Online Dutch Lessons
Written by our online Dutch teacher - online Dutch lessons via Skype or Zoom
Many people are a bit nervous before their first online Dutch lesson. Will we talk immediately in Dutch or do we start in another language? What if I am not able to express myself well in Dutch? How can we share pictures or documents? What if my level is too low? What if I make ten mistakes in a sentence of eleven words? Those questions might go through your mind before an online Dutch lesson, but there is no need to worry.
Also for me as a Dutch teacher it is a little bit exciting to meet a new student, but after ten seconds, that feeling becomes curiosity and motivation, both for me and the person I am talking with.
Our Dutch group lessons: learn together
Learning in a group has pros and cons. On the one hand, it can be very fun and motivating to learn with others. But on the other hand, there tends to be less space to focus on your specific needs. I do believe group lesson can be very personal, as long as groups are not too big and there's space for interaction, questions and feedback. The balance between structure and improvisation should be perfect. This way, I as teacher can adapt to the needs of the group and the individuals in it, while providing a base structure. It also gives students the chance to get to know each other.
Right now, the The Dutch Online Academy offers group lessons focused on conversation, presentation and grammar. We also have a very fun book club. Here you can read what other students think.
The first online Dutch lesson
The first lesson is extremely important. It is my task as an online Dutch teacher to get to know the student and estimate his or her level. It’s not difficult to do this when the student feels comfortable and confident. I love to hear the stories behind the wish to learn Dutch. This tells me a lot about the motivation and the learning goals, which can help us shape the lessons to the students needs. I say “us”, because I want the student to be the owner of her or his learning process. Of course I offer all the material, structure and practice needed to achieve steady progress, but it’s the student who has to do the real work! Language learning takes time. That’s why I not only see myself as an online Dutch teacher but also as a language coach.
Do you know what a foreign accent is? It's a sign of bravery.
Making mistakes is crucial for the learning process. When you are studying a language, you can’t move forward without making tons of them. It’s my task to divide the mistakes into two groups: worth discussing and not worth discussing (yet). You can’t do everything at once and there is a certain order in which you should learn from your mistakes. I guide students from one step to another. The grammar topics or words that I discuss with a A2 student are totally different than the ones I discuss with a C1 student.
I also want the student to know that day to day conversations with Dutch native speakers is possible from day 1 on. No, your sentences won’t be perfect. Yes, the answer the other person gives might be difficult or impossible to understand. But you can try and you will soon have those happy little moments of success. Whether it’s asking for a “tasje” (bag) at the supermarket or joining in a group conversation at a birthday party: being able to express yourself in a new language is very rewarding. Online Dutch lessons via Skype can help you practice these situations.
In the end, the goal of learning a language is communication: connecting with others. And it’s certainly not a competition. I wrote this article in English, which is not my first language and probably you’ve spotted some (or many) mistakes. But the message came across and I am able to express myself! And that is what it’s all about, isn’t it?
I wish you a successful but above all FUN language journey. Keep learning! Read all about our group lessons. At the moment we can't offer private lessons, but you can fill in a form for the waiting list.
The Dutch Online Academy offers article, grammar explanations, word lists, Dutch grammar exercises and online Dutch lessons via Skype or Zoom. Start learning Dutch today!