* How can I register for a course?
The registrations for our courses go through our website. You choose the language you want to follow, as well as the possible day and time. You can pay immediately with iDeal. As soon as the payment is successful, you are registered for the course of your choice.
* If I am already following a course, do I have to register again for the follow-up course?
Yes, you must register again via the website for each (follow-up) course. You cannot register by informing the teacher verbally or in writing that you want to continue with the next course.
* Can I still register for a course that has already started?
If the course has already started and there is enough room in the group, you can still register for it. However, if the group is already full, it is no longer possible to register.
* When can I register for the follow-up course?
We strive to post the follow-up courses on the website once your course has started. Therefore you can register promptly for the next course.
* How far in advance do I have to register?
That is hard to say, some days or times are very popular and can be full months before the course starts. Sometimes it is possible to register just before the start of the course if there is still room in the group. It is advisable to register as soon as you are sure that you want to follow the course. That also makes it easier for us to plan the courses.
Our regular courses (1 lesson per week, 10 lessons per course, 12,5 hours) cost € 150,00 per person.
Our intensive courses (2 lessons per week, 12 lessons per course, 15 hours) cost € 180,00 per person.
No, we work without text and exercise books. Nor do you need to bring a pen or paper to make notes. After each lesson you will receive an e-mail with the summary of the lesson. Naturally you can Always take pictures of the writings on the board during and after the lesson.
* How can I pay?
When you register via the website, you can immediately make the payment via iDeal.
It is not possible to pay for the course in cash.
If you do not wish to pay via iDeal, you can send an email to email@example.com stating which course (language, day, time) you want to register for. You will then receive an invoice by post that you can pay by bank transfer. In this case, an administration fee of € 10.00 is charged. You are only definitely registered when we have received your payment in good order and when there is still room in the group at the time we have received your payment.
* I would like to receive an invoice in the name of a company, is that possible?
Yes, that's no problem. You first register via the website and make the payment. You then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the information that must appear on the invoice. We will then send the invoice by email.
If you miss a lesson because you are unable to attend (illness, work, vacation) you can always join a lesson in another group. In that case, send an email to email@example.com stating which course you are participating in (language, day, time), then we will try to find a group that is closest in terms of level to your missed lesson. However, we cannot guarantee that you can catch up exactly on the lesson you missed.
We request that you make up for the missed lesson(s) within a reasonable time. We don't like it when a student wants to make up a lesson that was missed a year ago.
In no case will there be a refund of (part of) the tuition fee if lessons are missed / not made up.
* Where are the lessons being held?
For the Dutch lessons we have two locations in Hoofddorp:
Kruisweg 620, Hoofddorp (second floor)
Primary School Klimop, Burgmeester Pabstlaan 5, Hoofddorp.
* I come by car: where can I park?
After 18:00 parking at Kruisweg is free. In case there is no parking space left, you can park at Van der Zee parking.
Until 18:00 you have to pay to park, this is zone B. In case you wish to pay less, we suggest you park in the parking garage at Burgmeester van der Willigenlaan, this is Zone C. From there you will reach Talenmeester by foot in 5 minutes.
Very close to Kruisweg is a blue zone, you can park for free up to 2 hours using the blue parking disc.
To park at primary school Klimop, please enter Dokter Bolkesteinstraat and you can park for free after 18:00.
* I come by publi transport.
The nearest bus stop is Burgemeester van Stamplein. From here it's approximately 10 minutes by foot to Talenmeester (via shopping center 4 Meren or via Town Hall / Cultuurgebouw).
From station Hoofddorp it's approximately 20 minutes by foot (1,6 kilometer), follow the signs Centrum.
* I don't know anything about the language I'm going to learn, where do I start?
We advise all starters to start at the beginning, so the Beginners Level 1 course. After this course you can move on to Beginners Level 2, etc.
* I have followed a language course in the past, where do I join?
