FAQ - classes, levels and tips
I’d like to take this opportunity to answer some of your frequently asked questions. I get these often in intakes with potential new students and I think it’s great info for everyone who’s thinking about joining Keep in Dutch. If there’s anything missing here, let me know in the comments down below.
1. How does a class look like?
All of the classes are via Zoom. I only do private tutoring, so no groups. This means a Zoom class works really well, provided you have good internet connection. I have a template that I will share with you. In this template you’ll find the schedule for the next class, the homework of the previous class and links we can share with useful practice material, news articles, grammar explanations and more. Classes are 60 or 90 minutes, whatever you prefer. We can also do more hours per week. My teaching hours are from 09:30 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday.
2. How long does it take before I reach a certain level?
This is a completely understandable question, but it doesn't have a simple answer. Your growth and process depend on a few factors:
The number of hours of Dutch class
Your own practice outside of the class
Any previous experience in learning a new language
Your environment (e.g. are you surrounded by natives in your personal life or at work)
What’s your goal? (e.g. is it only for small talk or for work etc.)
Your mother tongue (is it related to Dutch or not)
All of the above can contribute to how fast you learn. With that being said, I know hope you understand that it’s difficult for me to give you an indication. That’s why I chose not to work with a general and fixed number of hours to indicate when you will reach a certain level, because I cannot guarantee it. After we have had an intake, after I know more about your goals, your experiences and your environment, it’s easier for me to give you an indication of how long it will take for you to reach your desired level.
3. How come A1 felt really easy to achieve but B2 is so difficult, even though I’m more advanced now?
Because A1 is the basis of a language, basic things are always limited. You can look at it like an upside-down pyramid. You start at the bottom, learn the simple things and the basic rules. The higher you go, the bigger your backpack with Dutch vocab and knowledge will be.
B2 is more difficult because you are expanding your vocabulary, learning more grammar rules, that are of course a bit more complex than in A1, carrying the baggage from your previous levels. You’re adding more ingredients, talking about more and different kinds of subjects. This explains the feeling you have. But please don’t let it discourage you, because you are always going to be better than the day before. So it might feel like you going a bit slower, but you're definitely still improving.
4. Do I have to do a test at the end of a course?
Like I said before, I don’t like working with a fixed number of hours, so there’s not really a date on which we do the test, but when I feel the time is right and you are up for it as well, we can do a test to see if you’ve reached the desired level.
5. Can you give me tips on what I can do on my own?
Reading news articles or children’s books, and watching videos are great activities for you to do. Here’s a few websites you can use. Of course, some articles or videos are easier than others, so just have a look around. You can always ask me for specific tips and tricks.
Suitable for A1 and A2
This website has educational videos for children of all ages. In the description of the video you’ll find for what age it’s meant. I would suggest just playing around with it and see what you think is not too easy for you, but just challenging enough. I would also recommend finding videos you’re interested in, so don’t just click on the first one, but type the subject of your desire in the search box and enjoy!
These are news websites. There are some short and longer articles here and there, have a look around, read them, look up words and practice those you think are going to be useful for you. It’s always good to go back after a while to articles you’ve already read once if you practice the vocabulary you looked up and wanted to remember.
Suitable for B1 and B2
This is an amazing website that provides educational (short) videos by professionals and doctors. You can search for a topic that you find interesting. There’s great material and vocabulary here. To practice it even more, you can write a summary about it.
These are news websites. You can also watch NOS on tv if you have Dutch tv channels and listen to the news, instead of reading it.
Suitable for C1 and C2
Like for B1 and B2, you can watch videos on https://universiteitvannederland.nl and read the news on:
The audiobook app: Storytel
This is an audiobook app that has plenty of Dutch books available. Reading more advanced books and texts will be very useful. You can also do a google search in Dutch on scientific, economic and financial subjects.
Next to the material above, setting realistic goals for yourself is also very important. Approach it like you’re learning a new sport, always pushing yourself just a little bit further, but not too far. If you want to run a marathon and you have no experience, your first goal is never to complete the full marathon the first time you go running, but you set lower goals to begin with, and then challenge yourself more and more as you go. The same goes for learning a language. Set goals like:
- Within one week, I want to learn the alphabet.
- Within one week, I want to know how to call the GP (huisarts) and keep up the conversation.
- Within two weeks, I want to memorize all the vegetables and fruits that I like.
Really focus on achieving that one goal, don’t overdo it, it has to stay enjoyable as well.
Thank you for reading and if you want to know more or if you’re interested in an intake, send me an email!