Learning the Dutch language is usually the biggest obstacle to overcome if you want to integrate or at least feel like you have an idea of what is happening around you. As with all new languages, it can be daunting and nerve wracking. But you just have to start small and grow in confidence as you begin to recognise familiar words and sounds. There is nothing more rewarding than successfully ordering your first coffee and apple cake in Dutch. Here we have provided a list of courses and programmes that can assist you on the way. There are lots of options – be it classes, free practising groups, or online courses. Something to suit everyone!
Dutch language certification is sometimes necessary if you want to study in the Netherlands, or if you want to apply for Dutch citizenship or permanent residence. What follows here is an overview of the different types of certification you can pursue:
For people who have moved to the Netherlands, certification in Dutch is via the State exams for Dutch as a second language (Staatsexamen Nederlands als Tweede Taal), the Staatsexamen NT2.
For those living abroad, certification in Dutch language is available via the Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate (Certificate Nederlands als Vreemde Taal), the CNaVT.
For migrants to the Netherlands from outside the EU there is the Inburgeringsexamen (civic integration exams). Note that immigrants may choose to do the Staatsexamen NT2 programmes instead.
Dutch language proficiency levels
Both the NT2 and CNaVT certificates teach to levels specified in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):
Level A (Basic User)
A1: Beginner | A2: Elementary
Level B (Independent User)
B1: Intermediate | B2: Upper intermediate
Level C (Proficient User)
C1: Advanced | C2: Proficient (near native)
Necessary hours of study per level
The hours of guided study (classes and homework) needed to attain different levels of proficiencies will vary person to person, especially if the student’s native language is very different to Dutch. Nevertheless there are general guides as to how long it takes to progress, according to Alliance Français and Cambridge ESOL estimates:
- A1 proficiency: 60-100 hours
- A2 proficiency: 180-200 hours
- B1 proficiency: 350-400 hours
- B2 proficiency: 500-650 hours
- C1 proficiency: 700-900 hours
- C2 proficiency: 1.000-1.200 hours
Dutch courses & certification
There are many Dutch language courses in the Netherlands that prepare students for the Staatsexamen NT2 (and Inburgeringsexamen).
What follows is a selection of Dutch Courses available in Arnhem and their recent Blik op Werk Keurmark evaluation scores. This method of measuring the quality of service and work maintains a standard of professionalism and transparency that clients and customers can be reassured by. If in doubt, it is best to use a company that has a Blik op Werk score so you can be certain they have been verified as competent and effective.
Rijn Ijssel (Score 6,4)
Elyco Talen B.V. (Score 8,5)
6825 BS Arnhem
NCB Opleidingen BV (Score 7,7)
Jansbuitensingel 20 1e
6811 AD Arnhem
088 877 00 00
HAN – Taalcentrum (Score: 7,7) (Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen)
6825 CC Arnhem
En nu Nederlands (Score 8,9)
6811 EP Arnhem
VluchtelingenWerk Oost Nederland (Score 7,9)
Oude Oeverstraat 120
6811 JZ Arnhem
“Into languages” at Radboud University Nijmegen – These are intense Dutch classes for learning the language quick.
Every Monday 10-12 o’clock in the Nieuwe Hommel (http://www.denieuwehommel.nl/) Dutch lessons for women. You can get a test to determine your level. Costs: €2,50 per lesson.
FREE DUTCH LEARNING WEBSITES