On levels and methods
At Taalthuis, we often use the five level system that's being used by most language schools, for programs, tests and evaluations. The lowest level is one, the highest is five. Within a certain level there can be a specification in tenths.
Mostly we specify these levels for different skills. For example, a student could have these scores after a test:
- Reading: 3.1
- Writing: 2.2
- Listening: 3.0
- Speaking: 2.3
So this student is standing at the gates of level three and is better in reading and listening than in speaking and writing (quite usual, by the way).
Sometimes we also specify these scores for grammar and vocabulary.
Here's a description of the levels, including indications on which chapters in the most used methods are related to each level:
Level 1 - beginnerYou can have a very simple conversation in Dutch - enough to intoduce yourself and show that you're willing to try. Your conversation partner should be very patient and understanding, though. In a shop you can ask for some things, though you would not go there without your dictionary.
- Code Nederlands: lessons 1-6
- Colloquial Dutch: lessons 1-5
- De Delftse Methode: texts 1-10
- Help!: first book, first half
Level 2 - lower intermediateYou're quite capable of 'getting things done'. You can have a simple phone conversation, you can do quite some shopping without your dictionary and at a party you could have some conversation in Dutch, but it wouldn't lead to lasting friendships. Being in a meeting with Dutch speaking people, you're able to get the idea of what they are talking about. But you can't really participate yet. And you should really not try to tell a joke in Dutch.
- Code Nederlands, book 1: lessons 6-12
- Colloquial Dutch: lessons 6-11
- De Delftse Methode: texts 11-20
- Help!: first book, second half
Level 3 - higher intermediateOkay, Dutch people sometimes laugh about the way you say things, but at least you can express yourself. You could have Dutch speaking friends, you could really participate in a meeting where everyone speaks Dutch if they don't mind your funny and simple sentences. Watching Dutch television is no big deal for you, and you could watch a Dutch movie and be touched and you could read 'De Telegraaf' and get the news. But some expressions make you frown ...
- Code Nederlands 1: lessons 13-16
- Colloquial Dutch: lesson 12-17
- De Delftse Methode: texts 1-10
- Help!: second book
Level 4 - advancedHey, don't you already feel 'Dutch' sometimes? Come on, admit it, your thoughts are quite often in Dutch an sometimes you even dream in Dutch. Probably this has to do a lot with you being able to read Dutch literature and newspapers. And you can pick a lot of spelling errors out of a Dutch newspaper (like 'De Telegraaf') or read a more sophisticated paper with less spelling errors (like 'De Volkskrant' or even 'NRC-Handelsblad'). By the way, if you're in the Netherlands: prepare for the official 'Nt2-examen' and go for it - you're certainly going to pass.
- Code Nederlands: second book
- Help!: third book
- Nederlands in perspectief
- You could prepare for the Nt2 examination, using the special books for each part, published by Malmberg (Den Bosch), in cooperation with SLO.
Level 5 - mother tongueYou're Dutch or you could be Dutch - in case you're not, people wonder about your accent (what region are you from? ... could you be ... no you couldn't). Be proud: the books you're using during the lessons are made to improve the Dutch of adult Dutch people. You're spelling level might even be above the level of an avarage Dutch person.
You could use a lot of books that are used for the development of speaking and writing skills of mother tongue speakers. Besides, Nota Bene! seems a good book for this level.