During your weekly lessons you learn new aspects of the language and practice them by talking and listening. Maybe you also do some homework exercises. This all takes a lot of your valuable time.
So, I am not going to ask more of your time. And still you can do more to improve your Dutch language skills, in a not much time consuming, but very effective way! The following tips can help you to improve your Dutch by yourself.
Make a list of any words, sentences and expressions you hear or read (in the office, in the street, on television….) that you don’t understand. Write them down when you see or hear them and take the list with you to the next lesson. We will discuss the items in their context, you can add a translation or description to all of these items on your list and learn the newly added ones at home.
Every time you hear or see job specific words and word combinations, you can write them down with their translations into your own language. Put this list in front of you on your desk and it will save you a lot of time not having to look them up again and again. At the same time, you will learn these job related words without much effort and it makes it easier to use them yourself.
Prepare situations in which you are going to speak Dutch. You might want to speak Dutch in a restaurant, with your neighbours, in a shop, during a birthday party with Dutch people, during lunchtime at the office etc. Think of what you would like to say in that specific situation and bring that information to your next lesson. You will be given some standard phrases that we will practice, without paying attention to the sentence construction, literal meaning of the words or word order. This is to enable you to start off a question or response in Dutch.
Ask people for feedback. People don’t usually tell you what you do well and what you could improve, as long as they understand what you mean. If you ask them to give you feedback, you might get some very useful help to improve your pronuntiation, sentence construction, the correct use of words etc.