Interview with… Taalthuis Teacher Marcella
Marcella Faltas is a 28-year-old master student at the University of Amsterdam (UVA). At her Master of ‘Dutch as a second language and multilingualism’, Marcella needed an internship placement. She had heard many positive things about Taalthuis, and therefore applied for a job there.
At wat level are you teaching Dutch?
I am not teaching at several levels: from the Beginners Course and the Beginners Plus Course – latter is suitable for those who already have a background in the Dutch language, such as South African and German speakers, which have another plan when it comes to learning Dutch – to the Advanced Course that works all the way to a B1 level of Dutch.
Any preferred level to teach?
All levels have a different way of working. I find it very interesting when someone enters and has no idea about what our language has to offer (the Beginners Course), because then I can really guide them through the process of starting with their first Dutch word to being able to have a full chat in Dutch. Trust me – that’s just the most amazing process!
The cool thing about working with an Advanced class, is that we can do interesting stuff together: those course participants can listen to podcasts in Dutch, watch Dutch movies, listen to the Dutch radio – we can discuss Dutch current topics in class, because they can really use the Dutch language.
What makes Taalthuis special, do you think?
Taalthuis really is special. I’ve been working for other language schools, for which I have noticed that Taalthuis has the perfect balance of teaching: we offer basic grammar to our students, but we also focus on interaction from the start. Our goal is for our students to be able to use Dutch right away in their daily life, so we offer tools that they can put in practice to get into Dutch conversations, in their first week of the course already.
Another aspect that makes Taalthuis a special – and really great – Dutch language school, is the fact that they create their own learning material. We have an own e-learning which we constantly update and therewith improve; we have our own books with really good stuff in there and the best of all, is that we as teacher are encouraged by Taalthuis to develop innovative technics and learning material. It’s about the continuous improvement of teaching Dutch. How cool is that?!
Your best experience in class?
That’s a hard question – lots of fun stuff happens in class! The thing that gives me most energy? When I see that my students get more confident over time. At the start, they tend to be awaiting and rather silent, which is normal. But after a while they always gete more confident – I love to see my students chat about the Dutch culture with each other, such as Dutch holidays or Dutch food. Because they get more familiar with the Dutch language, their interest in the Dutch culture grows, and that’s just the most beautiful thing to notice.