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Dutch Course Outline

The Cactus Course Outlines provide a learning framework for the Cactus Foreign Language Evening Courses. They are designed to provide you with a good idea of what you might cover over a 10-week period, and include typical themes, grammar and vocabulary fields. They are flexible rather than prescriptive, in that our teachers may decide to adapt their learning plans to the specific level, aims and interests of their classes. Use the tabs below to view the relevant Dutch course outline for your level. If you want to cover the same course outline in a shorter period of time, we also offer One-Week Online Courses and 5-week Courses.

Beginner 1

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Introductions- incl. greetings, nationalities, names of different European countries, reasons for studying Dutch
  • Dutch alphabet
  • Asking ‘how are you’? (Formal and informal addressing)
  • Introducing somebody else
  • Counting
  • Getting familiar with telephone conversations
  • Personal details (address, postcode, telephone number, date of birth)
  • Describing people (character, appearance)
  • Giving an opinion (likes & dislikes)
  • Talking about family and friends
  • Time (clock), days
Grammar
  • Personal pronouns
  • Possessive pronouns
  • Demonstrative pronouns
  • Present tense (regular and irregular verbs)
  • Negations
  • Some prepositions
  • Some interrogative pronouns
  • Word order in main and question sentences
  • Definite and indefinite articles
  • Using the adjectives
  • Adverbs
  • Plural nouns
  • Use of ‘er’
Cultural Content
  • Geography
  • Formal and informal language
  • Cycling
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice
  • Spelling
  • Lots of listening (dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Beginner 2

Topics u0026 Vocabulary
  • Daily life
  • Home activities
  • Describing daily routine and weekend activities
  • Common feelings; having an argument
  • Talking about your daily routine in the past; biography
  • Professions; job advertisements, talking about work
  • Making compliments
Grammar
  • Review & practice Beginners 1 grammar
  • Separable verbs
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Modal verbs
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • Adverbs (frequency)
  • Use of ‘er’
  • Perfect tense, participial
  • professions gender (male/female form)
  • Irregular verbs
Cultural Content
  • Food Culture
  • Famous Dutch artists
  • Dutch landscapes
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice
  • Spelling
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Beginner 3

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Eating & Drinking
  • Making suggestions
  • Ordering and paying in a café or restaurant
  • Orientation; giving directions, asking the way
  • Leisure Time
Grammar
  • Review & practice Beginners 2 grammar
  • Diminutives
  • Prepositions
  • Adverbs (direction)
  • Indirect questions
  • The imperative
  • The ordinal
  • Conjunction, combining sentences (word order)
Cultural Content
  • Money
  • Dutch versus Flemish food culture
  • Tourism in the Netherlands
  • Sport
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, presentations
  • Spelling
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Elementary 1

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Home; weekend activities, interior
  • Making an appointment
  • Describing something (making comparisons)
  • Talking about future events
  • Talking about past events
  • The weather, months, seasons
  • Expressing a general agreement
  • Talking about holidays
Grammar
  • Revisiting the previous levels’ grammar
  • Future tense
  • The imperfect (simple past) (regular and irregular)
  • The comparative
  • Use of ‘er’
Cultural Content
  • The way of living in the Netherlands
  • Ice skating
  • National feasts: Queen’s day and Sinterklaas
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, presentations
  • Writing practice- personal stories
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Elementary 2

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Eating & Drinking
  • Dutch recipes
  • Buying goods and clothing
  • The body
  • Asking for the price
  • Expressing personal likes and dislikes
  • Asking and giving information
Grammar
  • Review & practice Elementary 1
  • Relative pronouns
  • Superlatives
  • Some/any
  • Ordinal numbers
  • Word order direct object and indirect object
  • Diminutives –etje and –pje
Cultural content
  • Food culture
  • Dutch mentality
  • Grocery shopping in the Netherlands
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, presentations
  • Writing practice- personal stories, reviews, etc.
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Elementary 3

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Holidays
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Health/illness
  • Asking for information on the phone (holiday bookings)
  • Nationalities
  • Telling a story
  • Expressing personal likes & dislikes
Grammar
  • Review & practice Elementary 2
  • The conditional
  • The passive voice
  • Conjunctions omdat and want
Cultural Content
  • Geography
  • Medical care
  • Ethnic minorities in the Netherlands
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, presentations
  • Writing practice- personal stories, reviews, etc.
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Intermediate 1

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Introductions- incl. small talk; personal information
  • Talking about personal interests
  • Leisure Time & Holidays
  • Inviting and accepting invitations
  • The world of work; writing cover letters
  • Describing people and situations
Grammar
  • Revisiting the previous levels’ grammar
  • The indirect question; inversion
  • Modal verbs
  • Relative pronouns
  • Suffixes
  • Adverbs
Cultural Content
  • Dutch literature
  • Dutch family games
  • Dutch labour force
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, presentations
  • Writing practice- letters, reviews, adverts and short articles etc.
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Intermediate 2

