de Taaltafel

Almere Baby Club for Dutch & English

The Taaltafel powered by Collette of Colette Bedaux Dutch Language Courses

“help people feel more comfortable with speaking Dutch” and get over the usual hindrance of “fear of making grammatic mistakes.”


Moving to a new country is daunting, a new place, new people and then a new language. Not only you have to adjust to the new life and culture you now you have to learn a new language in to merge well with your new home. Some of us moved here before we had children but wanted to learn Dutch as a way to communicate with the locals, to ease into society, broaden our horizons or to learn more about the new culture. Some have a love for languages so we pursue that rush of learning something new, to some it may be a need to understand the current affairs and domestic politics. The pressure increases, once you have children in the local school. Then it becomes a matter of survival. Whatever reasons for learning a new language, it is a challenge to learn a new language.


A new initiative- De taaltafel by one of the members who felt that she wanted to volunteer in any way in the playgroup, and saw fit to use her skills as a Dutch language instructor/teacher to offer services of helping people feel comfortable in speaking without the shame of making grammatical errors. The taaltafel aims to “help people get more comfortable with speaking Dutch”; and get over the usual hindrance of “fear of making grammatic mistakes” of shame and fear of speaking to native Dutch speakers.

The ABCDE playgroup will remain bilingual since that is its core element to keep everyone comfortable and feel welcome.



















So, what is the taaltafel (language table) eigenlijk?

The taaltafel will be in the same room as the playgroup session. Colette will sit on the table, everyone who has any language questions can come and sit with her and ask those questions or talk about any subject. The point is to gain more confidence in conversing in Dutch. It is preferred that the participants be the ones who lead or initiate the conversation. One can come up to the table but do not be worry if you see someone already sitting it is not a problem, you can join in on the conversation. The convenience is with the taaltafel one can learn some Dutch while their children play. The children are welcome to join the parent(s) on the table. The more, the merrier! The taaltafel goes beyond chatting in Dutch, part of the tafel will be to assist with reading letters that have been sent for example by the municipality, school, etcetera. If you have any text, you need help understanding to bring it along to the taaltafel.



How is the taaltafel different from any language lessons?

The taaltafel is an informal setting nor is it a formal language class. The approach is learning the language through immersion. The focus is to sharpen the listening, speaking and maybe some reading skills in Dutch. The idea is if you spend some time speaking Dutch and thus getting more comfortable talking the language. The hope is it will also help enrich the participant's vocabulary.


For whom is the taaltafel suitable?

The playgroup has a good stream of families who have been in the Netherlands for some years to those who have just moved in months to only a few weeks ago, so it is understandable that not everyone is on the same level of Dutch. The taaltafel welcomes everyone from an absolute beginner, intermediate to advanced. So you don’t necessarily need to know Dutch to join, though I would suggest knowing a few words at least to benefit from this initiative. Vocabulary is one if not the most significant important aspect in any language learning. I would recommend a quick google search of the Amsterdamse Placemat also known as Basiswoordenlijst Amsterdamse Kleuters (BAK). You can download a pdf file of the list for groep 1 and groep 2.














This contains words that children in primary school should know by the time they enter school and before groep 3. It has simple Dutch words and adults can use it as well. It is advised to keep a language journal to write down some new words and questions beforehand. More on vocabulary enrichment and how to use the BAK list in learning Dutch on the next feature.




Starting 25 September, Colette will be available at the playgroup sessions. She will be available on Tuesdays only, from 09:30- 10:30, so that is from the time of opening until fruit time.











About Colette Bedaux

Colette has been a Dutch teacher since 2009, Before that she completed a Post-Bachelor certificate as a Teacher for the Dutch language for (NT2- Nederlandse Als Tweede Taal). She has vast experience in teaching Dutch as a second language to adults. Before that, she studied Physics and earned her Bachelor Degree in Sociology both from the University of Amsterdam.

After being a patron of the ABCDE playgroup for four years, Colette appreciates the value of such a group for mothers and fathers with small children who may sometimes feel isolated from the society. Because of her background, she saw fit to contribute by way of an informal Dutch spreekuur to get people speaking Dutch.

Her motto pertains to the three most essential language rules: “making mistakes is not possible, only opportunities to learn, never feel embarrassed for trying, and stupid questions do not exist.".


Her formal Dutch lessons will start this October under her own Dutch language school - Colette Bedaux Dutch Language Courses.

Want to know more about Colette and her lessons? Visit her LinkedIn Profile here.



Feature by Londile Dlamini





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