Learning Dutch doesn't happen on its own
The language learning method used by Language Institute Regina Coeli ensures that you learn to speak a foreign language quickly and effectively. The institute's highly qualified trainers teach you the skills, vocabulary and grammar that you need for your specific situation, so you can immediately start communicating in your new language.
Once you’ve been in the Netherlands for a while, you get used to the sounds of Dutch all around you. Perhaps you can follow conversations but still find it difficult to participate. Or you may understand a colleague’s emails but are unable to write emails like that yourself. If that sounds like you, your Dutch language skills are more passive than active. The term says it all: you have to take action to learn to speak and write in Dutch. It doesn’t happen on its own!
In this article, you’ll read about a step-by-step method for learning how to communicate better in Dutch as long as you’re not a complete beginner, and you’ll read about how you can learn in leaps and bounds.
Build your language skills step by step
Unfortunately, you won’t learn to speak Dutch as well as adults who have spoken it their entire lives. But if you do it step by step, you can celebrate your own milestones. And those accomplishments are the perfect way to stay motivated.
Ask yourself: In what situations would I most like to be able to speak Dutch? Who do I talk to, and what do we talk about? Once you have a clear idea of that, then:
- Learn the right words and phrases for the situation
- Deepen your understanding of the grammar you need for this
- Practice by having short chats with native speakers
- Improve your vocabulary by reading about or listening to things on the topic
There is no need to plan further than one theme at a time. Once you’ve completed each step and can, for example, talk to other parents on the sidelines of the football pitch about the wonderful game your children are playing, decide on your next theme. Perhaps you could then chat about music in Dutch with your father-in-law, who’s a real music lover but barely speaks English.
This way, you’ll slowly expand your repertoire in Dutch. The advantage is that you’ll be learning about subjects you find interesting and can use in practice.
Learn Dutch in leaps and bounds
If you want to learn Dutch for your work or a job interview, yet don’t have huge chunks of time to dedicate to learning it, you’ll need to approach it efficiently and professionally. Not step by step, but in leaps and bounds. With the right guidance, you can achieve a great deal quickly and will be able to put the language to use at work right away.
Suppose you start a new job and have agreed with your employer that you’ll improve your Dutch. The path might look like this:
- From the beginning, you’ll take part in meetings that are entirely in Dutch and speak the language as often as possible with your immediate colleagues
- Six months after starting your job, you will start giving presentations internally
- After a year, you’ll also start reaching out to customers or suppliers in Dutch
You can learn the right language for each step by taking, for example, an intensive language course. After a week, you’ll have made a big leap forward and can start using the language in practice. Six months later, you’ll be ready - with loads of language experience - for the next step in your learning journey.
The pitfall of a standard course
Of course, you can also take a standard Dutch course. In it, you’ll learn a lot of useful language and the basics of Dutch grammar. The disadvantage, though, is that you’ll never learn exactly what you want to learn. Because there is only one you: one person at your level who is learning Dutch for the situation you’re in now. Because why would you bother to learn the names of all kinds of fruit in Dutch if you use the language mainly to talk to other parents on the sidelines of the football pitch?
How to improve your Dutch
So, to sum up, here is how you can improve your Dutch:
- Work actively to develop your speaking and writing skills. These aren’t learned by accident
- Learn the language step by step for the situations that matter to you
- Get a lot of practice in each subject before you move on to the next
- If you are short on time, get coached in an intensive programme
- You can learn a lot in a group language course, but personal language training really teaches you to communicate in situations that matter to you
So, are you ready to get started? Regina Coeli can’t wait to help you set up a personal programme! Start learning Dutch now!