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Living; houses
  • Expressing your opinion and point of view; asking for clarifications
  • Complaints
  • Politics
  • Debating
  • Culture; stereotypes; multicultural society
  • Describing information
Grammar
  • Review & practice Intermediate 1
  • Use of verbs + infinitive, double infinitives
  • Subordination
  • Adjectives
  • Comparatives & superlatives
  • Synonyms
Cultural Content
  • Famous Dutch buildings
  • Dutch Politics
  • Multiculturalism
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, monologues
  • Writing letters, reviews, adverts and short articles etc.
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Intermediate 3

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Media; the computer
  • Asking for advice
  • Giving your opinion and arguments
  • The society; nursery, family
  • Writing a plan; formulating opinions
  • Studying & School
  • Talking about your education
  • Landscape and living environment
  • Describing the panorama and environment
Grammar
  • Review & practice Intermediate 2
  • Conjunctions
  • Use of ‘er’
  • Use of plural
  • Imperfect
  • Word order of prepositions
Cultural Content
  • Dutch magazines and newspapers
  • Education
  • Geography
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/(inter) active practice- dialogues, monologues
  • Writing letters, reviews, adverts and short articles etc.
  • Lots of listening (Dutch/Flemish pop music, dialogues)
  • Pronunciation
  • Exercises and Language-Learning activities, such as role-plays

Upper Intermediate

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Primarily topics of students’ choice
  • Expressing expectations, doubts, and hopes
  • Talking about social, religious and political issues
  • Talking about changes in your life
  • Giving instructions
  • Analyzing and evaluating newspapers articles
  • Relating an extraordinary event
  • Cultural differences in perception and expression
  • Discussing topical news of the day
Grammar
  • Choice of grammar topics according to students’ needs
  • Review of past grammar
Cultural Content
  • Literature and film – extracts
  • Personal experiences
Skills Work
  • Focus on speaking
  • C.V. writing
  • Writing practice – e.g. short stories, reviews and comments, advertisements
  • Plenty of listening activities – authentic sources, e.g. Radio, TV, films and CDs
  • Analyzing and evaluating newspapers articles
  • Summarizing interviews, biographies
  • Carrying out an interview

Advanced

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Primarily topics of students’ choice
Grammar
  • Choice of grammar topics according to students’ needs
Cultural Content
  • Literature and film – extracts
  • Personal experiences
Skills Work
  • Focus on speaking
  • Writing practice – e.g. short stories, reviews and comments, advertisements
  • Plenty of listening activities – authentic sources, e.g. Radio, TV, films and CDs
  • Analyzing and evaluating newspapers articles
  • Summarizing interviews, biographies

Proficiency

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Primarily topics of students’ choice
Grammar
  • Choice of grammar topics according to students’ needs
Cultural Content
  • Literature and film – extracts
  • Personal experiences
Skills Work
  • Focus on speaking
  • Writing practice – e.g. essays on an Academic level, reviews and comments, advertisements
  • Plenty of listening activities – authentic sources, e.g. Radio, TV, films and CDs
  • Analyzing and evaluating newspapers articles
  • Summarizing interviews, biographies

Understanding Language Levels

If you are taking a language course with Cactus you can find out more about our language levels and how you can track your progress using the ‘can do statements’ below. These statements outline the key things that you should be able to say and understand once you have completed each level. Can do statements are officially recognised as a set of performance-related scales describing what a learner is able to do in a foreign language, in accordance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and the CEFR defined levels.

CEFR Levels

If you are taking a language course with Cactus you can find out more about our language levels and how you can track your progress using the ‘can do statements’. These statements outline the key things that you should be able to say and understand once you have completed each level. Can do statements are officially recognised as a set of performance-related scales describing what a learner is able to do in a foreign language, in accordance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and the CEFR defined levels.

Beginner (A1)

  • You can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type
  • You can introduce yourself and others
  • You can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, what you do, people you know and things you have
  • You can ask and give directions
  • You can order food and drink
  • You can make very basic travel and accommodation arrangements
  • You can have a basic conversation, provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Elementary (A2)

  • You can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas including basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography and employment
  • You can communicate in simple and routine tasks, requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters
  • You can describe, in simple terms, aspects of your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need
  • You can comfortably ‘get by’ when visiting the country, albeit with some difficulty.

Intermediate (B1)

  • You can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • You can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken
  • You can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest
  • You can describe experiences and events
  • You can talk about dreams, hopes and ambitions
  • You can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans
  • You could consider working in the country using the language (e.g. bar/counter work, waiting service in cafes or basic office work).

Upper Intermediate (B2)

  • You can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialisation.
  • You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible, without strain for either party.
  • You can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue, giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
  • You can do business with speakers of the language in most run-of-the-mill situations.

Advanced (C1)

  • You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning
  • You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions
  • You can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
  • You can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, logical flow of text, and clear awareness of the audience.

Proficient (C2)

  • You can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read
  • You can summarise information from different spoken and written sources
  • You can reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation
  • You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely
  • You can differentiate finer shades of meaning, even in the most complex situations.

How to book with Cactus

Select language

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