Learn Dutch language fast: the road to fluency
Teachers very often get the following question from students: how can I become fluent fast? Normally, people are aiming for a year or so. They start with a huge motivation boost that - sadly - often quickly drops. In this article we will show you ways to hold on to your dream of becoming fluent and one day actually reach it.
An answer to the question above in bold is not easily given. First we have to define some things. What is “fast” exactly? And not less important: What is “fluent” exactly?
Language learning is like climbing a mountain. Fluency could be the top, but to reach it, you have to continue going. That is the main thing: perseverance. The more often you stop to take a break, the more likely you are going to experience disappointment and the feeling of not getting anywhere. You have to steadily push through and believe that someday you will turn around, look back and see that starting point somewhere far away in the valley.
Like with climbing a mountain, you could easily say: I want to reach the top (fluent Dutch) as fast as possible! I am going to run really fast and reach it! But it doesn't work like that and you know it. It is better to formulate clear (sub)goals so you know what you are working towards exactly.
Like with many goals, you could formulate the goal more SMART. If you are not familiar with this concept, we sum it up for you:
S: be Specific.
M: make it Measurable.
A: make sure it is Achievable.
R: it should be Relevant.
T: Time-bound (vaguely saying “fast” is not enough!).
If you set a language learning goal for yourself, you should define all points above. This will keep you motivated, because a well-formulated objective gives you that dot on the horizon to work towards to. Even if it is a long term project that requires “grit”.
Bad example: I want to learn fluent Dutch quickly.
Good example: I want to be able to work in Dutch (B2 level) in 18 months, making the A2 and B1 test after 6 and 12 months and doing the Dutch Staatsexamen in 18 months.
Good example: I want to be able to spend a night out with a Dutch person in a year, talking only in Dutch and being able to express myself about whatever the topic may be, although I might make some mistakes in my grammar.
Of course it is also good to specify how you are going to reach your goal and check regularly if you are making progress. A way to do that is by making the tests on this website. Also make sure you have the material that fits your level. This website covers every piece of grammar needed to get you to A2 level and a big chunk of B1 and B2 (and we keep growing).
Another thing that could be really motivating is making so called "snapshots" during your language journey. Film yourself talking in Dutch or write in your diary. Later you can look back and see how far you have come. This will keep you going!
Good luck setting your goals and don’t forget: language learning takes time. Enjoy the small achievements!