Our method is so different from that of most other language schools / language courses. The level is therefore difficult to compare. In addition, you will also have to get used to our other way of teaching. If you want good advice, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and state as much as possible about your previous course (how long ago, where, how long, which book) and we will make a proposal to you. You can always join a lesson for free trial as long as there is room in the group.
* I am already taking a course at Talenmeester but I think the level is too high / too low.
If you do not feel comfortable with the level of your group, of course you can always switch to another group provided there is room. Send an email to email@example.com and state which course you are following (language, day, time) and whether you would like to move to a higher or lower level. Together we will what the best solution is for you. Please note that if we cannot find a suitable alternative, the tuition fee will not be refunded.
* Which courses corresponds to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2?
Because our working method is so different from other language schools and language courses, it is very difficult to associate the CEFR levels to our courses. Roughly we can state that after the Beginners levels 1, 2 and 3 you are between the A1 and A2 levels. But this is also highly dependent on the commitment of each student: students who regularly come into contact with the target language, on their own time, may have a higher level than A2 after the Beginners levels 1, 2 and 3 at Talenmeester, but this is certainly no guarantee.
Yes and no.
We do not offer separate conversation courses. In all our lessons we converse, so yes, there is always a conversation.
Conversation involves at least 2 parties who are talking back and forth. In every conversation, people listen and speak. We believe that fluency is the result of a lot of listening. That is why our teachers speak most of the lesson, in the target language. Our teachers ask the students many questions, to which the students provide answers, using the words and language skills that the student possesses at that time. That can be single words, parts of sentences or complete sentences; it is all good to us. We do not force anyone to speak in class if it feels uncomfortable, as this disrupts the entire learning process. We do, however, stimulate speaking skills in a way that is pleasant for every student.
If you really have reached the point where you can hold longer conversations in a different language, we advise you not to waste your money and time on conversation courses. Instead make contact with native speakers and for the cost of a cup of coffee, have a nice conversation with them.
Of course you are always welcome at a Talenmeester course if you like our way of teaching, but keep in mind that the core of our lessons is that the teacher will provide the input.
This question is asked very often and is very difficult to answer. In any case, the more understandable (comprehensible) input you get from the new language, the faster the learning process. We often see that students who regularly read a book, listen to music or watch films and series in the target language outside of the lessons progress faster.
Knowledge of a related language can help, but can also be a stumbling block, so it is no guarantee that you will learn Spanish faster, for example, because you also speak French.
Age can have an influence on memorizing vocabulary, but not necessarily. As we get older it can sometimes be harder to remember new words. But thanks to life experiences, we can sometimes see a connection faster in, for example, a story through which we subconsciously acquire the language patterns (grammar) quickly.
It also depends on your native language: Western Europeans spend on average four times longer to learn Chinese than to learn another West European language.
Intelligence and school diplomas certainly do not affect the learning of a new language, everyone can learn a new language!
However, motivation to learn the new language always has a very positive effect!
Cautious figures from a study (Erwin Tschirner (Babylonia magazine, 2/2005) show that after approximately 240 hours of language acquisition the A2 level for conversational skills could be reached, after 480 hours B1 and after 720 hours B2. However, these figures are an indication. More information about the CEFR levels can be found at http://www.erk.nl/docent/niveaubeschrijvings/
* Can I take a trial lesson?
Twice a year, in September and in January, Talenmeester organizes an Open Day with various free trial lessons. Keep an eye on social media for the date or sign up for the newsletter so that you are informed in time about these trial lessons. The trial lessons are free and without obligation.
* Can I take a trial lesson at other times besides on the Open Day?
Provided there is room in the group, you can take a trial lesson at any time. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and state for which language and level you want to take a trial lesson. We will then look at the availability in the group. The trial lessons are free and without obligation.
Think about your own childhood. In addition to learning to walk and many more skills, you also learned your native language. You did this by listening a lot to your environment. Hereby you have not done homework as we know it from school: learn words, make fill-in exercises, etc. However, you have succeeded in speaking your mother tongue fluently. So yes, you can learn a language without doing homework.
