Reference Cyrilla van der Donk

Lecturer and researcher at the University of Applied Sciences of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) and author of numerous books on practitioner research in both education and health and welfare.

Reason for Portuguese course

‘My book on practitioner research in health and welfare is going to be translated, then reworked and published in Brazilian Portuguese. I’m going to Brazil with my co-author to work on the book in April. We use English and German to communicate, but I think it’s also important to be able to communicate with others on our working visits and to socialise in their own language.’

Programme

‘Portuguese was a brand new language for me, so I started my five-day course at zero. That means I started with learning to count, the alphabet and the pronunciation rules on Monday. Every day, a bit of new grammar was added to the mix. I alternated between individual sessions, vocabulary exercises in the multimedia room and independent study. The course was very intensive, but because of the programme’s variety and all the personal coaching and attention I received, it was really quite manageable.’

Experience

‘I really enjoyed my week in Vught. The highly-structured programme was soothing and everything was fantastically arranged. That gave me the space to completely focus on what I was learning. It was lovely being surrounded by like-minded people. Everyone was going through the same process, which made it easy to chat with just about anyone. The trainers were incredible: professional, kind, warm and patient. Maria and Denise, thank you so much!’ 


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