I want to improve my Dutch. Which study book should I buy?
I have studied Dutch before, what is my level of Dutch? Can I make a test to define my level?
FLOWENTLY PRIVATE SESSIONS & IN-COMPANY TRAINING
All Flowently sessions with a private tutor are customised lessons, you can start at any level in any book, or even without a book. You can line out a personal programme with your tutor, learn what is useful to you and study at your own pace. In case you’ll join a Flowently In-Company group training you certainly want to start in the right group.
EUROPEAN LANGUAGE REFERENCE LEVELS
Perhaps you are familiar with European language reference levels from A0 to C2? How much do these reference levels actually tell you about how you feel and manage in your new language? Your level of understanding can be B1, but your level of speaking A1, all depending on the subject. What’s in a number, and letter?
Perhaps you’re able to say ‘Goedemorgen, hoe gaat het? ‘Goed, en met jou?’ but you never learned any Dutch? Then you are an absolute beginner: start at chapter 1 in Nederlands in gang (A0 –A2), no need to test.
You have learned: personal pronouns, verbs in present tense, modal verbs, articles, singular and plural, negation, inversion, adjectives, question words. You can: read a simple dialogue, understand, answer and ask simple questions. You start to recognize and understand signs and texts in the street, menu cards etc. You are not yet familiar with past tenses. Level Nederlands in gang, up to chapter 8, Taal Tempo, chapter 6.
Congratulations, you’ve finished Nederlands in gang! This means you have learned, or at least you went through all basic most important grammar subjects: personal pronouns in all functions, present, simple past and perfect tense, separable verbs, reflexive verbs, you know about inversion, conjunctions and how to use modal verbs. You can understand more and more, especially when you read, start having small conversations. You can pronounce & are ready for your Inburgeringsexamens. Taal Tempo chapter 12.
Now you’re ready for the ‘real work’, which is to integrate and digest all knowledge and being able to ‘do’ it! You now start in the book Nederlands in actie, and there’ll be a lot of action! At Flowently we will challenge you to speak a lot, have short presentations about subjects of your interest. Repeating, repeating, put in to practice what you know and extend your vocabulary. Finished the book? You can go for NT2 Staatsexamen Programma I. Taal Tempo chapter 16.
Brilliant, you got so far! You now start in book Nederlands op niveau, and life is getting more and more interesting. You can read newspapers, understand almost everything in all situations and have interesting conversations in Dutch, perhaps even ‘get the joke’. The more you’ve learned, you feel there is so much more to learn. You are ready for NT2 Staatsexamen Programma II. Taal Tempo chapter 22.
WANT TO MAKE A TEST?
Write a 10 -15 sentences story about yourself or someone, where you come from, what you’ve done, what you do, what you’re going to do. Use in this story all grammar knowledge you know, without consulting any study book, and send this to firstname.lastname@example.org or to your Flowently tutor. This small text will give us a lot of information about your level of Dutch.
You can define your level by reading the Coutinho criteria in the mentioned study books or check the internet for more detailed testing.
FACTS & FIGURES & DUTCH SAYINGS
From level A0 to A1 it will take 100 hours of study
For level A2, 200 hours more (= 300 hours)
For level B1, 400 hours more (= 700 hours)
For level B2, another 600 hours on top!
How much time will it take to achieve my next level? Hard to say, everyone is different and will learn differently. Generally you can say that your enthusiastic tutor or teacher can do 10% of the job, explaining, practising, guiding and the other 90% is up to you!
Some famous Dutch sayings to inspire you:
Rome was niet in een dag gebouwd. Rome was not built in one day,
en Tegenwind doet de vlieger stijgen!