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, a course for intermediate level students and a course for advanced level students. This courses prepare you for the Dutch State Exam, program II within a year. We also offer you supplementary modules in addition to the courses for extra help.

Before you start the intensive courses, a professional from the Language Center will conduct an intake consultation with you, which can include a test. Based on the outcome, we determine whether we can provide 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 request 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, French or German 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 should you expect from us?

You will receive 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 encourage 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.

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 acquire a solid basis of everyday Dutch rapidly 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 grammatical rules.

The texts you read are discussed in class, primarily based on 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 a move 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 survive day-to-day situations. After completing the course, you will be able to advance to the intermediate level course.

Course information>>

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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 increase your vocabulary (to approx. 4300 words) and increase your knowledge of the grammar. To prepare for each class, you will study one or two texts that cover all aspects of life in the Netherlands. This lets you practice using words, idioms and grammar.

In assignments called “Talenquests”, you will work in a group and look up information about various subjects and then present that information. 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 a move or applying for a job.

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

Course information>>

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Dutch as a Second Language Advanced

Two two-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 exercises about vocabulary and grammar. Talenquests are used just like in the intermediate course. You will also write texts or speak them into 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 astronaut Wubbo Ockels.

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

This course is a good preparation for the Dutch State Exam, program II. If you would like to take the exam, you can register for it at DUO. We advise you to discuss with your instructor when you should take the Dutch State Exam while taking the course. After completing the course, you can also expand your knowledge of Dutch even more in one of our very advanced courses.

Course information>>

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You have to coordinate many tasks at once if you want to learn Dutch and especially if you are obliged to integrate. We offer you extra modules if necessary to support you in the learning process that provide you with both an in-depth as well as a broader range of knowledge and skills.

Every module is accessible for all students in the intensive courses. In some cases, a module may be made mandatory. 

Module IT

If this is the first time you are taking a language course at Tilburg University Language Center, you will receive instructions before the start of the course on how to use Blackboard and our interactive software and access to the online method. If necessary, there is also extra help for students during the first week of the course.

Module Orientation Dutch Labor Market

If integration became mandatory for you as of January 1, 2015, then you are obliged to take the exam Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market. This module, which uses a book specifically for the task, prepares you for both the exam and your entrance into the Dutch labor market. You will have a one-hour class a week for nine weeks during which you will compile a portfolio. You can request an exam from DUO once you have completed the classes. The exam consists of an assessment of your portfolio and a final interview.

You can take this module while taking the Advanced Dutch as a Second Language course. Other interested parties are also welcome to attend this module, however, your level of Dutch must be at least B1 to be admitted. Please visit the website for additional information.

Module individual guidance during the course

During the course, you can receive extra support from a guidance tutor. You will receive one guidance tutor for as much as possible at the Language Center regardless of whether you take one, two or three courses. Support from a guidance tutor is required for students who finance their course with a DUO loan. 

The guidance tutor will hold an initial consultation with you where you will discuss your course contract and mutual expectations. During your courses, you will have several consultations (by appointment or during the consultation hour) with your guidance tutor where you will discuss your progress and you will be provided you with tips for further development: how to study, what are the logical next steps for you to take? You will receive advice for any subsequent courses at the end of the course. 

Module pronunciation

During this module, you will receive three classical pronunciation lessons from one of the Language Center’s experienced tutors. These lessons will show you the basic principles for correct pronunciation. You will also receive an individual consultation from a student speech therapist. During the consultation, the speech therapist will make an inventory of those aspects of your pronunciation that you still are able to improve. This 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 during these sessions.  

This module is suitable for levels A1 through B1.

Mandatory intake

Intake for beginners

If you are an absolute beginner in Dutch, you are required to have a mandatory intake consultation with a tutor from the Language Center. The consultation takes approx. 20 minutes. The intake consultation assesses whether you have sufficient skills to participate in the intensive courses. This includes previous education, your level of English, French or German, your time available for the course and your computer skills. If you would like to take the course with financial assistance from a DUO-loan, please bring proof of the financial assistance you received from DUO, which includes the amount you have received, to the intake consultation.  

Intake for intermediate and advanced students

If you would you like to register for the intermediate or advanced course, you are required to take an intake test. This test consists of missing word texts and supplementary sentences that you fill in on a computer. The test normally takes a maximum of an hour and a half. The computer provides an indication of your level of the Dutch language. You will have a conversation with a tutor immediately after the intake test. The tutor determines whether the Language Center is suitable for you and at which level you can begin.


If you have passed the Dutch State Exam, program I, 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 with you to the intake.