I’ve been working as a teacher for several years and I’ve also worked with people from different cultural backgrounds. It has been a wish to combine those experiences as a NT2 teacher. At Silke’s goodbye party I had a chat with Carola. And with Carola worlds and also wishes mix and mingle. Within one week it was settled: I would start as teacher for a Dutch beginners group, a pilot project in the Get in Touch program. I still remember how happy I was, feeling the potential of what could become. And it did in many ways.
A wish has a starting point, a source from where it arises. I think it all began in my early childhood. I always made friends with foreign children on camping sites, even when I couldn’t speak any other language I just talked my own and connected. When I was a student I came to live ‘by mistake’ in a house meant for refugees. I was the only Dutch. I was the real stranger. The mistake turned out to be a blessing. It opened a whole new world for me. One of the things I learned and experienced was the importance of feeling at home, being included and connected no matter your background. And as the only Dutch I was a nice help for my neighbours in trying to find their way in the Netherlands.
For me learning a language is one of the important aspects to find your way in a new world. As a teacher I am enthusiastic to help others to get in touch with Dutch, to find a way to express oneself and enjoy learning. But maybe even more than a teacher I feel like a hostess, hoping I can be a person who can make others feel (more) at home.
During one of my first lessons I talked about my view on learning Dutch: that it should be meaningful, but also fun. Not just sitting behind a book, but also practising in real life situations. And indeed the workshops outside the library were fun!
I’ve enjoyed so much being a GiTwD teacher. But I haven’t been only a teacher, I’ve become a student as well. Learning new things about my own language through the eyes and comments of my group. And I was not the only hostess. I felt such a warm welcome and connection with all in my group, almost like being in a family. Giving and receiving has been one these last six months.
I’m so proud of Irem, Etsuko, Fariba, Foad, Fereshteh, Javad, Leila, Anita, Thuy and Yolanda. Not only for their progress in Dutch, but most of all for their courage to leave their home and create a new one and by their effort to share their big talents in a new world.
Thx to all for a wonderful time!