As we discussed in our last article on tackling Inburgering exams, people coming from non-EU countries require taking the Inburgeringsexam (Civic Integration Exam), if they want to obtain Dutch citizenship or even a Dutch resident permit.
Of course, you can also take the Staatsexamen NT2 (State level exam Dutch as a second language) in either level 1 or level 2. By taking this exam, you prove that you have adequate knowledge of the Dutch language.
Tips to tackle the Luistervaardigheid (Listening)
As you know, the required level of language competency for all exams this year is A2. Listening (A2 level) means you’re able to understand simple phrases and words used in day-to-day basic conversation. Think about going to the local supermarket area, shopping mall, or post office! At the A2 level, you are expected to understand the main points in a basic discussion, short audios, simple messages, and conversation. The audio clips mainly deal with daily life topics like introducing someone, getting directions, celebrating a birthday party, etc. Please note: You’re not expected to be completely fluent! And in addition to developing our Reading and writing skills, it is very important to develop our Listening skills when we’re learning a foreign language.
Information about the Listening exam
You usually watch a small video clipping. The duration of the clippings is between 50 seconds to over a minute. The listening exam is a computer-based exam lasting for 45 minutes. You watch small films where you’ll two people (or more) talking and then you listen to spoken texts. Each film has several questions, and they have multiple choice answers. The student needs to click on the correct answer.
Tips to tackle this exam
Of course, you must be able to understand basic Dutch! It helps to listen to the audios (there are plenty available on the Internet, and through books.) and practice the questions. It is super useful to practice from the site of DUO.
Another great way to improve your listening skill is to practice active listening. I also recommend my students listen to very basic level Dutch audiobooks. Listening to Dutch radio and television series is a big help if you can find time to pursue that. You can start by watching children’s series, and cartoons in Dutch. (Check out ZappBios) In the beginning, you may take the help of the subtitles. This will not only help you improve your basic vocabulary, but will also teach you the correct pronunciation. Many students have difficulties with the pronunciation of Dutch words. Remember that knowing the correct pronunciation helps you to improve your listening skills, too!
Listening to audios
You may listen to an audio clip and try to write down what you understood from the clipping. Your Dutch teacher may help you by going through your write-up! I strongly recommend listening to the native speakers as much as possible. Well, it might sound daunting at first, but with regular practice, you’ll surely improve your skills. I also recommend my students to engage in ten minutes of active listening every day. If you can do this consistently by incorporating it into your daily routine, you’ll soon see the improvement!
Next week: How to tackle the KNM (Kennis van de Nederlandse Maatschappij) Knowledge of Dutch society paper
An article by Chaitali Sengupta. She is the founder of the language institute ON-POINT COMMUNICATIONS and gives online Inburgeringsclasses.