Language Center

Tilburg University is an internationally oriented research and education institute. The Language Center assists students, university staff, and non-university students in improving their language proficiency.

Intensive Course for the Dutch State Exam

Our intensive course for the Dutch State Exam consists of three consecutive courses in one year: a course for beginners, intermediate level students, and advanced level students. These courses prepare you for the Dutch State Exam, program II within a year. We also offer supplementary modules and courses for extra help.

Before you start the intensive courses, a teacher from the Language Center will do an intake interview with you, which may include a (written) test. Based on the outcome, we determine whether we offer the right course for you and which course you should start with. Do you have to learn Dutch because you are obliged to integrate? Then you are eligible to apply for a DUO loan to finance the intensive courses.

What do we expect from you?

Our language courses are not for everyone. As a university, we are geared to a target group with university degrees. We work at an accelerated rate and expect a great deal of independent effort from our students. It is also important that you are proficient in English and that your computer skills are up-to-date. You should also take into account that the course has a study load of 20 to 40 hours per week.

What can you expect from us?

You will be part of a fixed group of students with a maximum of 18 students per class. All our instructors have a university degree. They will help you look at your own learning process and provide tips and ideas to guide this process. Our classrooms are also optimally equipped for innovative language education. Every room is equipped with an interactive whiteboard to provide interactive language education. On each level, one of our teachers will function as your mentor. He or she will supervise your learning process and - if applicable- your process toward the integration exams.

The Courses

Dutch as a Second Language: Beginners

Three two-hour classes for 10 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours of self-study per week, 12 ECTS

This course allows you to rapidly acquire a solid basis of everyday Dutch based on texts from the Delft method that you will go through step-by-step. Grammar is also explained based on these texts. This allows you to develop a feel for the language instead of only a knowledge of the grammar rules.

The texts you read are discussed in class, through exercises and sometimes based on a student’s presentation. You also correct the texts yourself with the help of correction symbols and you will create your own vocabulary portfolio or diary in which you will record words that are relevant for your daily life. By the end of the course, you will have acquired a vocabulary of approx. 2300 Dutch words.

Once you have finished the course, you will be able to say what you do in your free time, report a birth at the municipality, report moving house or hold a conversation about learning a language. In addition, you will also have a basic knowledge of Dutch history and politics.

The Course is completed with oral and written exams. You will have reached level A2 of the Common European Reference Framework and be able to speak Dutch well enough to manage in day-to-day situations. After completing the course, you will be able to advance to the intermediate level course.

Dutch as a Second Language: Intermediate

Three two-hour classes for 10 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours of self-study per week, 12 ECTS

During this intensive course, you will continue to expand your knowledge of Dutch even more. You will improve your vocabulary (to approx. 4300 words) and increase your knowledge of grammar. To prepare for each class, you will study one or two texts that cover all aspects of life in the Netherlands. This allows you to practice the use of words, idioms and grammar.

You will give presentations on several topics. You will also write texts based on an outline and give one-minute speeches. Cultural subjects relevant for students are also dealt with, such as reporting moving house or applying for a job.

The course is completed with an oral and written exam. You will have reached the B1 level of the Common European Reference Framework. After completing the course, you will be able to continue to the upper-intermediate level course.

Dutch as a Second Language: Upper-Intermediate

Two three-hour lessons for 10 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours of self-study per week, 12 ECTS

During this course, you work from the B1 level to the B2 level. Using the book Nederlands op Niveau, you will work with texts, listening fragments, and do vocabulary and grammar exercises. In assignments called “Talenquests”, you will work in a group and look up information about various subjects and then present that information to the group. You will also write texts or record them on the computer based on an outline.

Dutch culture is an intricate part of the book. Subjects that are dealt with include Dutch customs and habits such as bike etiquette and sustainability and knowledge of Dutch history and politics. Special attention is paid to famous Dutch figures, both historical and contemporary, such as William of Orange I and the astronaut Wubbo Ockels.

After completing the course, you will be able to write a cover letter, describe shapes, hold discussions, and negotiate. The course is completed with an oral presentation and a written exam. You will have reached level B2 of the Common European Reference Framework; a language level that makes you eligible for higher education or a professional position at graduate level.

