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About us

border de taalvraag

| Marilene shares her story:

While studying for my degree in remedial education, I worked as a volunteer at the Language School for Refugees. That later turned into a paid job. At the Language School, I learned the profession of being a teacher of Dutch as a second language (NT2). The Language School was later absorbed by ROC Zadkine and I continued working there until 2011.

In 2011, I decided to start my own business: De Taalvraag. It was a gamble, but it has been one of the best decisions of my life.

In the first years, the course participants were mainly expats and family migrants. I quickly opted for teaching higher educated students, because I found this group the most inspiring. In groups with the same education and language level, I can help my students to achieve their goals quickly and effectively. Later, I also decided that I wanted to teach Dutch to refugees again. However, these students could only get a loan from DUO for my course if I had the Blik op Werk quality mark. That is why I decided to obtain the quality mark. With the new integration law aigain I have more family migrants.

Because of the many positive reviews, more and more students came to De Taalvraag. I noticed that the work was getting too much for me. Since 2018 I have been working with one to three teachers, but De Taalvraag stays a small school, I want to know all students personally.

Since August 2023 we have been teaching on the location: ‘s Gravenweg 31, in Rotterdam Kralingen.

I spend most of my time teaching and coordinating the NT2 courses at De Taalvraag. I also provide training to other teachers. From 2011 to 2018, I also worked at the Babel language institute as an examiner of the AKV test, an exam for doctors who speak other languages.

Since 2022 I have been a member of  the municipal councel in my hometown Nieuwegein for GroenLinks. In this positions I have the portfolio’s refugees, low literacy, integration and eduction.

2011 eerste jaar les in de kerk - De Taalvraag

Photos: 2011, the first year of De Taalvraag with classes in a church

 

vlaggetje prikken de taalvraag

2018, Oostzeedijk, students pin a flag on a map

| Thomas Castelein shares his story:

Hello! I am Thomas and I enjoy to helping you to improve your Dutch language skills. I keep the lessons as fun and diverse as possible, amongst others by regularly playing language games. Because I studied General Linguistics, I know extra well how to help my own students.

Marilene about Thomas:

Thomas started in January 2022 at De Taalvraag

Every week we discuss together what the best way of working is in the various courses.

I noticed how enthusiastic and motivated Thomas is for the lessons and to learn new things himself.

Thomas Castelein

|  Manon Beuzenberg shares her story:

My name is Manon and I have been an NT2 teacher since 2007. I work for Hogeschool Rotterdam  and now also as a freelancer at De Taalvraag.

I have loved the Dutch language from an early age. Since I discovered the profession of NT2 teacher, I am very happy. A good atmosphere during classes is very important to me. There is a lot of freedom in my lessons and they are educational, I look at what everyone needs individually.

Marilene about Manon:

Manon started in September 2022 at De Taavraag.

The students are always happy with Manon’s lessons. She always makes the lessons fun and interesting, with lots of games. She finds the atmosphere in the lessons important. That is why the students always enjoy her lessons!

Manon Beuzenberg

| Ruth Monas shares her story:

I started in 2006 as an NT2 teacher and since February 2022 I have been working at De Taalvraag with pleasure.  You will meet me in the online lessons because I live in Amsterdam.

The atmosphere in my lessons is relaxed, there is humor! We do in the lessons what you can’t  do at home, so there is a lot of attention for speaking and practicing new words. We do this with role plays, games and other interactive exercises.

I love my job because a lot comes together. First of all, it is wonderful and rewarding to help people to learn Dutch, so that is easier to find their way in the Netherlands. Language is the key to a society and its culture. In addition, I am still learning about my own language, why do we say things in a certain way? Finally, I consider myself lucky to meet and get to know people from so many different cultures.

De Taalvraag is a great place to teach and to get lessons. The groups are small and there is a lot of attention for the students. The quality is very important, which brings out the best in the students but also in me as a teacher. If I were new in the Netherlands, I would choose De Taalvraag.

