In addition to taking Dutch language classes, it is essential to use your target language in the real world. But all of the students I teach Dutch to have the same problem: Dutch people speak English to them! This is of course very convenient when you go shopping, but when you are trying to learn Dutch, it is more a hindrance than a help.
I think Holland is quite unique in this respect. If you go to France for instance, you will not likely meet anyone who is willing and able to speak English with you. The Dutch are different: most of them speak one or more foreign languages and they are very eager to show they do.
So it was high time to find a solution for this. My students want to get an opportunity to exercise their new skills in speaking Dutch. That is why I have decided to make special buttons for them. On these buttons is the text: “I’m learning Dutch“.
It is my hope that Dutch people, when they read this, will react in the right way: don’t speak English to my students, but speak slowly, articulate clearly, and repeat what you said if necessary.
I will be handing out these buttons to all my students from now on, so if you meet one of them, you’ll know what to do!
This post is also available in: Dutch