Dutch as a second language: the importance of immersion. Immersion in learning a second language has been scientifically proven to improve literacy, academic performance, thinking skills, and even cultural sensitivity.

Immersion-based language learning works even better if it goes beyond Dutch lessons. This is because it involves your child surrounding himself with the language in other parts of his life so that he practices it often and in context.

Different ways to practice Dutch as a second language

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There are many ways to practice language immersion, even if you don’t live in the Netherlands (yet).

Children spend an average of 5 hours a day on their phones. That’s a lot of time—time your child could put to good use learning. Change the language settings on his phone together; every time he picks it up to check a notification, he sees things like the date, weather, or notification in his second language, Dutch.

Another fun trick is to have your child regularly watch TV programs in the second language, possibly with the subtitles on. This means that in his spare time, he hears and sees how people use the second language and how they react to it.

This is a relatively easy and fun way to better understand the context in which vocabulary, expressions, and even slang are used.

Learning a second (or third) language the same way you will actually use it can help you become more fluent faster. As parents, we need to make sure that TV shows, podcasts, and radio broadcasts fit well with our children’s visual world.

In this blog, we, therefore, highlight different media, such as Dutch television, podcasts, and radio.

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Hearing and seeing Dutch as a second language: through television

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Some well-known Dutch channels are NPO 1, NPO 2, NPO 3, RTL 4, RTL 5, SBS6, RTL 7, and RTL 8. Wikipedia lists all active channels.

For children, NPO 3 often offers the nicest Dutch programs. Through the following websites you can also (re)watch programs for children.

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The Dutch public broadcaster Zapp

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NPO Zapp, formerly called Z@pp and Zapp, is the children’s block of NPO. NPO Zapp focuses primarily on children between the ages of 6 and 12, unlike its affiliate NPO Zappelin, which focuses on children under 6.

From AVRO-TROS, EO, HUMAN, KRO-NCRV, NOS, BNNVARA, NTR, and VPRO, we have NPO Zapp broadcasts youth programs

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Schooltv

Schooltv.nl is a video database filled with educational and informative video clips, movies, clips, songs, animations, teaching videos episodes, etc.

Schooltv is the name under which the Netherlands Public Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts programs intended for use in education. Since 2002, there has been an online platform on which videos can be viewed on-demand. In addition, Schooltv programs were broadcast on television from 1963 to 2014. Schooltv is part of NTR, the public broadcaster whose statutory tasks are information, education, art and culture, youth, and diversity.

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Jeugdjournaal

The NOS Jeugdjournaal brings news and reports for children ages 9 to 12. On school days, there are two broadcasts: at 8:45 am and at 7:00 pm. On weekends, there is one broadcast daily, also at 7 p.m.

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Klokhuis

‘Het Klokhuis’ is an informative youth program from the NTR that airs every school day at 6:40 p.m. on NPO Zapp (NPO 3). Children between the ages of 7 and 12 learn something about the world around them every day, in the broadest sense of the word.

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Willem Wever

‘Willem Wever’ is an informative television program and idem website of the KRO-NCRV for children and adults in which viewer questions are answered. The program visits an expert who explains the answer as visually as possible. The website also contains theme pages with facts and games about one subject, such as nutrition or sports.

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How can I watch Dutch TV from abroad?

There are several ways to watch live Dutch TV abroad:

  • Free streaming services, such as NPO Start. For this, you need a Dutch IP address
  • Paid Dutch streaming services, like Videoland, for example
  • Your TV provider’s app, such as Ziggo GO, for example
  • Via satellite
  • Dutch television, worldwide via BVN
  • Watching television via the internet

History of Dutch television

For kids who like to know the history of things, Philips promoted television sets in the Netherlands in 1948, and by 1970, almost every household had one. The Canon of the Netherlands tells the history.

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Practice listening to Dutch as a second language through podcasts

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Active listening to podcasts offers an educational experience. It stimulates listening skills in Dutch and children’s imagination. It helps them improve concentration and process information through listening alone.

More and more websites and initiatives exist, especially for children and youth. Here is a selection of the 5 nicest ones:

  1. Zapp podcasts from the children’s block Zapp. Selected podcasts for children aged 6-12.
  2. ‘Kinderpodcasts Nederland’ arose from the need for a central platform that monitors the quality of children’s podcasts to provide an educational, safe, and responsible range of children’s podcasts. Several partners from the Media Literacy Network collaborate on this platform. They have divided the podcasts into groups for 3-6 years, 7-10 years, and 11-14 years.
  3. Youth Library. The Youth Library is a collection of links to informative websites, videos, apps, and podcasts for kids.
  4. The Insane Podcast. This podcast is about children’s books created by and for children. In these episodes, lasting up to ten minutes, children between 6 and 12 talk about their favorite books. There is also a bit of reading aloud.
  5. Bridge Class the Podcast. The 9-part podcast “Brugklas: Why does everyone lie?!” is by NPO Zapp and AVRO-TROS. Tuvalu Media produces it.

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Radio is another means of immersion

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Radio offers an effective approach to engaging with language. In the current education system, the emphasis is still mainly on writing and reading skills, whereas listening and speaking are equally crucial for language development.

Radio is a conscious and focused way to engage in speaking and listening. When listening to the radio, your child activates almost all their senses to stimulate the imagination, paying attention to word choice, intonation, voice use, and environmental sounds.

This website lets you listen to the most popular national and regional radio stations online. There are more than 1,000 radio stations in the Netherlands. Listen to live radio—additional services: Podcasts of Dutch news stations, newspapers, and Dutch celebrities.

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Immersion in Dutch through online lessons

Dutch for Children’s online Dutch private lessons are customized. We use your child’s learning style, level, interests, and goals as a guideline for the lessons.

The lessons last half an hour for younger children and an hour for older students. This hour is especially for your child, completely in Dutch.

Are you curious, and do you want to know more? Plan an intake meeting to discuss the possibilities for your child(ren). You can mail us at info@dutchforchildren.nl