Holiday month, 1-5-20
door Mathilde muPe
During the pandemic, Ida and Frederique created the platform Talk Dutch With Me (‘Praat Nederlands Met Me’). The platform links newcomers to somebody who can speak Dutch. Thereafter, the buddies regularly meet at a fixed time via Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype to chat for 30 minutes. This enables newcomers to keep practicing speaking the Dutch language during a time that their immediate environment offers limited possibilities to do so.
According to Ida and Frederique: ‘The idea of Talk Dutch With Me came from our immediate surroundings. We live together in the neighbourhood Amsterdam Stek Noord: a social residential community for 34 young newcomers and Dutch citizens, aimed at facilitating integration. From the first corona measures we could see that our neighbours who were learning Dutch were talking to fewer people. Although the Dutch lessons and exams continued online there is suddenly a major lack of opportunities to practise informally. This normally takes place between classmates, colleagues, in the gym or in the shop – but these possibilities are no longer there. At the same time we see people around us who would love to help. Together we therefore launched the initiative Talk Dutch With Me: a platform where these people can be linked up. After all, you can only learn a new language by practicing together.’
Voices from the New West – Diwan