Dutch Foundation Course
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  • Dutch Foundation Course
  • Cobie Adkins-de Jong & Els Van Geyte
  • Published by: Thomas Keymaster Languages LLC
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 2008

This book helps students learn Dutch by using a unique method developed by the celebrated psychologist and linguist Michel Thomas. It helps students learn Dutch in a similar way that they learned their native language. This engaging course helps students build up their Dutch skills and it will appeal to those who prefer less orthodox ways to learn a language.

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

Do you remember how you learned your first language? You heard, you understood, and then you mimicked. If you were like most kids, you didn’t learn to read or write until you were around five; before that your language skills were limited entirely to the spoken word. So why is it that whenever we try to learn a second language, the first thing we do is crack open a book? Some may argue that when we learned our first language we didn’t have the motor or cognitive skills to hold a pencil or read a book. While that’s a good argument, it still doesn’t explain why we shouldn’t learn our second language in a similar manner.

"The book and audio set employs the “Michel Thomas Method”. In this method, there are no books or writing; it’s simply a listening and speaking course that tries to help your brain assimilate to a new language."

If you are studying or want to study Dutch, then you can start learning in a manner similar to how you learned your first language. Dutch Foundation Course is an audio set with a short pamphlet that helps you to do just that. The book and audio set employs the “Michel Thomas Method”. In this method, there are no books or writing; it’s simply a listening and speaking course that tries to help your brain assimilate to a new language.

The “Michel Thomas Method” focuses on breaking down the learning experience to help learners take baby steps as and when they are ready. To use the recordings, the pamphlet advises you to first relax. Take a deep breath and leave the stress at the door. That’s the first time we’ve come across language learning material that gives such an instruction at the onset. Simply doing so helps the learner to feel less tense about the language learning experience.

While you are listening to the tracks, you are instructed not to write anything down and not to “try” to remember. When a child learns a language, he or she doesn’t try; it simply happens as a result of hearing casually. According the method, it’s not the student’s responsibility to make sure that he/she learns; this is the teacher’s job. When you use this audio and book set, your learning resources are your teacher. You only have to show up and chill out.

There are a total of eight CDs, all of which have between 10 and 14 tracks on them. Each track focuses on a few short words or phrases. As Dutch and English are quite similar in sound, the book and CD references that often. In the first track, the student is shown how similar words/phrases like “Welkom” (Welcome), “de kat zat op de mat” (the cat sat on the mat), and “een, twee, drie” (one, two, three), sound to their English counterparts. For a native English speaker, this makes learning Dutch a whole lot easier.

You may be uncomfortable with the idea of learning to speak Dutch without learning how to read or write, but there’s really nothing to worry about. Once you get a hang of spoken Dutch, the written aspect will soon follow. This method may seem a bit eccentric at first, but it’s actually a lot more effective than you can imagine. If you consider yourself a student who prefers less orthodox learning methods, this book is definitely for you.



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