So, there is a truly new initiative in Nijmegen. It’s about learning language in a way that is closer to all the participants in the group. Because they are the ones who define the content! At the same time, there is guidance and a concept. The first course you can sign up for is a German course combined with DIY skills (building things, cooking or learning about other projects that are self-empowered). One-to-one lessons are also available as well as courses for Dutch, Arabic and other languages that are still in the planning phase.
We believe that learning a language is best done while talking and doing the things that are important to us and our students!
We take breaks in our interaction and learning in which we can explain, discuss, practice and write down grammar, words and language rules. This is what we call our “language breaks”. But most of the time we will be using language instead of talking about it.
Who are we?
We are a bunch of friends that came up with the idea of starting a language school. All of us love learning languages and we have experienced countless formal and informal ways of doing so. Interacting daily with friends and people with very different language resources, we are learning many things about language in our daily life. And we are convinced that those little moments of translation, explanation and mutual understanding play a vital role in how we learn a language.
Why we do what we do?
All those moments, be it while cutting groenten in de keuken or while talking about politics or music, are always embedded in a context: A social context in which language is not learned through studying grammar and long lists of words but through using it in the situations in which we would actually like to use it.
In those contexts, language is never pure or perfect. You might mix up a lot of languages to communicate what you want to say but at the same time starting language learning from your own experiences and knowledge will make you learn language in a way that is relevant to your own life.
Making a language your language can enable you to stand up for your rights, talk about things that are important to you and your communities and connect to those that share your struggles and concerns. And learning together with others, exchanging languages and other skills rather than simply teaching them is a practice of mutual understanding and solidarity.
We get our inspirations from great projects such as Babel’s Blessing, This Is Not An Ulpan and English for Action. Like they, we believe that language is best learned in a context. Rather than learning a language, we learn to do something or talk about something in this language. Rather than having only monolingual classes, we also want to offer multi-language classes based on language exchange as well. Rather than talking about language only in the abstract, we will talk with language about something else, something that is relevant to us and you!