23 July 2020 - "Easy Dutch? Advice & Tips for Foreign Language Learning"
Moving to a new country comes with a lot of practical challenges, whether that be setting up housing, establishing medical insurance, or finding a job. But one additional challenge most expats face is learning the local language - something that often gets lost among these other more immediate, practical things. Of course in The Netherlands, it's easy for those of us who speak English to get by thanks to the phenomenal English skills of the Dutch! But eventually, most of us want to take a stab at learning Dutch for a variety of reasons: to get a better job at a Dutch company, to connect better with the culture, or to make Dutch friends.
But language learning can be intimidating, and many people have misconceptions about foreign language learning that can be discouraging: That children learn languages better or that only language-talented people can learn. We at VTH recognize how important the topic of language learning is to our community, so back in December, we held a mini-workshop on the topic. This event was so successful that we wanted to offer it as part of our new webinar series, so last Thursday we hosted "Easy Dutch? Advice and Tips for Foreign Language Learning," with linguist and educator (and VTH volunteer!) Gabriel Rodriguez. As with our other webinars, this was a collaboration with our fantastic partners at Helping Hands, and thanks to their help, we were happy to put on a very successful webinar with well over 100 attendees!
Gabriel gave us a lot of useful information during the webinar, and usually, we like to provide detailed post-webinar summaries. But given that so much great information was given at the webinar, we've decided to provide some extra resources to you language learners out there. To that end, Gabriel made a handout of his slides so that you can refer back to his advice and tips whenever you'd like! You can find and download the PDF handout by clicking here.
In addition to the fantastic local resources that Gabriel provided, we were excited to hear about resources from our attendees during the Q&A section! Below is a list of some of the Dutch language-learning resources they mentioned:
- The city library has Dutch language activities and lessons. You can find more information at this link.
- Gabriel mentioned that watching Dutch media is a great way to learn the language. One user recommended the program BinnesteBuiten, where Dutch people show you around their homes. So you can learn both the Dutch language and more about Dutch lifestyle! You can find this program by signing up for NPOStart.
- One attendee highly recommended the Dutch grammar-learning HearDutchHere.
- There is a mobile phone app that can help you practice de/het words, appropriately called "De Het." You can find it on the Google Play store and the Apple App Store.
- A website called NetinNederland has lots of videos in Dutch with Dutch subtitles.
Finally, for those of you unable to attend Gabriel's informative webinar, we're publishing the video of the webinar on our website for a limited time. You can find the video here!
About the Presenter
Gabriel Rodriguez has worked as an ESL and foreign language educator since 2005. He's taught English to children and adults in Japan, China, and Korea, and has taught Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish at universities in the U.S. He holds Bachelor's degrees in Japanese and East Asian History from the University of California at Berkeley and obtained his Master's degree in East Asian Languages from Stanford University. Before moving to the Netherlands, Gabriel worked as a lecturer of Japanese at Portland State University. He now spends his time as a freelance translator and localizer, as well as researching and writing about linguistics. He also very much enjoys volunteering his time as Digital Content Creator with Volunteer The Hague!