “help” myself in Dutch. I would like to continue learning with Taalthuis as Evelien is an excellent teacher and I enjoy the lessons very much. I like the small group, it makes the course very interactive and fun.”
Miguel from Spain enrolled in the online Beginners Basic Course supported by a teacher. He is Dutch by nationality but left the Netherlands at the age of three. Miguel: “I would like to learn as much Dutch as I can to be able to have a normal conversation, as I plan to continue my studies in the Netherlands and I also want to visit Dutch family members regularly. My plan is to find a job in the Netherlands, so I really want to obtain a high level of Dutch. I absolutely love the course because it’s interactive and the teacher is great!"
Student Leila from Latvia enrolled in an online Beginners Plus Course supported by a teacher, emphasises that the great advantages of taking an online course are that you don’t have to travel and that you can concentrate very well. “You are not distracted by things that happen in the classroom and you have all the teaching materials at hand, both books sent by the language institute to your home and the recorded texts and lyrics of the e-learning tool. Of course, you miss the physical contact, but for me, the advantages outweigh these disadvantages.”
Start learning Dutch now
Students no longer have to leave the house to take their Dutch lessons, even now, when everyone is allowed to go outside and travel within Europe. What a great outcome! Tune in from any location where there is WI-FI, even from your holiday address! What are you waiting for? Start learning Dutch with Taalthuis now!