I’ve been going to my Dutch course for over a month now, and while the first couple of weeks were very helpful to me, being forced to listen and try and speak in Dutch, now it’s started to go downhill for me.

What has started happening is that the organisation has decided we need 15 people in the group, but we only started with about 8. Each week, we are having an extra person added and that means we end up going over old stuff. They are supposed to “catch up” but unfortunately it just happens that we still review stuff.

Now normally this wouldn’t be such a problem, but for me the course is already going at such a slow rate that I’m going nuts. We have so far learnt stuff like:

  • Hoe gaat het met jou?
  • Waar woon je?
  • What is je naam?
  • Hoe laat is het?
  • This are simple sentences and we’ve also learnt a few grammar rules……….BUT, we spend an hour on a rule that I understand within 5 mins.

    So there are two problems that I’m having, 1) the course is going too slow for me, or rather….the content is too simple, and 2) more people are being added to the group, hence slowing it down further.

    Now with point number one, I risk offending people with my further explanation, so I will attempt to explain without saying anything racist or condescending. Back when I first did my test to see what my current level of Dutch and education is, I was asked to bring in my certificates and university degrees. I thought that this meant I would be alloted into a group that was similar to my level…….not just my level of Dutch, but my level of education also. 

    Now in reality, that test I did seems to have made no difference………or otherwise they think I’m really stupid. To explain, I will demonstrate by pointing out the people I’ve been grouped with.

    • Some who have absolutely no schooling in their native countries……i don’t know how many
    • At least one lady who has done just 2 years of schooling in her whole life
    • Two men who have already lived in The Netherlands for 30 years and 21 years, but speak with very poor grammar and poor understanding of the language
    • Others that have already lived here around 5-6 years

    To avoid getting in trouble I have omitted to mention what countries they are from, but there is one guy in the group that possibly due to his culture, appears to have little respect for having a female teacher and doesn’t appear to show much interest in learning Dutch. He is fairly new to the group, so maybe he’ll prove me wrong, but this is my observations so far.

    So basically, I’m REALLY with the wrong people. I think we have about 12 people in the group now, and there are 3 or maybe 4 of us that I think should be taught seperately. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are lovely people………in fact, I really like ALL of them (except the guy that appears to be disrespectful). But I think it’s a problem when the teacher has to teach people HOW to tell the time on an analog clock, not just teach people Dutch.

    I have spoken to the teacher about this, and for now she has replaced one of my lessons each week with a personal coach, since my problem is not struggling to understand grammer, but rather my problem is just learning to speak and listen to Dutch and broadening my vocabulary. So this is a small improvement. I’ve met her and she’s a really lovely lady……..a volunteer studying at university. I’m going to see her every Friday and she’s going to help me by just chatting in Dutch and helping me try to read news articles and stuff. So we’ll have to see how this goes over the next few weeks?

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