ACCESS NL > Education in the Netherlands > Learning Dutch > General questions on learning Dutch > What is the most effective way for me to learn Dutch? I am not a natural linguist, so I might find it hard to learn Dutch.

General questions on learning Dutch

I am an expat. Are there any government subsidised Dutch language courses available?

Is it important to learn Dutch? I am in doubt as to whether I should learn Dutch as everyone here seems to speak English.

What is the most effective way for me to learn Dutch? I am not a natural linguist, so I might find it hard to learn Dutch.

Whilst it should be remembered that every person’s learning style is different and that their personal circumstances may dictate how much time they can spend each week on learning Dutch, the general consensus of opinion is that the best way to improve quickly is by attending an intensive course of two or more lessons per week with additional homework.

It is important that you feel comfortable with your learning surroundings. Therefore, you may prefer to attend a course given in a classroom with other students, rather than having one-to-one tuition. Alternatively, you may wish to begin with some free online learning courses to gain confidence and hear accents, before you move to the classroom situation.

On you can find a selection of institutes that offer lessons to learn the basics of Dutch.

Once you have mastered the basics of the Dutch language and have gained confidence in speaking, you may wish to consider finding local Dutch people who would be willing to talk with you for practice. There are websites where you can search to find a native speaking Dutch person who is also interested in learning/practising English or your native language. Check or Public libraries often also offer opportunities to speak Dutch on a regular basis in a taalcafe ( language cafe) and advise you about how to learn Dutch. Check with your local library to find out what they offer.

You should be aware that just because you have found someone who is willing to speak Dutch with you, it does not necessarily mean that they are a good teacher of the Dutch language. You may find you learn new words (slang) that can be very useful in day-to-day interactions but may not be grammatically correct.

It is not compulsory for me to learn Dutch but I would like to learn it. Can you suggest some good language institutes and learning centres for me?

Who can attend classes at a volksuniversiteit?

Can I teach myself Dutch?

Is there any organisation that can help me practice my Dutch and help me feel at home?