Summertime = the best time to learn Dutch
This sponsored article was produced on behalf of NedLes.
Summer is (finally) here! The perfect time to start doing what you have been thinking about for so long: Learning Dutch, with one of the intensive courses at NedLes. The Amsterdam language school is offering several courses starting soon, including a 2-week-kickstart to A1+ in July or August, and a complete 5-week course to reach A2, the level you need for the Civic Integration Exam. NedLes offers many options to learn Dutch this summer, all with the unique and very effective Delft Method.
Am I good enough to do this?
The Delft Method is a very effective way to learn Dutch. This method was developed at Delft University and it is known for its focus on speaking from day 1. Students prepare a text at home, by reading and listening to it multiple times, and learning all of the new words used. The results are amazing, but it also demands quite a lot of time from its students. That’s exactly why Giorgia, a 27-year-old from Italy, first doubted if this was the right course for her to follow.
"I have an Italian mother and a Dutch father, but he has never taught me Dutch," she says. "It was my Dutch aunt who told me about the Delft Method and I was immediately intrigued. But I understood it was a demanding course, so I also asked myself, 'Am I good enough to do this? Am I capable of preparing two lessons per day?’" she explains.
"Luckily, I know that I am a perfectionist," she continues. "I recognised the self-doubt and I started to encourage myself, just as my family started to encourage me. They knew I had been dreaming of learning Dutch for years. And I am very, very happy that I took the step to follow this intensive course. I loved it, I’ve learned so much in just 5 weeks. And, the best part: I was in such a nice group. I’ve really made new friends during the course."
Trust the method
Giorgia had experience learning languages before when she was at school in Italy, but in a rather traditional way with much of the focus on grammar, and hardly any time speaking. So she really had to adapt to the Delft Method, where grammar is mostly taught implicitly and students only have speaking classes. In the beginning, that wasn’t easy. "It felt as if my brain was exploding in the first week!"
But pretty soon, she was able to adjust to the Delft Method. She prepared the lessons as advised: reading, listening, learning until you understand every part of it. "Yes, that requires a lot of time," Giorgia admits. "But once you trust the method, it comes very naturally. Just like children who are learning their mother tongue."
And what was it like for her, as a perfectionist, to follow those famous speaking classes? "I was worried about that, at first," Giorgia tells. "But the teachers create such a wonderful environment. You don’t feel judged at all, you don’t feel you have to be perfect. It’s ok to practise and to make mistakes. And if we happen to make a mistake, we help each other and learn together."
Do you want to kickstart your Dutch with a two-week intensive course or do you want to reach A2-level this summer, within 5 weeks, just like Giorgia? New courses start on 3 July (2 weeks), 17 July (5 weeks) and 14 August (2 weeks).
The perfect course if you want to learn Dutch fast
When you follow one of the intensive courses with the Delft Method, with two classes a day, for 4 or 5 days a week, it is hard to do something else alongside the course. But that also makes this course perfect for anybody who has a couple of weeks off. That was the case for Giorgia: in April 2023, she settled for real in the Netherlands, and didn’t have a job yet. She realised this was her chance to learn Dutch fast. And, another advantage she realized: speaking Dutch makes her more competitive on the job market.
After her 5-weeks-course, Giorgia was able to talk to her family members and to have conversations with Dutch people. She tries to use Dutch as much as she can. She watches the news and trains her ears to improve her pronunciation. "Sometimes it is still a bit difficult. And I want to be able to speak about more than just the basics."
That’s why she decided to continue at NedLes, together with the other students in her beginners group. She recently started the course to B1, also with the Delft Method. She no longer doubts whether it is the right course for her: she now knows it is.