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Learning Dutch in the Diploma Programme – International School Utrecht

At ISUtrecht all students learn Dutch in the PYP and MYP at a level that matches their background. They also learn about the Dutch language and culture. But what are the options in the Diploma Programme at ISUtrecht? This blog will give you the answer!

-by Anne Logman and Yona Bleijenburg, Dutch teachers

In DP students have multiple options to continue acquiring the Dutch language at an appropriate level. The aim of all programmes is that our students acquire the Dutch language and learn about the Dutch culture so that they, for the period that they live here, can participate in Dutch society.

We teach three different subjects on five different levels:

  • Dutch A, language and literature: Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL)
  • Dutch B, language acquisition: SL and HL
  • Language B, ab initio: SL

Dutch A

For (near-) native students (mother tongue speakers) we teach Dutch Language and Literature, SL & HL. The courses are meant for students who have a strong command of Dutch. This course is especially important for native Dutch students who have been educated internationally. They often haven’t had a lot of education in the Dutch language. Therefore, they don’t always feel confident and are not always fully fluent in Dutch. This course lets them acquire Dutch language skills at a native level.

The subject is comparable to Dutch in 5th and 6th grade at VWO. (Dutch secondary education) in analysis and skills.

In the IB exams, the focus is on what students are capable of in the taught language and not on the possible mistakes they make. The IB does look differently at the skills of writing and speaking, knowing that this is often a weak spot for international students.

Both SL and HL lead to a bilingual IB diploma, next to either English A or English B, and both allow students to enter any Dutch spoken study in Dutch universities.

Dutch B

For our foreign language students, we offer Dutch Language Acquisition at three different levels. Some students may already have some knowledge of the language, because they have studied Dutch as a foreign language either in MYP at our school or elsewhere. For these students we offer Dutch B at both SL and HL. In these courses the aim is to acquire language skills at two levels:

  • HL leads to level B2 of the European Framework of Languages. Some Dutch universities do not require an entrance level test if you studied Dutch B HL.
  • SL leads to level B1+ of the European framework. At Dutch universities an entrance exam is required if you studied Dutch B SL.

Ab initio

Students who have just arrived in the Netherlands and have no prior knowledge of our language can take Dutch Ab initio. This is a course for absolute beginners, offered only at SL and leads to a beginners A2 level of the European Framework of Languages. This course is also accessible for students who have started in Dutch Language Acquisition phase 1 in grade 10.

So, where do students at ISUtrecht go after MYP?

In general, these are the routes our students take:

  • MYP Dutch Language and Literature: DP Dutch A, Language and Literature SL and HL
  • MYP Dutch Language Acquisition phases 2-6: Dutch B, Language Acquisition SL and HL
  • MYP Dutch Language Acquisition phase 1: Language B, ab initio SL

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