Lived in Rotterdam for 3 years
Katrina has lived in Rotterdam for 3 years, and loves the city. As she has decided to continue living there, Katrina feels it’s now important and respectful towards the country to learn Dutch.
“I came across NedLes on an Expat Facebook Group. Someone asked ‘Where should I learn Dutch?’ to which a couple of comments replied with NedLes, one comment suggesting the Delft Method in particular. It sounded perfect for me and I started in July. Before the Delft Method I had a bad experience with an online course, which was only self-studying and it really didn’t work for me. The Delft Method is the first real school lesson that I have attended and I think it’s an awesome way of learning Dutch. There are some people that prefer to learn all of the rules, the grammar etc. and I think maybe the Delft Method wouldn’t be the best for them, but diving straight into speaking without worrying about grammar mistakes is what works best for me.
In the first two levels of the Delft Method you are really covering a wide range of topics that are useful for your daily life – from doing groceries, to the history and culture of The Netherlands. I think the key is not to be too shy and try to speak outside of the lessons as well, and with these topics you can practice your Dutch, either in the shops or with friends.
I also think it’s really great to have the lessons online. Even if we could come into the school for our lessons I think I would still prefer it like this. This way you have an hour lesson in the morning followed by a full day’s work and then you can go back to Dutch in the evening, so it’s really easy to combine with your work day. ”
Lived in Amsterdam for 17 years
Enda has lived in Amsterdam for 17 years with his Dutch wife and two children, and started learning Dutch for the first time about a month ago at NedLes.
“I managed to get through my education dodging languages and after a long time in the country the idea of starting to learn Dutch became daunting. I was afraid of going into the classroom and doing hours of grammar, like we used to at school, but the Delft Method isn’t like this – I really look forward to the lessons! Of course there is grammar but the conversational way comes about, repeating, repeating, repeating and the teachers cleverly weave in conversation from everyday life so it doesn’t remind me at all of the formal heavy method that I disliked from school.
I’m also finding the lessons great online, I can still interact with all the other students and you get to know everyone well. When Corona is over we all plan to meet up, it will be nice to meet everyone in person too. But as a learning method it works very well online. The teachers are also always readily available on WhatsApp for any questions we have.
If I could give one tip to someone thinking of learning Dutch it would be to start sooner rather than later. My main feeling is that I wish I had done it earlier. Everyone in your class is in the same boat, it’s fun and you can make progress quickly with this method. Like with a lot of things, when you start them you think ‘oh I wish I had done this earlier’ and that’s the only thing I can say – give it a try!”
Lived in the Netherlands for 2 years, now living in Amsterdam
Munira has been living in the Netherlands for two years and wants to learn Dutch to help integrate as well as to help with work and her studies. Munira took Dutch lessons before but was not satisfied, and now after 6 weeks of the Delft Method she has gained so much confidence in speaking Dutch.
“I started to learn Dutch before in September for about 4 months but I sadly gained nothing from it, so it was time to search for something else! A friend recommended the Delft Method and I loved the idea of speaking so much during the lessons. The Delft Method requires a lot of self study and then the lessons are full of conversation with your teacher and the other pupils, I think that’s why it is so effective. We use the words that we have learnt in different ways, guided by the teacher. I was so surprised that in the first 6 weeks I could already speak a bit of Dutch, and you can really use everything you study which provided me with confidence to talk to others. I love it so far.
I really enjoy having the classes online, it suits the way that I learn and I think the method works the exact same way if we were to be in the classroom or online. Grammar is the most difficult part for me, but I think this is the same in any language and I am confident it will come over time. I really like the way this course is going and have already recommended it to a couple of friends who will be starting soon!”
Lived in Rotterdam for 5 years
Now living in Hong Kong
Marta is from Italy, she lived in Rotterdam for 6 years, before moving to Hong Kong with her Dutch husband. She could not find any Dutch schools in Hong Kong, so was so pleased to hear NedLes were starting to offer online courses.
“One good thing to come out of this pandemic is lessons moving online so I could join NedLes school. The teachers are fantastic and I think this course works perfectly online. You have to do a lot of self studying, and only need to be in the online lesson for one hour to practice your speaking. The teacher constantly encourages us to speak Dutch, and even when she needs to explain something she does this clearly in Dutch with the words we have learnt, so you feel fully immersed in the language during the intensive one hour lesson. You also really feel like you are in the classroom with other pupils. I am still in contact with 2 others from my class and we continue to practice our Dutch together once a week online.
I am used to the old fashioned way of learning a language, and enjoy learning grammar and so I was a little nervous if the Delft Method would be good for me as you do not study grammar in the traditional way. But in the end I find it great, as you learn it more naturally from the lessons by constantly practicing and repeating sentences. I think my tip for someone learning Dutch is to read a lot, and fully immerse yourself in the language. I think reading is very important especially as the structure of the sentences is not easy in Dutch, and that’s also why I think the Delft Method works so well – you are focusing less on grammar rules and more on speaking and therefore you learn naturally.”