| Language courses - aside || Jun 21, 2006 |
I have reached on my own level A2 EU Framework, and I definitely want to take a course once there. What do you think about Dutch courses offered by the volksuniversiteit in Amstelveen?
I hope all is going well with your partner's sister. It's a good thing you two have found a way to relocate to Holland.
Just an aside, as I don't live in the Netherlands anymore (also, I'm not Dutch and not lonely). I attended a course by the Volksuniversiteit in 1999 - things might have changed since then. There were many people in the group, with varying levels of motivation, pretty normal for such a group, I guess. A lot of grammar exercises, where the whole group works together. Also, a lot of people tend to enroll in these courses just to get to know other people, who will by definition be foreigners. (Nothing wrong with that, I had a lot of foreign friends, but at that level they rarely speed up the learning process.) So if you're a fast learner, you'll probably end up being bored to death, unless you get lucky with the group. I dropped out.
What did it for me in the end was simply living in Amsterdam, hearing Dutch daily and trying to speak, even if it wasn't always correct. A lot of Amsterdam people tend to reply in English when they hear that you're not Dutch, but if you persist, they'll switch back to Dutch eventually. Just don't let yourself be pushed into using English.
What also helped enormously, culturally as well as languagewise, was my Dutch boyfriend whom I met there, but I guess that's not an option for you anymore. (Although it really makes a difference - living in Norway with a Dutch husband now, my Norwegian is progressing more slowly than my Dutch did at the time.)
Given that you've already reached some level of Dutch (I don't know the EU Framework system), I would say you're on the right track already. Once you're in the country and get the chance to speak Dutch daily, most of it will come by itself, just give it some time to sink in. It can never hurt to try a language course, and it might work better for you than it did for me. I can hardly think of anything that I've learnt from courses, although I can remember learning many things from people/pop songs/newspapers/books, etc. But then again, I've always been someone to learn best through experience and practice.
Efficient alternatives to a language course can be other types of courses, where you get to mix with natives - perhaps you play an instrument or you sing or dance, paint, whatever, you could join a group in that direction. The Volksuniversiteit has all sorts of creative courses, and there's the cultural organisation of the University of Amsterdam, CREA (http://www.crea.uva.nl/). I think the same 1,5 hours in such a course would boost your language more than a Dutch course.
[Módosítva: 2006-06-21 11:02]
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