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Tips for Self Study

May 19, 2011

Be realistic and remember that learning a language is an ongoing process.

Find out your learning style first (google on the internet, there are several tests)

Then make sure your pronounciation is good, perhaps even with help of a speech therapist. If you don’t pronounce your Dutch correctly, nobody will understand you, no matter how much Dutch you have studied.

Avoid heavy reliance on a dictionary, try to find a tandem language partner instead (more about this in next post), so you can ask questions.

Ask a native speaker to translate expressions such as “How do you say…?”, “Please repeat” into Dutch and USE them!

Rehearse/use your Dutch to your pets or plants.

Go to places to eavesdrop, listen what people say in certain situations, like when pointing to some apples at the fruit stand.

Whenever possible, put yourself in situations where you have to speak Dutch. (Clubs, workshops etc.)

To implement grammar, try to understand the rule, then make sentences containing the grammar and remember those instead of the rules themselves.

Don’t waste your time learning unimportant words or grammar you don’t really need at that time.

Paraphrase. If you forget how to say “warm”, say “not very hot.”

Focus on the important parts by looking for the main topic or message and not worrying about individual words.

Don’t learn words in a list, use flashcards instead to randomize (more about this in future post).

Study words in their context.

Watch Dutch movies which have captioning for the deaf (then you know for sure the subtitles are synchronized with the dialogues). This way, you combine written text with audio, so you can’t make up your own pronounciation in your head.

You can also try the subtitle function of teletext for certain Dutch programs on tv (For live programs, this won’t work so well, try documentaries or soaps).

Start “stereo reading” (=the same book in Dutch and in your own language). Even better: buy the audio-version as well (= luisterboek).

For our on-line Dutch Drills, please go to:

Go to to be able to rewind parts of a program and look at it again. Some of these programs have subtitles as well.

Buy the game “New Amigo’s” and find someone to play.


Certificate of Dutch as a Foreign Language

January 28, 2011

Dear Dutch Learner…

I’m certified to administer this exam. You can take it every year in the first half of May. I have to send the registrations to CNAVT BEFORE March 20th… If you wish, I can assess your level to see which exam profile would be best for you.

Of course: I offer exam training as well 😉

Text from
What and for whom?
The CNaVT exam is the official, international exam of Dutch as a Foreign Language for all who learn Dutch all over the world. The Catholic University of Leuven organises the exam. The Dutch Language Union has commissioned this collaboration.
Why and which exam to take?
By passing an exam a language learner proves that he or she has mastered enough Dutch to be able to speak it, listen, read and write in certain contexts. People learn Dutch for a variety of reasons: to go on holiday in the Netherlands or Belgium for example. Or to study, live or work in a Dutch-speaking environment. For this reason the CNaVT has developed different profile exams. The language learner can choose which profile (exam) suits his or her needs best.

One can make a choice out of the following:

  • Profile tourist and informal language proficiency – PTIT
    For those who want to maintain social contacts with their Dutch-speaking family or friends. Also for those who want to demonstrate that they can manage as a tourist in a Dutch-speaking area, or for those who want to communicate with Dutch-speaking tourists in a non-professional context in their own country.
  • Profile societal language proficiency – PMT
    For those who have an interest in the Dutch language and culture or want to live in the Netherlands or Belgium for an extended period of time.
  • Profile professional language proficiency – PPT
    For those who would like to work in an administrative or service-oriented profession and therefore need Dutch (e.g. as a secretary or bank employee).
  • Profile language proficiency higher education – PTHO
    For those who would like to study at a Dutch-speaking college of higher education or university.
  • Profile academic language proficiency – PAT
    For those who have neared completion of their education in Dutch as a foreign language or for those who would like to teach Dutch as a foreign language. It is also for people who want to work in a Dutch-speaking academic environment, e.g. as a researcher.

Where, when, how and how much?
A candidate can take a CNaVT exam in the first half of May of every year. The examiner (usually the Dutch teacher) in ones’ own country facilitates this. The candidate must register with the examiner who sends the registration forms to the CNaVT-secretariat before the 20th of March. If the candidate is learning Dutch through home-schooling, registration can best take place through a local language institution. For more information consult the website or contact the CNaVT-secretariat. Recommended registration fee is 75 euros.

What is the exam like?
The exam consists of three parts. In part A the tasks are based on audio fragments. In part B reading and writing proficiency is tested. Part C is an oral test in which the teacher and the candidate have a one-to-one conversation. Part A and B are tested in the classroom setting while Part C is an individual test.
How does correction of the exams take place and when do the results come out?
All the exams are sent to Leuven where trained raters mark the exams in June. In July the examiners and candidates are informed of the results. Candidates that have passed receive a certificate.

“Winter Woordzoeker”, veel plezier!

December 8, 2010


After you’ve found the given words, there will be one “winter-word” left…

Can you find it?

Veel plezier!


November 27, 2010

In this Blog, I’ll give you regular updates about interesting sites, books, movies, activities etc. to enhance your learning.

If you are a beginner, please make sure your pronounciation is alright before learning too many words and phrases. You might ask some help for this from a teacher or native speaker.

After that, you can do all the things you like.  Learning a language is a holistic experience, so don’t be afraid to follow the wrong order, just jump in and join the things you like!

After you have some basic knowledge of Dutch, it is very important to abandon your study books regularly to practise what you know and learn more in real life situations!