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Communication training Academic Communication Skills Manual

Manual for Academic Communication Skills

(this manual is only available in Dutch)

'If it takes a village to educate a child, it certainly takes a university to educate a writer'
E. Maimon in: S.H. Mcleod e.a. 2001, p. viii

Improving academic skills in students and lecturers

The Handboek Academische Communicatieve Vaardigheden (HACV; Manual for Academic Communication Skills), formerly known as Noordster, provides Dutch language support for lecturers and students in higher education.


For students the HACV contains a great number of handouts with recommendations and guidelines on how to approach writing assignments and other communicative tasks in Dutch, such as holding a presentation or interview, writing strategies and making reference to sources.


Lecturers are offered tools for training students in the field of Dutch communication skills as well as ideas and suggestions for integrating assignments in their subject teaching.

Didactic support

  • The HACV focuses on functional and realistic exercises in academic skills, which means that communication teaching is linked to subject teaching as much as possible.
  • Didactic support is thus aimed primarily at subject teachers with little or no background in teaching writing and communication skills. See Didactische aanbevelingen [Didactic recommendations] for a justification of the approach to subject-integrated communications teaching.
  • The HACV has become very popular among users both within and outside the University of Groningen, with lecturers drawing their students’ attention to the website and including the material in their own syllabi.

Development and maintenance

The idea for and the first edition of the HACV were created at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen during the Kwaliteit en Studeerbaarheidsproject Academische Schrijfvaardigheid [Quality and feasibility project for academic writing skills] (1997-1999). The initiative was then further developed within the framework of collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, financed by the University of Groningen Central Policy Fund (2000-2006).

The reason behind these projects was a growing concern about the general level of Dutch communication skills in graduates.

The website is currently maintained by the Language Centre (in collaboration with the Language Proficiency chair group) of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen.

Last modified:17 March 2023 09.03 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands