10 reasons why I founded Dutch of Course
Updated: Jan 14
Hello! My name is Judit. I am passionate about art, dance, books, movies, cooking, eating, travelling, learning and teaching Dutch, of course! I have been working as a teacher and language tutor for more than 23 years now, and I have to say, it still brings me joy to meet new people from all over the world. Their stories and lives inspire me. Also, by teaching internationals, I get to 'travel' with them. :-) I've had online courses with people from Chicago, Australia, South Africa, London, but also a bit closer to home, Hoofddorp, Utrecht and Amsterdam. I have been fortunate to offer corporate company training for groups and individuals at several big international companies like TomTom, Renault, AkzoNobel, Centrica, RCI Banque, CEVA Logistics.
People often ask me why I founded my own company and not chose the easier road by teaching at a language school. Well, there are several reasons why I founded Dutch of Course:
1. I had to learn Dutch myself, and so I know what it takes I was born in Hungary, I only spoke my mother language when my family and I moved to The Netherlands. I know from personal experience what it's like to learn a new language, to try and make new friends, learn about a new culture, eat different food, and try hard to adapt. This journey hasn't always been easy, but I managed just fine!
2. Personal and professional experience I now know what I like and don't like when it comes to learning a new language. After having worked with hundreds of students; children, teens and adults, I was able to observe and learn about their different learning styles. I'm now able to quickly see how my students like to learn, and teach according to their learning style and objectives.
3. I've experienced, learned and... moved on I have worked for many schools and language schools in the past, and what I noticed was that the groups were quite big (usually the groups consist of 12 to 15 people or more!) My students from all over the world have their own personal learning style, specific objectives and their own starting level. They've paid for a course and probably have high expectations. However, when I was teaching at a language school where I was told not to answer any questions and just ‘act fun’, something happened to me. I felt confused. This was not the way I want to teach, nor is it the way I would like to be taught by a teacher. So I this is why I founded my own company a couple of weeks later. It is important to teach my way, in a joyful, authentic way, answering each and every question, and have fun in class with my students. Without limitations, and with an open heart.
4. Asking and answering questions is very meaningful! I feel asking questions is a very smart thing to do. I decided a long time ago that I will do my best to always answer questions during class, even if the question is not related to the topic, the lesson book or a specific theme. People are curious and eager to learn. And, that's why students tell me my courses are interactive, meaningful and joyful! I love to teach, but I also enjoy learning from my students. I feel exchanging knowledge and experiences adds a great value to the classes.
5. The courses are about You, not about me For me, teaching is all about you, the student, the one that was brave enough to sign up to learn Dutch and take the next step forward. For me, teaching is not about sticking to a lesson plan or a well-prepared and visually beautiful PowerPoint presentation. It is not about teaching by only using a textbook. No, it is very much about observing and listening. During a group course, students like to wonder and/or discuss certain things with me and with their fellow students. This is a very meaningful, interactive and engaging way to learn Dutch together. I love to encourage my students to speak up during my private courses, couples courses and corporate (group) courses, because that’s usually when the magic happens!
6. The opportunity to profoundly impact someone’s life Research indicates that teacher quality is the most important factor in students’ academic success. And there is tremendous satisfaction in watching a student discover new learning. As the poet William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” When I was learning Dutch as a 6-year-old, I was very fortunate that my second teacher was a truly caring, patient and talented lady. (Unfortunately, my first elementary school teacher in the Netherlands ignored me, and kept ignoring me over the next 6 months. I finally convinced my parents to take me to a different school after summer break, because I felt miserable...and finally, they did). My second teacher, miss Thera, really listened to me, she saw me, and took time to answer my questions. Also, she found different ways to motivate me and kept me engaged by using various tools to apply the things I had learned during our classes. By using games, songs, and interaction with other foreign students. I loved her teaching methods and I believe miss Thera inspired me to become the teacher I am today. So, juffrouw Thera, I'm very grateful for your help, for answering my questions, for motivating me when things were tough, and for caring! She was not only an excellent teacher, but also an amazing person. Now it is time for me to pay it forward.
7. I like the variety. There's never a dull moment A work environment that is never dull. I can tell you that no two days are ever alike for me. The variety of people I come in contact with, the changing challenges, the daily discoveries all combine to make teaching an interesting and engaging adventure.
8. It keeps me young ;-) Being surrounded by young, driven and successful people in an inspiring environment is a great way to stay youthful, energetic and to retain a sense of playfulness and adventure.
9. To make a change in other people's lives, no matter how small The satisfaction of contributing to my community by preparing expats for lives in their new community, I can benefit my community, even if it's in a very small way by making them feel at ease, empowering and encouraging them. As teacher and astronaut Christa McAuliffe put it, “I touch the future: I teach.”
10. Over the years I have developed my own vision and designed a unique method Students have told me they chose to sign up for a Dutch Course with me, because they were not happy with their previous course. They told me they were not satisfied with their previous tutor, or they didn't like the lesson book, or they thought the groups were too big. The biggest problem is that they felt they did not learn much and even though it was a fairly cheap course, it was not worth their time, energy and money. The Dutch of Course method creates tailor-made courses, suitable to fit the student's learning needs and objectives. And above all, having fun, interact in an engaging way during our high quality classes. I maintain a 100% success rate when it comes to helping people prepare for, and pass the Nt2 inburgeringsexamen and Staatsexamen (I & II). Dutch of Course, my company, was 'born' in 2012, and I'm very happy it has been growing and blooming since. During this time I have met amazing people from all over the world, I have helped them feel more at home by improving their Dutch language skills. I really enjoy listening to their personal stories, their feedback and watching my students become more comfortable and confident using their improved Dutch skills. I'n happy and thankful to be working as a teacher, and I hope to do so for many years to come. Hope to see you soon!
Your teacher and student, Judit
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