After I have completed a course, can I move on to the next level automatically?
The certificate you will receive from us at the end of your course does indeed entitle you to move on to the next course, provided the period between the two courses is no longer than six months. To receive a certificate you need to have attended at least 80% of the classes and to have passed the final test. If more than six months has elapsed between the two courses we may ask you to take another intake test.
Am I entitled to an alumni discount?
Can I go on from your course to a University degree course?
To see whether our course prepares you for your desired course of study, you need to know what the entrance level is. We have courses that prepare students for the Staatsexamen NT2 (Dutch) and the Cambridge First Certificate (English), and we offer tailor-made one-on-one courses to prepare students e.g. for the IELTS or TOEFL test, which a lot of foreign universities require for admission. For more information please contact us.
Can I have a receipt?
Can I order my textbooks before the course starts?
Can UvA Talen help me obtain a visa?
As an independent language institute, UvA Talen is unfortunately not able to help with visa procedures. We regret we are also unable to assist students to find accommodation in Amsterdam.
Do you have special courses for foreign students?
UvA Talen offers various types of language course, including one on academic writing. We do not provide special courses for foreign students, but our group and one-on-one courses are of course suitable. Don't hesitate to ask us for an individual recommendation. For more information on modules and studying at the Universiteit van Amsterdam go to www.uva.nl.
Do you offer any daytime courses?
Do you offer courses that last four months or longer?
UvA Talen offers intensive courses lasting two, three or four weeks and eight or ten-week courses. You can take a series of courses so as to improve the level of your language skills step by step. If you opt for a business or one-on-one course, you can decide how long you want it to be.
Does UvA Talen organise any courses outside Amsterdam?
How can I find out my proficiency level?
If you have enroled on a course you will have been sent an enrolment confirmation with information on the intake procedure. For most courses (unless you are an absolute beginner, of course) we need to establish your language proficiency level first. The intake procedure consists of a written and/or oral test. For Dutch, English, French and Spanish you can do the written test on-line (on this web site): we will send you a password to enable you to log in. In the case of a writing course you will be invited to send us a written text. Finally we shall invite you to contact us to make an appointment for the oral test: this is a short, informal conversation with a teacher, lasting about ten minutes, which can be conducted by telephone.
How do I enrol for a course?
How do I enrol from abroad, and how do I pay for the course?
How much private study will I be expected to do?
Depending on the type of course you are taking, the teacher will give you a quantity of homework at each lesson. On average you can assume you will need to spend at least as much time on private study as in class. Experience shows that the more time you invest in private study, the more you get out of the course.
I missed a class in an open-enrolment course. What should I do now?
We regret that you cannot make up a class if you have missed one. You can, however, call or e-mail our office on or after the next working day to find out what was dealt with in the lesson and what the homework for the next one is, so that you do not fall behind. Note that you are only entitled to a certificate of successful completion if you have attended at least 80% of the classes.
Is it a good idea to take more than one course at the same time?
Is it possible to change the times and/or dates of the classes?
What do the levels (A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1) mean?
To identify language proficiency levels, UvA Talen uses an international standard known as the Common European Framework of Reference. This means that you always know what language level your course provides. The level will also be stated on your certificate. Below is an overview of the skills required for each level. You can also find detailed descriptions on the Council of Europe web site.
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
What is included in the course price?
Our course fees do not include teaching material, which can comprise standard textbooks as well as readers that we have developed exclusively for our courses. Many teaching methods include audio material and/or a CD-ROM. The cost of the material differs from one course (and level) to another. We make sure that the material is ordered and handed out on time. We do not charge a surcharge over the normal retail price.
What is the difference between language courses at UvA Talen and those of other language schools?
At UvA Talen we focus on your individual needs, helping you to achieve your desired language level. Our teachers and staff will do everything in their power to make your course as pleasant as possible. UvA Talen is affiliated to the Universiteit van Amsterdam, guaranteeing you a high level of quality and professionalism
What is the relationship between UvA Talen and the University of Amsterdam?
Where are the classes held?
Where can I find my classroom?
Who will be teaching my course? Will my teacher be a native speaker?
UvA Talen employs reliable, expert teachers and guarantees the quality of all its teaching staff. It is impossible to generalize about them, however, as they come from widely differing backgrounds. Most of them will have taken a special teacher training course, but - strange as it may seem - there is no training course specifically for teachers of well-educated adults. This is why we consider practical experience to be particularly important. All of our teachers have extensive experience of teaching adults. The question that springs to mind next is whether a native speaker is always best. We would answer ‘not necessarily'. A French teacher of Dutch origin, for example, has the advantage that he or she learned French as a foreign language and is thus in an ideal position to understand the student's problems. A native speaker does not have this advantage but may have other qualities that make up for it. On the other hand, a native speaker has an obvious advantage in that he or she commands all the fine points of his or her mother tongue. Again, while a non-native speaker does not have this advantage, he or she can make up for it in other ways. We would add that we only employ teachers who meet our exacting standards.
Will I get a certificate at the end ofthe course?
If you have attended 80% of the classes and passed the final test you will receive a certificate of successful completion.
Will the course I am enroling in definitely take place?
As a rule every course that is planned takes place, but it can happen that there is too little interest to start a course at a particular level at a particular time. We require a minimum of six students for a class and allow a maximum of twelve. If there are not enough students we shall contact you as soon as possible. Initially we shall offer you an alternative arrangement to enable the course to take place. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the course, any course fees you have already paid will of course be refunded. If there is a lot of interest we may have to put you on a waiting list, in which case we shall inform you immediately, so that you know where you stand.