Professional Dutch: Better communication in the workplace is something you can learn
Sonia Trabelsi works for the Belgian federal police as an analyst and geomatics engineer. After taking a Professional Dutch course at CVO Semper last year, she shares her experience of improving her language skills at the Brussels adult education centre that has branches across the city.
Why did you enrol in a Professional Dutch course and what language skills did you need to improve?
I enrolled in Professional Dutch to improve my formal and work-related vocabulary. My goal and expectation was to become more confident at work when my colleagues or clients talk to me in Dutch. I was looking for a friendly environment where I could try, fail and then try again.
What are the concrete situations where you can put this knowledge into practice?
I use my new knowledge in my daily work. I receive mails in Dutch almost every day and I often have meetings with colleagues and clients in Dutch. From now on, I will not only understand what is being said, but I will also be able to respond in Dutch.
Do you feel more confident about making presentations at work?
I have not yet had to deliver a presentation in Dutch at work, but thanks to the exercises we did during the course, I now feel more confident about giving a short talk in front of my colleagues.
What was the most interesting thing about the course and were there any specific words or concepts you discovered?
We studied different topics and dealt with various situations, which we would really encounter in our professional life. For me, the word 'uitdaging' (challenge) is not only an important and beautiful word, but it also fully expresses what learning a new language and using it in daily life entails. Working and studying is definitely a challenge but it is also a very rewarding experience.
Did you follow the @home (online) course or the @class one? Should the course have been longer or shorter?
I took the @class course. It was very well structured and organised. I think a three-hour class per week is enough for the language practice and you still have enough time to do homework during the week.
Would you recommend this course? Why and to whom?
I would recommend the course to anyone who already has a good everyday knowledge of Dutch and wants to feel more confident and more at home at their workplace.
All info about our company courses
Are you looking for a language course to improve your ability to express yourself at work? Choose one of our business-oriented language courses - professional German - professional English - professional French - professional Dutch
In these language courses, you will mainly practise skills needed in a business setting: making summaries and presentations, meeting techniques - but also 'water cooler talk' (or rather 'coffee machine talk'...?) An ideal opportunity to break through the language barrier at your workplace and give your self-confidence a boost at the same time!
You can take these courses in the classroom, but also @home.
Are you in the mood to start learning a language but still have some questions? Go ahead and participate in one of our online info sessions via Zoom on 6/9/2022.