Taalgarage - frequently asked questions

Who can come to the Taalgarage?

The Taalgarage is there to serve all adult non Dutch speakers which are not (yet) enrolled in a course or would prefer to learn Dutch on their own:

  • people who are registered at the Huis van het Nederlands, but who still have to wait some more weeks or months before the start of the course
  • people who want to learn Dutch but not in a classroom
  • people that already have a basic knowledge of Dutch and want to improve their Dutch skills for a specific purpose (studies, work, an official exam, …)
  • people with more specific language needs or requirements in addition to a regular Dutch as a foreign language course
  • people in search of ways to practice their Dutch speaking skills in Brussels

Which self-tuition materials can be consulted?

You can find the following materials in the Taalgarage:

  • self-tuition methods for Dutch
  • methods for learning Dutch in class
  • translation and explanatory dictionaries, specifically meant for non Dutch speakers
  • grammar books
  • word lists for specific themes
  • books with additional vocabulary exercises
  • books to practice written Dutch
  • reading books for non Dutch speakers
  • online study material
  • listening comprehension exercises (mostly on CD-ROM)
  • Dutch tests

May I borrow materials to take them home with me?

In the Taalgarage you may look into and discuss the materials. You will receive additional information about the advantages of the different materials. You may not borrow the materials and take them home with you. Though you will receive a brief info file of every individual book or reference work. The file describes the content and the purpose of the book or reference work, the purchase price and the points of sale as well as an overview of the Brussels libraries where you may borrow the book or reference work mentioned.

What do I receive at the the Taalgarage?

Upon your visit at the Taalgarage you receive a file cover in which you can keep all the info files of the books and reference works that you have chosen. You will also receive some additional documents to support you with your self-tuition and some folders and flyers about other Brussels initiatives to practice your Dutch. 

I would like to meet people to practice my spoken Dutch with. Can I obtain information about this at the Taalgarage?

Sure you can. In Brussels there already exists a whole variety of initiatives to practice your Dutch, e.g. conversation groups or all kinds of activities. In the Taalgarage you can find folders and you can look up the corresponding websites with the ‘language mechanic’ on duty. Take a look if you will at www.huisnederlandsbrussel.be/nederlandsoefenen, www.patati.be, www.taalblad.be or www.Bru-taal.be

Do I already need to be registered at the Dutch Language House (be it in Brussels or Flanders)?

No, you need not. If you have not been in one of the Dutch Language Houses (in Brussels or Flanders) before, then we can create a personal file right away and we assess your level of Dutch. Subsequently, you will receive personal advice about your Dutch self-tuition.

If you have already been in one of the Dutch Language Houses before, then we’ll first look up your personal file, we’ll check whether you possibly need a new language level assessment and we’ll give you personal advice about your Dutch self-tuition.

How do I make an appointment?

Send an email to taalgarage@huisnederlandsbrussel.be or call 02 501 66 60.

Can I do a Dutch course and get advice at the Taalgarage about Dutch self-tuition at the same time?

Yes, you can. Self-tuition can possibly help you with the Dutch course you are doing. But out of experience we know that it is better to fully concentrate on one thing at a time: either a Dutch course, or Dutch self-tuition.

If you are interested in a Dutch course, then you will have to drop by the Dutch Language House during the opening hours. There they will assess your language level and your learning abilities more thoroughly. And, you can sign up for a Dutch course.

Is it possible to first reach a certain level of English language proficiency through self-tuition and subsequently start in a higher level Dutch course?

This is possible on the condition that you be very disciplined, which means you have to study at home very hard every day. In any case you will have to drop by at the Dutch Language House if you want to start in a higher level Dutch course: your level of Dutch will then be thoroughly assessed. In this way you are sure to end up in the right course.

Will I be further accompanied with my Dutch self-tuition after my visit to the Taalgarage?

We give advice about self-tuition materials, we don't accompany the self-tuition. After four months you will receive a questionnaire which you may fill out and send back to us. Questions like e.g.: “Have you been using the recommended materials? Are you satisfied with those? Do you have any further questions? Would you like some additional advice?”, etc.

Can I come back to the Taalgarage if I want to?

You are most welcome to pay us several visits. Along the road of self-tuition more questions about how to go about it are likely to come up. You can send us an email or drop by at the Taalgarage if you want these questions answered. You can visit the Taalgarage at the Dutch Language House Antwerp as well.