Your name: Sona K.
Your age: 36 – 40
Your mother tongue: Slovak
Your profession: Scientist – R&D
Month(s) and year you took the training: Summer – winter 2016
Specific professional challenge you wanted to work on during the training:
– Practice the writing of motivation letters for doing interviews to get a job in Flanders
– Obtaining a Dutch language certificate.
What was the result of the course you participated in?:
Fantastic! It works.
How did Dutch Language Classes help you to make progress on your challenge during the training?:
The personal approach, motivating environment and a great amount of support.
To improve my skills in job interviews and solicitations I contacted Dutch Language Classes again in summer 2016.
I have known them already from a previous course I took 2015. Whereas the first course was focused more in general Dutch conversation this time I had more specific goal.
1. to practice writing of motivation letters and
2. to learn to speak more clearly and with confidence during the interviews and
3. to obtain a Dutch language certificate
I don’t particularly enjoy writing formal letters, so it was my big challenge to get better in it. I took a writing Dutch for foreigners training and David gave me several tips on how to approach the writing and asked me to write a letter based on the real job opening. My first attempts took lot of time but at time I got better at it. David always would gave me feedback on the grammar and general layout.
We also practiced job interviews in Dutch (in sort of a role-play) and how to use STAR technique to provide a well structured answer. When I got feedback from real interviews we went through the remarks together. However David always asked me to come up with own idea to improve first and then he would guide me through the change.
As a scientist I always want to “measure” things. It was my initiation to test what I learned and take the exam to get a Dutch language certificate. I took the ITNA test and find out what my level was and I passed. Three weeks before the exams my classes were focused on giving presentation and argumentation since these are the two elements of the oral part. David prepared several examples to practice and provided me also with specific terminology necessary to describe statistical figures (main element of presentation) and interpret them.
In DutchLanguageClasses course the biggest assets for me were the personal approach, motivating environment and a great amount of support. That in combination with my engagement gave a fantastic result.
- I now can speak with HR on the phone and answer the questions without too much hesitation.
- I am able to write a motivation letter which attracts the HR and made a Dutch version of my CV.
- From 5 out of 7 interviews I have got very positive response to my Dutch and I feel more confident in speaking Dutch.
- Four of my Belgian friends whom I haven’t met for several weeks/months gave me compliment on the big improvement. Our conversations are now more fluent and almost exclusively in Dutch.
- In the beginning of the course was my level B1. At the end of the summer 2016 I took ITNA exams and passed the B2 level test.
I strongly recommend this course to expats that need to improve their professional Dutch. It works!