Dutch Immersion Course – Kick Start for Newcomers

 

It may sound like a lofty goal, but with the right approach, you can make significant progress in a short amount of time. The best method to learn a new language is just trial and error, with a private tutor helping you to find the right words, while navigating daily life. That is exactly what – just landed – international Philip expected from his Dutch Immersion Course. He just moved to Amsterdam and wanted to learn the basics before he started his job a week later. Read tutor Gaily’s report about student Philip’s Dutch kick start, day by day.

 

New in town? Learn basic Dutch in 30 hours with a local tutor & blend into local culture

For five intense days, Philip and I embarked on a language adventure. Each day, we dedicated 2 blocks of 3 hours – total 6 hours per day – to explore the Dutch language and local culture. We kicked off our sessions with lining out the program for the next 5 days together, café’s for meeting up, which parts of the city to explore, and of course, what can be learned in 5 days? Philip was a language prodigy, he mastered several languages and was eager to learn.

 

Day 1 – Leidseplein & first ‘Dutch magic phrase’

We took off in the heart of Amsterdam in the Americain Hotel at Leidseplein, at a table near the window, with a view of Amsterdam city life. In this first session, the focus was on introducing oneself in Dutch, phrases like ‘Mijn naam is’ (My name is), and ‘Ik woon in Amsterdam’ (I live in Amsterdam), ‘Aangenaam’ (Nice to meet you) were learned. Basically, we covered all the essentials you need for an introductory conversation. Philip wanted to impress his Dutch colleagues the next week at his new job. He also learned his very first ‘Dutch magic phrase’ which enabled him to order his coffee in Dutch from the waiter.

Dutch pronunciation was on our list for the afternoon program. We met at Leidseplein and went for a walk through Leidsestraat, practicing pronunciation of challenging Dutch street names like Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht, all side streets and finally ended at Spui, the cherry on the cake. We also paid attention to asking directions, useful traffic rules and important tips for riding a bike in Amsterdam. Philip went back to his hotel with a lot of information and a textbook with a website for self-study.

 

Day 2 – Dutch grammar & lunch at river IJ

Language learning is about understanding grammar, mastering pronunciation, and applying what you’ve learned in real-life scenarios. Exactly our plan for the second day! We met up in a café around Dam Square and after checking the ‘Dutch magic phrase of the day’ on the Flowently website, we dove into Dutch grammar; personal pronouns in different functions , prepositions, numbers, verbs and how to ask questions. Which may sound like a lot, but with all the time we had in the morning and afternoon, this was rather easy.

For lunch, we walked along Zeedijk, viewing the Chinese temple and shops to Central Station, to sit on the dock gazing over ‘het IJ’, the river that flows through Amsterdam. We would watch the duiven (pigeons) and the meeuwen (seagulls) finding their food, while discussing the history of IJ, the harbor and Central Station.

 

Day 3 – Waterlooplein – Wat een koopje! What a bargain!

We sat outside café De Jaren, looking over the canal, while Philip would confidently order our coffee for us in Dutch and started explaining how he wanted to practice his new Dutch language skills. We then would start with our other objective of learning Dutch, namely reading. We opened our textbook and read one of the conversations, vocabulary lists and worked on the exercises in the book. New words emerged, and his pronunciation improved with each page.

After lunch, we took off to Waterlooplein, strolling over the flea market where Philip could practice asking prices and negotiate with vendors. He also learned about Dutch expressions and mentality when it comes to money and even installed ‘Tikkie’ on his mobile phone, for the real ‘going Dutch’ experience. (embarrassing?)

 

Day 4 – Practicing Dutch in a street market

Our fourth day started in a café in ‘Albert Cuyp’ area, a must-see when you are new to Amsterdam. We had a chat and revisited our previous sessions. Then we dove into new grammar concepts. To apply what we had learned we explored the Albert Cuyp street market, mastering the names of different fruits and vegetables, practicing numbers and did some shopping on the way.

While strolling through the historical center, along the canals, Philip got to know Amsterdam and practiced his Dutch conversations. On the way, we took pictures with our mobile phones of interesting subjects, signs, situations; to be used for discussion and learning Dutch. Our days always ended in a café where we could once again have a drink, ordered by Philip and practice some more with reading, speaking and discussing our pictures.

 

Day 5 – OBA & Eye film museum

On day 5 we met in the restaurant on the 7th floor of OBA Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam – Public Library Amsterdam with a great view over the city. We spent the morning working in our textbooks Nederlands in gang, learning new vocabulary and useful sentences. By role play we were practicing dialogues in a café, restaurant, how to make a suggestion in Dutch and have small social conversations with colleagues at work.

For lunch and the afternoon program, we took the ferry to Amsterdam Noord, crossing river IJ. At the Film museum Eye, we visited the expo in the basement, discussing Dutch and international cinema, learning new vocabulary and expressing your opinion in Dutch.

 

After one week Dutch immersion course

The transformation of Philips Dutch language skills in just 5 days was amazing. He started with zero knowledge about Dutch, but after a one week Dutch immersion course, we could have a simple but meaningful conversation in Dutch. In just five days, he had learned to meet and greet, order, pay, count, spell, colors, days of the week, public transport and even engage in conversations with his Dutch neighbours and other locals. Well done!

 

Review from Philip

”Gaily and I started with our Dutch Immersion Course when I first moved to the Netherlands. And it’s been a lot of fun! When I moved, I spoke no Dutch at all, but after just 1 week of time, I felt confident to have small conversations in Dutch. During the sessions, we’ve used the ‘Nederlands in Gang’ book, but mostly I’ve got to pick a topic or grammar issue that’s has been relevant to me at that point in time. This flexibility has been great. We’ve also used the book ‘Taaltempo Nederlands’ and Flowently’s ‘Dutch on the go’, which has also been super helpful. Moreover, I’ve learned a lot about the Dutch society through Gaily’s stories. And whenever I’ve asked my tricky linguistic questions, she found the answer. So, if you want to learn Dutch in a relaxed, fun, and flexible way while getting to know your city, consider booking an immersion course at Flowently.”

 

Sign up for your personal Dutch Immersion challenge!

Would you also like to dive into Dutch language and culture, with a tailor made program and a private Flowently tutor? The Dutch immersion program is available in several cities and applicable for different language levels. Want to know more? You are welcome for a free intake https://flowently.com/contact/

 

 

Written by Flowently

Published by: Flowently

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