Tips for Self Study

  • 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 pronunciation 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 exchange partner (see description on our site), 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…).
  • 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 (see explanation).
  • Study words in their context.
  • Watch Dutch movies which have captioning for the deaf (= ondertiteld voor doven en slechthorenden, 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 pronunciation in your head. Examples: “Ja Zuster, nee zuster”, “Eilandgasten”, “Oorlogswinter”, “Baantjer” etc.
  • 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 ).
  • Examples: The De Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, Het paard van Sinterklaas (not translated), Nieuwe buren (not translated), etc.
  • For our on-line Dutch Drills, please go to: http://www.quia.com/pages/dutchatstandby.html or this page.
  • Go to http://www.schooltv.nl/beeldbank/ to be able to rewind parts of a clip and look at it again. Most of these clips have the full text as well.
  • Buy the game “New Amigo's” and find someone to play.
  • And don't forget to HAVE FUN!
  • For more tips, visit my Facebook group for Distance Learners: https://www.facebook.com/DistanceDutch/

 


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The Netherlands