This course is a good preparation for the Dutch State Exam, program II. If you wish to take the exam, you can register for this at DUO. We advise you to consult your instructor on when you should take the Dutch State Exam while taking the course. It is possible to subscribe for an independent study package for the Dutch State Exam program II. Also, after completing the course, you can expand your knowledge of Dutch even more in an advanced course.

Dutch as a Second Language: Advanced B2+

Two three-hour lessons for 10 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours of independent study per week, 12 ECTS credits

In this course you will strengthen your B2 level. With the help of the book Nederlands naar Perfectie, you will work with texts, audio clips and vocabulary and grammar exercises. Attention is also paid to pronunciation and listening comprehension. The subjects, exercise materials, and assignments in this course are of an academic nature and, therefore, offer a good preparation for a study program at university level or a position at an academic level. That is why you will also be working on various academic language and study skills, such as presenting, summarizing, discussing, and writing an argumentative text. In this way, you will strengthen your language level at B2 and take the step from level B2 to C1.

This course is suitable for students who have passed the upper-intermediate course, but want to get their language level at an even higher level in order to be better prepared for the state examination NT2-II. You will then take the state examination NT2-II at the end of the course. The course is also suitable for students who have obtained their state examination NT2-II, but want to take their language skills to the next level and take a step towards C1.

Preparation State Examination NT2-II

This independent study package helps you prepare for the NT2-II State Examination. With the independent study package, using the university’s digital learning environment and books, you practice the strategies necessary for the State Examination. This means practicing the exam parts and skills that are important for you: reading, listening, speaking, and/or writing. By using practice questions from previous exams, you learn what exactly the exam looks like.

You practice at home at the computer or in the library, and you yourself decide when and how long to study. The teacher will give you feedback on your assignments. You will have three one-to-one meetings with the teacher: an interview in which your study goals are determined, a midterm evaluation and a final interview.

You can choose to take this module in addition to your NT2-upper intermediate course. You can also take this course if you have passed the NT2- upper intermediate course but you are not ready yet to take the State Examination. 

Fees and registration >>

Registration form >>  Registration is possible from 15 June 2018 to 21 March 2019


Module pronunciation

During this module, you will receive three in-class pronunciation lessons from one of the Language Center’s teachers. These lessons will show you the basic principles for correct pronunciation. You will also receive an individual consultation from a student speech therapist. During this consultation, the speech therapist will make an inventory of those aspects of your pronunciation that need improvement. This not only includes the pronunciation of difficult sounds, but also covers aspects such as rhythm, intonation, and breathing. You will be placed in a group of a maximum of three students based on the outcome of the consultation. Each group receives a weekly 30-minute training session under the guidance of the speech therapist. You will practice those parts of pronunciation that are important for you. This module starts twice a year, in August and in April, and is accessible from A2-level to B2-level.  

Mandatory intake

Intake for beginners

If you are an absolute beginner in Dutch, you are required to have a mandatory intake consultation with a teacher from the Language Center. The consultation takes approx. 20 minutes. During the intake consultation an assessment is made on whether you have sufficient skills to participate in the intensive courses. This includes previous education, your level of English, your time available for the course, and your computer skills.

Intake for intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced students

If you want to register for the intermediate, upper-intermediate or advanced course, you are required to take an intake test. This test consists of missing word texts and supplementary sentences. The test normally takes a maximum of an hour and a half. The test gives an indication of your level of the Dutch language. You will have a conversation with a teacher immediately after the intake test. The teacher determines whether the Language Center courses are suitable for you and at which level you can begin.


If you passed the Dutch State Exam, program I or II, or the TANG test at A2 or B1 level in the past twelve months, then you are exempted from the intake test and you can make an appointment for an intake consultation immediately. Please bring proof of your test results to the intake.


Register now! Intensive Courses Dutch as a Second Language will start again on 5 December 2018.

Blik op werk Language Center

Tilburg University Language Center is accredited with the ‘Blik op Werk’ approval mark. This means that you can follow our intensive courses Dutch as a Second Language with the aid of DUO-loan. Our courses will resume on 27 Augustus 2018. Please contact the Student Desk for more information.