When you are in a course: great! You’ll learn a lot of vocabulary. Expanding your vocabulary may also be done outside of class and speeds up language learning.
Read texts on billboards, in shops and stations and on product packagings – Dutch is everywhere! Look up words that interest you or talk them over with friends and colleagues.
Download the free NOS news app and choose which notifications you want to receive on your phone: international news and sports are the easiest to understand- one paragraph each time you open your phone. When you look up and learn words, you’ll understand more and more.
Subtitled movies on TV and Netflix movies with translation to Dutch are great helps. Don’s be discouraged when you understand just a bit- understanding everything can take years. Read the plot of the movie before and reread after- to be sure that you understood the most important thing.
Parents may learn a lot watching/listening Dutch children’s shows together with their kids.
Social media are great for learning everyday language. Start chatting- make your own sentence first and then use Google translate to check.
Set small, concrete and achievable goals for your learning process. Be proud of your first sentence in the shop, your first spelling of name and address on the phone and even more proud when you are understood. You learn the language for communication! Share your successes with relatives and friends.
Tell people around you that you are studying Dutch and ask them to help you. Ask them to explain words, sentences and incidents related to Dutch culture if you don’t understand. Don’t discuss what is explained, but thank the person for the help.
Asking to be corrected maybe tricky- some persons are too demanding. Also, asking your (Dutch) partner to correct your Dutch may endanger the relationship. Do not expect your Dutch partner to be able to explain grammar to you, but talk (some) Dutch with him/her every day, it’s a golden opportunity!
When you use Google translate, always type in the complete sentence or at least a group of words. Just like people, Google needs context to know which word you are looking for.
Store words in your phone, and reread them with intervals of one day, then of several days and thereafter several weeks- up to three months. Research has proved that you need to hear/read/write/say a word seven times before it is stored in your brain.