Are your kids in the international school system but you still want them to participate - to some extent- in Dutch society? Then you may want to think about this fun after school activity in Dutch for your children. Have a look at the interview with Arian and Jeannet, two of our teaching professionals who are happy to shed some light on the activities and methodologies they use in the Dutch Kids Club.
- What does a Kidsclub session look like? How many children are attending?
We have groups between 6 and 8.
We come in, talk about new vocabulary after listening to a story or a radio show. We may sing a song based on the new vocabulary or we play a game practicing the new vocabulary we have just learned. At the end of the class, we usually make a drawing or do some arts and crafts. We also use bewegend leren/ learning through movement.
- Why do you enjoy teaching the young children attending the kids club?
Because we are having fun.
We can see that the children enjoy what they are doing. In a playful way, they learn! We can see that the children make progress and start talking in Dutch.
- Why do you think it is important for children to attend the Kids Club? What do they gain?
As they live in the Netherlands, they hear Dutch around them. They may recognise things in daily life. They may also have some Dutch at school. I can tell by looking at their faces they are incredibly proud when they actually speak Dutch.
- What are the tools you use to work with?
We use storybooks, songs, very colourful imaginative images, all kinds of games, interactive speaking images with built in assignments such as searching for objects on the image, hand puppets, a special system using a pen and interactive images with a functionality of vocabulary and phrases being described out loud. Dutch School TV is a great source as well. The hand puppets or some speaking animals are always a big success.
The most important thing is to prevent them from speaking English; I use the hand puppets to remind them of that. The hand puppets are too shy to appear when they speak English. They will only come to class when you speak Dutch!!
- What do the kids like the most? What works best?
The children were most thrilled during the Sinterklaas lesson when we used pepernoten as tokens when playing Bingo. Generally speaking, they like the stage when they put what they learned into practice the best; such as singing the songs that they spent time learning.
- What activities are the best for the different age groups?
Playing games seems to be the most effective form as you talk all the time and you use the Dutch language to communicate. All the children stay involved and active.
- Can you differentiate the course material for the different language and age levels in your class? How do you go about it?
Each lesson has activities that are suited to the different age groups. It is sometimes very surprising that the older ones like to participate in the activities of the younger ones and the other way round. You have to be very flexible; you always need to have something extra with you to cater to different needs and different abilities. You can use the same theme at different levels. For beginners, you use more repetition and you make them repeat the new vocabulary. You can vary the way you are asking questions. You can pose open or closed questions. You can ask the same type of question in different ways. You look at their ability and you take into account whether the child is young or old, shy or outgoing, a beginner or more experienced with Dutch. For older children who have more knowledge, you can use more open questions.
- Is there also homework?
We have some resources on KickstartNet and we also have online games based on the themes of the Kids Club. These games are to reinforce the vocabulary taught during the classes. The three themes in the first part of the Kids Club until the end of 2021 are Getting aquainted, Sport and games and Festivities. The themes for next year are Nature- Outside, Eating and Drinking and Body and Health.