Text : Henk Roozeboom, Utrecht

Juliette van der Knijff founded Taalles in 1993. Frank Peters joined a few years later. Both are qualified teachers of Dutch who have specialised in Dutch as a Second Language since the 1980s. Since 1994 they have worked as examiners for the Staatsexamen ‘Nederlands als Tweede Taal’.

Beginning with providing lessons in Dutch for asylum-seekers, they moved via private language institutes into mainstream education, particularly Adult Education and Vocational Training. They have taken part in many diverse projects for non-native speakers, such as link-programmes with Higher Education, vocationally orientated NT2 training and business courses. This has given them a wealth of experience in study management, familiarisation with Dutch culture, and the development of appropriate lesson materials. The educational level of students has ranged from semi-illiterate to post-university.

In choosing to commit themselves to Taalles they are opting for a small scale, independent working environment, where there is room for creativity and where they, in direct consultation with employers and students, decide the content of the course.