How other people can boost your Dutch
If you want to learn Dutch fast there is one great secret that can help, and not everyone realises it. It is the energy of other people.
Sure, it may sound a bit abstract, but once you have experienced the positive effects of channeling the energy of others, then you will approach language learning with new enthusiasm.
Who can help?
You never learn a new language alone. This is because you always need to interact with other people, at the very least to practice listening and speaking.
So, who are the key players who can help you learn Dutch?
Basically they can be anyone around you: your Dutch friends, partner, colleagues or strangers who you interact with in public. All these people can help you learn the local language, even if some of them always switch to English (but let’s save this subject for another time).
But... the people who can help boost your Dutch the most are those you are with when studying and learning the language.
Your teacher, naturally
Your teacher is one of the people who has a great impact on your ability to learn a new language - of course! A skilled and capable teacher will have a huge impact on your learning speed, especially if he or she puts you in the mood to learn.
The other people who have a big influence on your language-learning success, and who are often easy to overlook, are your fellow students - if you have them.
Classmates… or none?
Once you have decided to bring your Dutch to a higher level, then you need to decide if you want to learn alone or in a group.
› Private lessons
Studying Dutch with just you and your teacher provides a lot of freedom. Firstly, you have a lot of time to practice speaking, and all the attention is for you.
Secondly you can talk about anything you want and the course is tailored to your own specific, personal needs, also when it comes to scheduling classes.
On top of this, many people will notice that quite often, learning goes a lot faster because there is no one else that can slow you down.
However, when it is only you and your teacher, you may notice that after 20 hours, there is not so much to talk about. On top of this, it may start to seem like an interrogation when your teacher asks you for the 10th time what you did on the weekend.
› Group classes
On the other hand, there are group classes, where you learn from both your teacher and each other.
Studying with others helps you to see things from a different perspective. Classmates come up with questions you never thought of. All of a sudden, you start to discover more layers to the language.
But group classes can have their downsides too: your classmates can also slow you down. What if other people don’t understand things that are crystal clear to you?
Or maybe some of your fellow classmates don’t turn up to class, and when they do, your teacher spends half an hour repeating everything you studied a week ago. That can be annoying!
Also, some students love to complain. They love to mention how difficult Dutch is or that they didn’t have time to do their homework. Some people, even if they pretend they want to learn new things, are not eager to learn at all.
Somehow, they like to slow things down and then, before you know it, the energy drains away.
The right crowd and the right energy
Fortunately, there is something that absolutely beats both individual classes and uninspiring group classes with low energy: it is learning with positive minded people.
This is about creating an energy as a group. There is often a shift or "click" that takes place as, all of a sudden, everything becomes lighter and more fun.
A positive atmosphere
In a group with positive-minded, fun-loving people, everything changes. Suddenly you can talk about 30 different subjects. Discussions come up naturally and it is easier to make jokes.
Having such an atmosphere in the classroom immediately opens the door to a lot of humour. Wherever there is laughter there is positive energy and people feel comfortable to talk freely about things. And, of course, when you open up you also learn more.
Another important thing is that in such an atmosphere people feel totally ok about making mistakes. Instead of feeling embarrassed about it, in the right group of people, making mistakes feels like a great source of entertainment. That is really really good, because... the more mistakes you make, the faster you will learn!
The teacher’s perspective
When a lot of interaction takes place, it can also energise the teacher. As a teacher I have noticed it myself. If I work with one person, then it is sometimes more difficult to focus, certainly if it takes some time for my student to answer a question.
But in a group, somehow everything flows more naturally. Students ask questions at the right moment and it seems like you’re just chatting with a group of friends and time flies.
Look on the bright side
Once again, learning with positive-minded and fun-loving people may be one of the greatest secrets to boosting your Dutch and learning fast.
Actually, you can apply this approach to learning anything in life - just remember to look for a nice bunch of people and bring your own positive attitude to class!
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