Marilene about Ruth:

Ruth is an experienced teacher.
At the introduction, I knew right away that Ruth would fit very well with the De Taalvraag team.

Ruth started working at De Taalvraag in January 2022. The students like to have lessons from her, because she can stimulate them very well to get the best out of themselves.

| Erica Beerens shares her story:

I have been working as an NT2 teacher again since 2023, after many years in secondary education. Learning the Dutch language is important to participate in society and I am happy to contribute to that.

 I think De Taalvraag is an excellent  school, with very nice colleagues and students.

Marilene about Erica:

In the 1990s, Erica was a colleague of mine at the Language School for Refugees in Rotterdam.

We have kept in touch ever since. I was happy when she told me last year that she would return to NT2 education.

I immediately asked her to come and work for De Taalvraag, in September 2023 as a language coach and in February 2024 also as a teacher.

Language coaches

At De Taalvraag we also work with volunteers. Students of the day groups can practice speaking with a language coach once a week for free. Erica Griffioen has been working for De Taalvraag since September 2016, Theo since September 2017, Mannie Makkink since November 2018 and Erica Beerens since September 2023.

The sessions with our language coaches are digital, with Zoom.

teamoverleg Zoom maart 2021 de taalvraag

Photo: team meeting on Zoom, March 2024

 

| Erica Griffioen shares her story:

I work as a language coach at De Taalvraag because I find it inspiring to help motivated students with learning Dutch. My many years of experience as an NT2 teacher are very useful in coaching them.

At the Albeda College in Rotterdam I worked as a teacher, as an internal supervisor of teachers and as a team leader. At the University of Applied Sciences of Rotterdam I was a teacher for the predecessor of the NT2 teaching degree. Furthermore, I am a certified supervisor.

Erica Griffioen

Foto: Erica Griffioen at work as a language coach

 

Erica about Marilene:

If I were looking for an NT2 course, I would know where to go! When Marilene joined the Language School for Refugees years ago, she said, “I want to become just as good as Rita and Erica.” She has far surpassed us now.

I know Marilene as an incredibly knowledgeable and committed person. She is very committed to the development of her student. If you commit yourself for 100 percent as a student, Marilene is there for you for 200 percent!

She has great analytical skills, which she uses to understand the learning strategies of her students. Furthermore, she is very social, she creates space for the others and frees up time for those who really need it.

| Mannie Makkink shares her story:

I find being a language coach at De Taalvraag fascinating and inspiring. The students of De Taalvraag come from different backgrounds and are very motivated to improve their language skills. As a language coach, I like to help them with that.

At ROC Zadkine I was an NT2 teacher and coordinator and I worked as a career coach. I have also developed teaching materials. I can now put this experience to good use in my work as a language coach.

Mannie Makking aan het werk als taalcoach

Photo: Mannie Makkink at work as a language coach

 

Mannie about Marilene:

She is always looking to create a suitable learning environment for the student. That is how I see Marilene. She works in a driven, structured and result-oriented way. She knows how to stimulate her students and is clear about her expectations of the students themselves.

I know Marilene as a committed teacher who is cooperative and open to the input of others. She has a tremendous commitment. What touches me is that she also dares to look at herself, constantly examining what is necessary to achieve her goals. A passionate person.

Theo Dirks has been working as a language coach for De Taalvraag sinceSeptember 2017. Marilene knew him because he was her team coordinator at ROC Zadkine.

| Theo Dirks about Marilene:

Marilene is an expert teacher. As a person I know her to be passionate and social. Both towards the students as well as towards colleagues. These qualities come together in her language agency De Taalvraag. And this improves the education it offers. Students are very satisfied with Marilene as a teacher. And this will undoubtedly stay the same in the future! According to Blik op werk, the students review De Taalvraag with a 9+. As a language coach, I have seen from up close that this appreciation is correct and justified.
Theo de Taalvraag

Photo: Theo at work as a language coach