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8. Where do you find Dutch people to practice speaking?

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Dutch people are busy. Time is money. They do not have 6 seconds of their time waiting for your answer. Your Dutch Response Time (DRT) should be under 2 seconds. Otherwise, they will switch your conversation to English and you will end up in the English bubble again. It is often difficult to find a conversation partner when you are a beginner. 

So where do you find Dutch people to speak with?

Elderly homes. There you have a lot of retired people with plenty of time. They like to talk and they are very curious about new people. You can do some voluntary work like Volunteer for coffee or activities at the weekend or during the week. Spend 8 hours per week in an elderly home and you will feel huge progress in your Dutch. Why? Because you will be forced to communicate in Dutch there. Retired people usually speak very little English and like to meet and chat with new people. They will ask questions. You will try to answer them. They will tell you a lot about their lives and children. You will be able to practice your listening and learn new words. You will be surrounded by the Dutch language.

There are also other places like animal shelters, schools, events and more where you can have a lot of speaking practice. You can apply for a volunteer job via the internet. Just search for ‘volunteer jobs + your place’ and you will find some. If you are living in Eindhoven you will find volunteer jobs on www.eindhovendoetforvolunteers.nl. You can use the filter “Refine search results” to make a selection of jobs based on a target group or work type.

Dutch teacher Philippe
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