Updated: Oct 20, 2020
Learning a new language isn’t the easiest thing to do, but breaking it down into smaller goals can help to make the whole process much more manageable.
Here, we’ve made a list of several smaller steps that you can take to learn Dutch. You can even pick a few to tackle each month of the year!
1. Sign up for het woord van vandaag. If you’re a beginner, listen to the audio and practice saying the word. For more advanced learners, read the contextual sentences aloud and look up any words with which you’re unfamiliar. Write a few “sentence frames” such as “Ik hou van…” (I like) or “Ik wil graag…” (I would like) to help you move from vocabulary retention to more complex sentences and conversations.
2. Get hooked on a Dutch series. For a list of suggestions what programs are fun to watch and for which level, press here. Press “T” at the bottom right-hand corner to turn on Dutch subtitles. Even if you don’t understand everything, this is a good passive learning exercise. Maybe turn it on each time you’re doing the dishes.
3. Get addicted to Duolingo. Download the app onto your smartphone. Each assignment takes just under 5 minutes!
4. WhatsApp in Dutch with a Dutch friend or coworker.
5. Pick a location (e.g. the Albert Heijn) where you’re only allowed to speak/think in Dutch. Commit to learning all the relevant vocabulary (e.g. How to ask for the receipt, how to ask for a bag, how to ask if you should’ve gotten a discount for something). 6. Start following the Dutch equivalent of your favorite news sources/websites/platforms. If you like following Vice News, for example, there’s also Vice Nederland.
7. Sign up for a(n) (online) Dutch newspaper or buy the Saturday edition of Volkskrant, Trouw, NRC next. Start with reading the headlines. If one or two articles grab your attention, you can start trying to read those ones.
8. Attend Dutch language yoga or sport classes.
9. Read a children’s story before bed each night. Not only will you learn some Dutch vocabulary, but you’ll also be calmed from the activity!
10. Teach a friend or family member who lives outside of the Netherlands a few key phrases to use when they come to visit. Boost of confidence!