”How long does it take to learn Dutch?” This is a very common question asked by the parents of our (future) students.

Learning a new language is an enriching experience. It helps your child to connect with Dutch people, enhance his school and career prospects, and broaden his horizons. 

Dutch is an interesting language to learn for several reasons. It is the official language of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname. It is also spoken in Aruba and Curaçao. Here, we will explore how long it takes to learn Dutch as a second language.

The difficulty of Learning Dutch

Dutch is considered to be a moderately complex language to learn for English-speaking children. While it has some similarities to English, such as a similar vocabulary and sentence structure, there are also some significant differences. These differences are particularly in pronunciation and grammar. Dutch has several unique sounds, including the guttural “g” and the rolling “r,.” These sounds can take some time to master. The grammar can also be quite complex, with a wide range of verb tenses and word order rules to learn.

Factors affecting the time required to Learn Dutch

The time it takes to learn Dutch as a second language will depend on several factors. These include the motivation level, prior experience with learning languages, the amount of time your child can dedicate to studying, and the quality of instruction your child receives.

  • Motivation is an essential factor in language learning. If your child is enthusiastic about learning Dutch, he is more likely to stay motivated and progress.
  • Prior experience with learning languages can also be helpful. If your child has studied other languages before, he is more familiar with the language-learning process.
  • The amount of time your child can dedicate to studying is also significant. Regular practice is essential for language learning.
  • Finally, the learner’s background and previous experience with language learning are important. Someone fluent in another Germanic language, such as German or English, may find it easier to learn Dutch due to the shared vocabulary and grammar structures.

How long to learn Dutch: How much time do you need to reach your goal?

Considering these factors, it’s challenging to answer how long it takes to learn Dutch definitively. However, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) provides a helpful guideline. This guideline covers language proficiency levels and the estimated hours required to reach each level. 

How much time does your child need to reach his goal? There is no conclusive answer. This calculation is a generic model and should be adjusted according to the context:

  • If he does not do self-study, this impacts the number of hours with his teacher.
  • You can see that the importance of exposure increases as your level rises. Contact with native speakers also becomes more critical. Again, the rule is less exposure and more hours of lessons wiith the teacher.

The model for how long it takes to learn Dutch

It’s worth noting that these estimates are based on intensive study and immersion of learning adults. Individual learners may progress more quickly or slowly, depending on their circumstances. Furthermore, the CEFR proficiency levels are just one measure of language proficiency, and learners may have different goals or priorities for their language learning.

How long to learn Dutch in summary

In conclusion, learning Dutch as a second language can be a challenging but rewarding process. The time it takes to become proficient will depend on various factors, including your child’s background, exposure to the language, motivation, and dedication. By setting realistic goals, creating a regular study schedule, and seeking out opportunities for language practice and immersion, children can maximize their chances of success and reach their desired level of Dutch proficiency. We at Dutch for Children are here for your children’s Dutch language journey.

Tips to learn Dutch as a second language with Dutch for Children

Do you want your children to integrate more easily in the Netherlands, allow them to attend Dutch schools, or want them to be able to connect socially? Please contact us via this link, and we will meet online free of charge or obligation to discuss the possibilities for your child.