Language Program

The Dutch Language Program consists of the following courses:

Dutch 1 – Elementary Dutch
Prerequisites: None
In this beginners course, students will familiarize themselves with the basics of Dutch: its sounds and spelling, its grammatical structure, and its vocabulary. The class focuses on oral communication with an emphasis on vocabulary: learning words and learning how to use these words. By reading texts and dialogues (and listening to the audio version), students will build their vocabulary. In class they will get the opportunity to practice their newly learned words and phrases. By the end of the semester, students will be able to express themselves in speaking and in writing about a variety of topics, including introducing yourself, time, living, studying, traveling, and talking about present and past situations.
Fall semester

Dutch 2 – Elementary Dutch
Prerequisites: Dutch 1 or equivalent
Dutch 2 is a continuation of Dutch 1. Students’ knowledge of Dutch vocabulary and grammar will be expanded and put into practice. As in Dutch 1, the focus lies on further developing speaking and writing skills. Each week is dedicated to a theme, which forms the heart of the readings and discussions. Students will be able to engage in conversations in Dutch and write about various topics covered in class. Students will conclude this semester by giving a short presentation in Dutch.
Spring semester

Dutch 107 – The Structure of Modern Dutch
This is a basic linguistic course on the structural properties of modern Dutch, including phonetics and phonology, morphology, and syntax. Comparison is made with English and German in order to consider Dutch in contrast to other Germanic languages. Students observe the application of linguistic rules in forming the Dutch language to hallmark texts. They also learn the ability to critically analyze language data based on Dutch linguistic approaches.
Fall semester

Dutch 110 – Advanced Dutch
Prerequisites: Dutch 1 and 2 or equivalent
In this advanced Dutch language course, students will continue to build their vocabulary based on texts dealing with a variety of topics: the history, culture and society of Belgium and the Netherlands, current affairs and discussions, and literature and art. Class evolves around the reading and discussions of texts, and (newly) featured grammar will be discussed along the way. A lot of attention is paid to speaking skills and presentation skills. By the end of the semester, students will have developed their fluency in Dutch to the level of an advanced speaker.
Fall semester

Dutch 125 – Conversation and Composition
Prerequisites: Dutch 110 or equivalent
In this advanced language course we proceed with the patterns of Dutch 110, although instead of giving frequent presentations, the emphasis will now be placed on weekly writing assignments and intense conversation. Students will be introduced to different types of texts and will learn different styles and practices in writing. A reader with various reading materials (i.e. articles, book reviews, literature, scholarly pieces) will form the basis for the writings and conversations.
Spring semester

Dutch 100 – Dutch for Reading Knowledge
Prerequisites: None
This is a course designed for students, primarily graduate students, who want to be able to read Dutch for research purposes. The course is taught in English and targeted at students who have no knowledge of Dutch, however, students who wish to solidify their knowledge of Dutch grammar and their Dutch reading skills, are welcome to participate. By focusing on reading strategies and analyzing texts on sentence and word level, students will develop their reading and translation skills in Dutch. A lot of attention is paid to grammar, syntax and basic Dutch vocabulary. This course works with authentic texts (book reviews, newspaper articles, scholarly pieces). Students are welcome to bring in texts or topics for texts in their own field of study.
Spring semester

Dutch Studies students are encouraged to participate at the officially recognized international Dutch Language Proficiency Exam Certificaat Nederlands als vreemde taal.

Dutch Studies students who would like to practice their Dutch on the internet can contact the Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek in order to find a Dutch pen friend. Improve your Dutch by watching the daily news from the Netherlands or from Flanders.

Interested in Dutch? Curious how Dutch sounds? Wondering how difficult or easy it is? Perhaps you are thinking of studying Dutch? Then here is your opportunity to have a go at the language yourself and experience what it is like to learn Dutch from scratch. You can work through the pack all by yourself. No knowledge of Dutch is required.

The Dutch Studies language program welcomes people who do not have a formal admission to the University. People who do not have a formal admission to UC Berkeley and who would like to enroll in our Dutch language program, can do so through Concurrent Enrollment. For more information, please contact our Dutch language instructor Esmée van der Hoeven ( and check out the concurrent enrollment information on the UC Berkeley Extension website: