Dutch classes for adults - general information
We offer adult classes in New Jersey, Manhattan and Westchester County NY. The Dutch Adult classes focus to learn Dutch in a relaxed environment. It is fun to learn Dutch and we offer different levels. Our teachers can help you start learning Dutch from scratch, or improve your conversation skills. We customize the class in order to give you the most satisfaction. We use the method Vanzelfsprekend and Niet Vanzelfsprekend - written by one of our Flemish teachers. With this program you will learn Dutch fast and even if you would miss a class, you can catch up by working on your missed lesson at home.
For detailed information about our course fees, times and locations go to the adult registration page of this website
The following information has been provided by the Nederlandse Taalunie.
Dutch, a language with 23 million speakers
Like English and German, Dutch is a Germanic language. It is spoken by 23 million people and is one of the 23 official languages of the European Union. Within Europe, Dutch is an official language in the Netherlands and Belgium (where it is spoken in the region of Flanders). In South America Dutch is an official language in Suriname, as well as on the Caribbean Islands of Aruba, Curaçao and St Martin.
Dutch speaking countries
In 1980 the Netherlands and Flanders signed the Verdrag inzake de Nederlandse Taalunie (Treaty concerning the Dutch Language Union). The Treaty stipulates that the governments will set joint policy with respect to the Dutch language. In 2004 Suriname joined as an associate member. In addition, the Nederlandse Taalunie also collaborates with Aruba, Curaçao and St Martin. The Taalunie is a unique organisation. Nowhere else in the world does such a treaty exist between countries with the same language.
Language and language tools
The Nederlandse Taalunie works in the interest of everyone using or learning Dutch. It ensures that the Dutch language is well described and that the grammar rules are easily accessible. This is a prerequisite for good education and linguistic advice.
The Taalunie ensures that the grammar rules are easily accessible for the language user and provides reliable Taaladvies (linguistic advice) via its website Taalunieversum. A commission of language experts meets regularly to formulate answers to frequently occurring questions.
The Taalunie is responsible for the official Dutch spelling. This is laid down in the Woordenlijst Nederlandse Taal (Dutch Language Wordlist). Every ten years the Woordenlijst is updated with new words.
The Taalunie looks after Dutch words past and present. The Instituut voor de Nederlandse Lexicologie (Institute for Dutch Lexicology) in Leiden is the major partner in this. Its website contains all kinds of information on Dutch words, including pre-mediaeval words. The most important work of reference is the Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal (The Dictionary of the Dutch Language), the largest dictionary in the world;it contains over 430,000 entries for Dutch words from 1500 to 1921.
The official grammar of the Dutch language is set out in the Algemene Nederlandse Spraakkunst (ANS) (General Dutch Grammar), a handbook produced with the support of the Taalunie. The electronic version is available free of charge at http://ans.ruhosting.nl/e-ans
The different levels
Level A - Basic
A1 Breakthrough or beginner
- Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
- Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.
- Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 Way stage or elementary
- Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
- Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
- Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Level B - Independence
B1 Threshold or intermediate
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- Can deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.
- Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
- Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
B2 Vantage or upper intermediate
- Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization.
- Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
- Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Level C - Proficiency
C1 Effective operational proficiency or advanced
- Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.
- Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
- Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
- Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
C2 Mastery or proficiency
- Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
- Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
- Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.