15. Do you need a Dutch teacher (or maybe not)?
Vocabulary of the Dutch language you can learn yourself. Listening and reading you can do yourself by watching Dutch cartoons or movies with Dutch subtitles. I advise you to get a Dutch teacher for learning Dutch grammar, pronunciation and building your speaking skills.
How do you choose to the right Dutch Course for you?
You need to know one important thing. When you are buying a pack of sugar, you are expecting to get the same sugar in 2 different packages, right? This does not apply for Dutch courses. The end level of an A1 course at one language school could be not the same as that of another school. But why? Because there is no regulation for Dutch courses and there is no policy what grammar you should learn for your A1 level. It means that every school can decide itself how much listening, reading, grammar, writing or speaking they are going to teach you (or not to teach you!) in their course. Some language schools, which are purely driven by profit and competition, will offer you a cheap Dutch course which costs 30-40% less. Some of them will offer you A1 level in 10-15 lessons. You will successfully graduate, receive your certificate and think, you have achieved your A1 level. Unfortunately, it is not true. These learners do not even know what they should know about the Dutch language at A1 level. Please do not take such offers seriously if you really need good Dutch for your future.
There is also one important point to remember. Some Dutch teachers believe that the Dutch grammar is not that important at all and they just skip plenty of its rules. I disagree with that. The Dutch grammar is the skeleton of the body of the Dutch language. Even if you are going to speak Dutch fluently, but not going to know all necessary grammatical rules, you will end up years later in a situation when you will not be able to write a formal email or a letter in a correct way. Your spoken Dutch will not help you at all! The formal spoken and written Dutch are quite different. I am pretty sure that your manager will not be happy with that. Why? Because a large part of the communication takes place via e-mail. That is why we building Speaking and Writing of our students parallel, next to each other. I advise you to do the same!
I would not advise you to enrol in a Dutch course if:
- a language school does not test your language level beforehand (A2, B1, B2 levels). You will end up in a class with students with different levels, which will slow down your progress.
- a language school does not have any testing measuring your progress and achievements.
There are some other things which are important to know before you book your course:
- How do you compare the price of Dutch courses?
- Why is the number of students in your class so important for your learning?
- Why is the teaching method so important for your learning?
- Why are reviews of other students so important for your decision?
- Why are your fellow students so important for your learning?
- Why are some people paying twice?
- Why do people get disappointed after their Dutch course?