Learn Dutch the way you would eat ice cream
Would you like to join us for an ice cream? Not many people would turn down that offer. And how would you react if you were asked: ‘Would you like to learn Dutch with us?’ Chances are you’d have to think about that a little more and all sorts of doubts would pop up in your head. Why would I? Do I even have time for it? Will I succeed, or will it just consume precious time and energy?
If you can really enjoy ice cream, then you have everything you need to learn Dutch well. Read on!
1. Take little bites, bit by bit
Ice cream melts quickly, so you automatically keep eating it. But then not too fast, because then you miss out on the subtle flavours. The same goes for learning a language. You absorb a language bit by bit. If you stop before you cross the speaking threshold, you’ll end up empty-handed, with the equivalent of a melted ice cream. Then you’ll do nothing more with the language and can start all over again later.
Have you already started a Dutch training course but still consider yourself a beginner? To get over the speaking threshold, put in more time at the beginning. Choose a longer or more intensive training, or practise more.
2. Enjoy consciously
You can eat an ice cream mindlessly, but you’ll enjoy it more if you very consciously savour the flavour and pay attention to its texture. You can enjoy learning something new like a foreign language in the same way. When you take time to learn the nuances of the language, you’ll discover how beautiful it is and only want more.
3. Choose the right flavour
Of course, it starts with choosing your ice cream. Sometimes, it’s a sorbet: nice, light and refreshing, like listening to a Dutch song. Another time, you go for a classic flavour such as vanilla or chocolate, akin to reading a newspaper, book or news site, or a slightly heavier flavour like tiramisu or amaretto cherries, similar to learning grammar.
Dutch language training also comes in all sorts of flavours. You can opt for conversation training, or you can take a course based more on learning grammar. The better training courses offer you the full range with the right variety. That way, you learn all the flavours of Dutch.
4. Choose the right environment
Ice cream is a lot tastier when you eat it on a sunny terrace with nice people around you rather than walking down a street with heavy truck traffic with the ice cream in hand. In the same way, your language learning experience has everything to do with where you do it. Make it a positive experience by looking for a lovely environment with friendly trainers and interesting fellow students.
Eating ice cream isn’t something you have to take seriously; you can play around with how you eat it—little bites, big bites, slow licks—whatever you fancy. You can experiment with the pronunciation of words in the same way. Play around with sounds and intonation, try to mimic different accents and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just as you can discover different ways to enjoy your ice cream, you can also experiment with language to find your own voice.
6. Refresh your mind
Eating ice cream is especially refreshing on a hot summer day. Learning a foreign language can be similarly refreshing to the mind. Enjoy the journey, discover new words and phrases, and immerse yourself in the culture. The language-learning process can bring intense pleasure!
In short, choose the right training in an environment that appeals to you. Enjoy, experiment and make sure you cross the speaking threshold so you don’t end up empty-handed.
Think about this again the next time you eat an ice cream. Who knows, you may soon find your mouth watering when you see grammar books, hear Dutch songs or have the opportunity chat with someone in Dutch!
With an intensive training course in Dutch from Regina Coeli, you learn all the flavours of Dutch. From the heavier ones like grammar to the light-hearted sorbets of cheerful conversation.