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Online training courses at the Language Centre - this is how it works

The Language Centre will continue to provide all of its training courses and workshops for the forthcoming period online. We were giving training courses online before the COVID-19 outbreak, so the feedback that customers gave us during the pandemic has enabled us to expand and consolidate our knowledge and expertise in online teaching even further. We have now established a completely new online structure for our training courses.

Read on to discover what an online language course, workshop or tailor-made training course from the Language Centre has to offer you!

How does online teaching work?

For the foreseeable future, our online classroom will be Blackboard Collaborate, an expansive, safe programme that has been fully integrated into the UG’s online learning environment.

Blackboard Collaborate gives you the option of video calling and chatting at the same time, and you can share documents with the group. The teacher can also share their screen to explain something, and you can work on assignments and exercises in smaller groups, so that we can use different interactive modes of instruction.

Participants’ experiences with Blackboard Collaborate

I really enjoyed the online classes. The teacher had a lot of knowledge on how to use Collaborate well with breakout groups and such. Personally, due to the starting time of the lesson I prefer having it at home instead of in the classroom and it was just as informative. I'd be happy if this was a permanent option given by the Language Centre.

It was almost as if we were in the real classroom.

Online doesn’t mean alone!

Online teaching doesn’t mean that you will be leaning alone, as we create an online community. During the course, you will receive plenty of personal attention from the teacher, you will work alongside other participants and everything revolves around group instruction. The emphasis during the lessons is on interaction with the other participants.

We have chosen the best tools for our training courses from the UG’s wide range of online tools. There are tools for splitting a class into smaller groups, for providing feedback and for recording and sending short presentations. We use these tools to allow our online communities to take shape in an informal, interactive way.

What you need

To join the lessons, you need a desktop or laptop with a good internet connection. You also need a webcam and a microphone. You do not have to download any software in order to join the course. Please remember to buy the required course material if this is indicated on the course page.

What to expect from an online language course

Our online language lessons last 90 minutes. We have learned from experience that this is the optimum length for an online lesson. The teacher will also offer various options for online exercises and there will be time for individual feedback and personal coaching.

The courses have a clear structure, which is shown in Nestor, the UG’s prolific online learning environment. There you will find a course planner, online tests, and written and spoken assignments. They include feedback and tips to improve your language proficiency outside the lessons.

We employ the Flipping the classroom principle: during the two to three hours set aside for self-study, you are expected to prepare for your lessons by watching the grammar and pronunciation videos we have developed, by doing individual and duo-assignments, reading texts, watching videos, revising vocabulary and taking online tests. This leaves time during the lessons for doing exercises, practising your spoken language skills and interactive learning with fellow-participants. You will work in small groups during the lessons, making it easy to work on assignments together and giving you plenty of opportunity to practise speaking the language.

Online Dutch

The Online Dutch courses are designed differently from all the other language courses that went online because of the coronavirus pandemic. The emphasis in the Online Dutch courses is on self-study. Participants taking Online Dutch are expected to spend eight to ten hours per week on self-study. In addition, three interactive group sessions with the teacher and your fellow-participants will be planned. These sessions will be planned in a way that enables course participants from all over the world to join in.

In this comparison grid, you can see the exact differences between our interactive online group courses and our Online Dutch courses.

What are the possibilities for tailor-made training courses?

We can also provide tailor-made training courses. We decide how the course should be taught in consultation with our customers; fully online, in a hybrid form or on location. The latter option is usually only possible if the customer can provide their own suitable location. Due to restrictions laid down by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), not all of the UG buildings are currently accessible.

We do, however, have access to the UG’s range of high-quality online tools. We use these tools for our online group training courses, but we are also free to use them for tailor-made courses. In this way, we can provide the facilities that suit you best, either on location or remotely. After an intake, we will send you an offer based on your needs and requirements.

If you are interested, sign up here for an online intake without any obligation.

If you have any more questions, please contact us at languagecentre rug.nl.

We hope to see you soon in the online classroom!

Last modified:03 July 2020 4.26 p.m.
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