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Beginners Course 1A - Language Acquisition I


Admission requirements

This course is open exclusively for regular Dutch Studies students.


The beginners’ course Language Acquisition is a 13-week course of 10 hours per week. The 15 EC are divided among three different course elements (the course itself makes up a single unit):

Writing/Grammar 5 EC (code 5811VSG1A)
Reading/Vocabulary 5 EC(code 5811VLW1A)
Speaking/Listening 5 EC(code 5811VSL1AT)

The beginners’ course consists of two hours of language acquisition every day. At the start, the lectures will be given in English, but the working language will be changed to Dutch as soon as is feasible, adapted to the level of the students. Speaking, listening, reading and writing will be practised intensively; close attention will be paid to vocabulary and grammar. This course makes up a single unit, which means it is not possible to follow individual course elements.
The teaching method used during this semester will be the Contact! method. Students will read and listen to texts; the most important grammatical rules will be explained, and students will complete relevant exercises. Considerable attention will also be paid to the students’ speaking skills, by means of pronunciation and intonation exercises as well as conversations/discussions. Our aim is to give students the self-confidence they need to speak Dutch outside the formal lessons.
Students are expected to manage a heavy workload (4 hours a day); there is ample opportunity in the lessons for questions.

Course objectives

This course aims at an elementary level of Dutch. In terms of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the aim is to achieve A2 level for speaking and writing, and A2/B1 level for reading and listening.

A language user with A2 level:

  • Is able to understand sentences and common expressions related to matters of direct personal concern (for example, personal data, family, shopping, local geography, work).

  • Is able to communicate in simple and everyday tasks that require a straightforward and direct exchange on familiar and everyday matters

  • Is able to describe in simple terms aspects of his or her own background, the immediate environment and other matters of interest.

A language user with B1 level of reading and listening:

  • Is able to understand the most important issues in clear written or spoken standard texts on familiar subjects that occur regularly at work, at school or in free time.


The timetable is available on the Dutch Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Tutorials, attendance is compulsory

Course Load

The total study load is 420 hours

  • classes: 130 hours

  • tests and exams: 10 hours

  • preparation for classes and writing assignments: 280 hours

Assessment method

Assessment and Weighing

In weeks 5, 9 and 13, written tests will be given with short, open, fill-the-blanks questions and essay questions. The average mark for these tests will make up the grade for Writing/Grammar. Exams will be held in December and January on the following components: speaking, listening, reading/vocabulary. The Speaking exam will be an oral test; the Listening and Reading/Vocabulary exams will be written tests with closed questions. The final grade for Speaking/Listening is the average of the two components. All final grades have to be at least a pass. The use of paper dictionaries is only permitted during the exams Listening and Reading.


If students fail one or more components, a resit is possible.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for messages and information.

Reading list

Contact! Nederlands voor anderstaligen. Textbook, workbook and vocabulary list. There are also 5 cd’s which are used with this method. Uitgeverij Intertaal, Amsterdam, 2016. The book can be bought also via


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


You can contact the lecturers Ms. L.M. Winkelmolen or Ms. M. Arends about the contents of the course, for other general and practical matters, turn to the student adviser, ms. I. Zagar and for administrative matters, for instance if you have problems with registering in usis, the administration of Dutch Studies


The language of instruction in the first weeks is English which will gradually flow over in Dutch.