Colloquial Dutch 2
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  • Colloquial Dutch 2
  • Gerda Bodegom & Bruce Donaldson
  • Published by: Routledge
  • Level: Intermediate
  • First Published in: 1994

This book is designed for students who already have a basic knowledge of Dutch. While working with this book, students will go over common idiomatic expressions, develop reading comprehension skills, learn new vocabulary, and go over important cultural notes.

Review posted: 10/01/2014
Have you used this book?

Going beyond a beginner’s book in any language means a lot.

A student who is able to overcome the frustrations and setbacks that are a usual part of learning a language and who has the discipline to continuing learning probably truly has a desire to communicate in that foreign language. As a result, the book or learning material for learning the language must meet a fairly high set of criterion. Does Colloquial Dutch 2 reach the bar that’s been set?

The word “Colloquial” always make it seem like a more casual book for casual students. While this may be true, it doesn’t affect the thoroughness of the content. The chapters cover material that’s not typically touched on in beginner’s books and each one does a good job at going into detail. Some of the topics in Colloquial Dutch 2 are “Business”, “The Media”, “Politics and Society”, and “Culture”. As you can see, this is vastly different from the standard beginner’s topics which focus on things one may talk about in the first 2-3 minutes of conversation such as introductions, family, directions and so forth.

The chapters are about 13-15 pages long; enough time to go rather in depth for each topic. The first page gives an outline of what the student will learn and is followed by what’s usually a rather interesting dialogue. After the dialogue there’s a short vocabulary list and sometimes a list of a few phrases. Then there’s a listening comprehension exercise. Next is the first exercise; in some instances, in the book you’ll find a dialogue written out again. It’s quite similar to Dialogue 1, but with a few small changes. The student’s job is to listen to Dialogue 1 a second time and identify the differences between that and the written dialogue under Exercise 1. Then there are a few more listening points, exercises, written/spoken content, and vocabulary lists. Though the format is quite repetitive – there are three language points, vocabulary lists, and exercise groups in each chapter – it’s effective. Such rigorous and repetitive practice will ensure that the student really retains the content.

"If you have a fairly good Dutch comprehension level, then you’ll probably be able to do okay with Colloquial Dutch 2 whether or not you’ve seen/used the first book."

It’s not important to have studied from Colloquial Dutch 1 in order to use Colloquial Dutch 2. While there are some elements that are the same, there is no “continuity” so to speak. If you have a fairly good Dutch comprehension level, then you’ll probably be able to do okay with Colloquial Dutch 2 whether or not you’ve seen/used the first book.

If you are a Dutch language teacher, then Colloquial Dutch 2 is a good choice for your intermediate students. You can easily conduct lessons for individuals or full class sizes without putting much time into preparation when you use the “Colloquial Dutch” sets. If you want to put forth a little more efforts to help your students succeed, you can simply build upon each chapter by including some group & partner activities and perhaps some spoken Dutch. All in all, Colloquial Dutch 2 is one of the few worthwhile Dutch books for intermediate students.



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