A different kind of language training
I wasn’t really aware of my offering a listening ear to my students, until my husband made me realize this. He reminded me of the fact that I often talked to him about the concerns and worries my students sometimes express during their lessons. That was the moment for me to think about a way in which I could offer a different kind of language training to students, in order to better meet their needs. And this is what I am happy to be able to offer now: a combination of language learning and tension relief by expressing in a listening atmosphere what is bothering you.
It is my opinion that learning Dutch is very important for expats to make their lives in our country more comfortable. But what do they themselves think of this? I found the results of an online survey of over 1,100 people (half came from Europe, 20 percent from North America and 12 percent from Asia). Some 44 percent have lived in the Netherlands for more than five years), carried out by DutchNews.nl and broadcaster RTL Z. As part of the survey the respondents were asked what tips they would give new arrivals. An overwhelming majority of the respondents said: “Learn Dutch”. A few of the answers:
“Learn the language. While English works fine one-on-one, you will be somewhat isolated at Dutch events.”
“Learning Dutch helps, but only to a point”, said another expat. “Since most of the relationships will start in English, if you don’t speak Dutch when you arrive, it’s hard to transition. Still, learning Dutch helps you to feel more involved, less isolated, and more in touch with your environment.”