We do, however, advise you to try to "immerse in" the language you are learning as much as possible. Outside of our lessons you can always read a nice book (for students to borrow for free in our own Talenmeester library) or read a magazine in the language you are learning. Netflix offers many series and films in various languages and genres and they also contribute to the acquisition of the language. Listening to songs also works very well and thanks to Internet and Spotify you often have access to them. In addition, there are fun apps to increase your vocabulary and you can even make contact with native speakers online.
The most important thing is that you immerse yourself in new language as much as possible and as understandable as possible; what you do not understand, you will not learn or really very slowly. And having fun learning is invaluable.
Talenmeester works according to the philosophy of Understandable / Comprehensible Input. This means that the teachers have the task to speak almost 100% of the target language (the language you want to learn) during all lessons and to ensure that all students understand everything. All you have to do is listen, read and understand.
Scientific studies into the functioning of the brain show that the frequent reception (input) of a language is the only correct way to acquire a language. Speaking and writing (the output) do not contribute to better language learning.
But ... of course we want to be able to speak that new language as quickly as possible! That is why we ensure that our lessons are not only full of input, but that they are also communicative: the teachers will talk to you and of course you will speak in the target language. And that output is always good, as long as it is in the target language. You may answer with single, short words, it may be half sentences or whole sentences, and it may contain errors. The most important thing is that you understand what is being said. Toddlers and preschoolers also do not speak their mother tongue fully and free from mistakes, and we do not see this a problem.
In all our lessons it is noticeable that the teachers do the most talking and that the students often listen and read.
In every lesson we strive to talk about today (day, date, weather, etc.), about you (what's your name, where do you live, do you have a pet, what are your hobbies, where do you go to on vacation, what is the best book you have ever read, what did you like to play with when you were little, etc., etc.) and we make / read a story with the group.
Stories form an important part of our approach. In a story you can put all aspects of a language: vocabulary and grammar. The learning of single words is very difficult for our brain, but if these words are in a story, our brain understands them much better, thanks to the context. Together with you we make stories in which the teacher makes a small beginning with a number of verbs and words. You and your fellow students may come up with the rest yourself! We also read stories and can also present the stories as a fun play in class. We also practice the language through fun quizzes or an activity with a game element in which there are no unsatisfactory marks and there are no losers.
After each lesson you will receive a summary of the lesson from the teacher.
From school we are used to textbooks of foreign languages that contain all sorts of information about grammar rules. Learning these rules happens in the "wrong" part of our brain and therefore rarely leads the student to learn to speak the language without any problems.
In our brain we have, among other things, the "declarative" memory and the "implicit" memory. The declarative memory contains factual information, such as "the capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam," "a tulip is a flower," "a little fairy-like creature with wings is called an elf." As you can see, our vocabulary is in this declarative memory. When we want to say a certain word, we get it from this part of our brain. What we "know" is therefore stored in this part of the brain.
If you can swim, you master that skill. That skill is stored in our implicit memory. When you swim, you don't think about what you are doing, you just do it. You once learned what movements you had to make to swim forward in the water. The same applies to walking, cycling, playing the piano and tennis. And also the way in which we make sentences (the place of the words, the conjugation of the verbs, intermediate words that add a nuance to the message, etc.) stems from this implicit memory. So what we "can" is stored in this part of the brain.
If you are going to learn explicit grammar rules, then that knowledge ends up in the declarative memory. You then "know" the rules. But this rarely means that you can "apply" those rules. The implicit memory is not tapped. That is why we hear from many newcomers that they "know" many words but cannot "make" sentences.
When you listen to someone who speaks the language you want to learn or you read something in the language you want to learn, your declarative memory is filled with word knowledge and your implicit memory is filled with the form ('grammar') of the language. This is the only way to build up the skill.