Whether you are planning on moving to the Netherlands or have been living in the country for a while, there will come a time when you will need to improve your Dutch. When that time does come, finding the right school for your Dutch courses in Amsterdam should be your first concern. However, with more and more schools offering Dutch lessons, your second question will probably be:
what do I need to look for when choosing the right school?
There is no doubt that finding the right school for your Dutch lessons in Amsterdam can be quite overwhelming, especially if you do not know what to look for. Truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to picking one. As such, it is important that you take time to consider the factors that will affect your learning outcomes. Here are some of the factors you may want to consider when choosing a school to learn Dutch in Amsterdam.
#1 – Understand your learning needs
This is probably the first and most important step when shopping for Dutch classes in Amsterdam.
- Are you looking for Dutch for beginners‘ lessons or an advanced course?
- Are you strapped for time thanks to a tight work schedule?
- Do you need to sign up for an intensive Dutch course in order to boost your skills?
It is important that you evaluate your needs in order to have a clear idea of the kind of lessons you should sign up for. Be sure to take into account your work schedule and strengths/weaknesses as well.
#2 – How convenient is the Dutch language school?
If you find a school that interests you, it is important to check if it is within a comfortable travelling distance from your work or home. A good thing is that the public transport in Amsterdam can bring you almost everywhere. If you can handle the world’s most enthusiastic bike-riding city then this will work just fine too ;). When you have a tight work schedule, an intensive Dutch course might be the best opportunity to learn Dutch fast. If your employer requires you to work in Dutch and you really can’t leave the office, you may consider an in-house Dutch language training.
Private Dutch classes in Amsterdam might be a suitable option if you learn better in a one-on-one set up. However, I do believe you learn faster with a small group while connecting with people from other cultures.
#3 – Consider your opportunities to practice what you have learned
If you have a tight work schedule, you may want to sign up for a Dutch language course in Amsterdam that promotes intensive Dutch classes and in-class participation, rather than one that only provides at-home assignments. But be honest to yourself and understand that taking time to complete pages of assignments at the end of every day is important when you want to learn Dutch fast.
Embracing a different teaching approach that encourages you to practice what you have learned in between the daily classes, can help you learn Dutch faster than when you practice at home. In the end, this will safe you time in the long run.
To reinforce what you have learned, you can set time to watch TV programs or create a WhatsApp group for chatting with friends and colleagues. However, if you can barely set aside time to practice what you are learning, you may want to wait until you have time for this.
#4 – Take tests to determine your Dutch level
Most Dutch language schools only provide tests for learners up to level B2. As such, as a beginner or intermediate Dutch learner, you will have a wide array of options. However, advanced learners seeking for intensive Dutch course in Amsterdam may tend to have fewer options. Thus, these learners may want to consider other options to help them fill the gaps in their Dutch language development. This can be a private lesson or you can follow a completely different course such as training on personal growth. You always learn faster where you challenge yourself the most!
It is also important to acknowledge that most Dutch language schools engage inexperienced Dutch teachers, so while some Dutch schools may work well for beginners, they may not do well for advanced learners.
#5 – Your strengths and challenges as a learner
Finally, it is important that you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a learner. This will help you identify the most suitable teaching style and methodology for your learning needs. For instance, memorization practice may not work well for adult learners. Thus, you may want to sign up for Dutch classes in Amsterdam that focuses on post-classroom social activities. You may also want to opt for a school that personalizes the course to suit your needs.
You have probably heard all the reasons why some people do not love learning new languages. Most of these are rooted in long-held beliefs and misconceptions. However, the truth is, in today’s highly interconnected world, proficiency in multiple languages gives you the opportunity to engage the world in a more meaningful way. Be sure to take the points discussed above into account in order to choose the right school for your Dutch lessons in Amsterdam.