How to learn Dutch with a teacher (and using sentences)?

So you want to learn Dutch? We’ve been there too. This is how the Taalhammer project started.

We met in Amsterdam with an old friend of mine and we both wanted to learn Dutch. We had both learnt languages before, so we already had some good experience. This time, however, we experimented with some well-known memory-hacking techniques and a bit of software engineering. It all worked like a charm.

Collaboration tool

Language learning is 80% working solo and 20% working with your teacher. Taalhammer supports you in both. 

You can learn a lot with Taalhammer just on your own (there is a separate video on that), but we highly recommend finding a teacher. Teachers play a crucial role in the process of language learning. They talk with you, they correct your pronunciation, and most importantly they keep your motivation high.

When you begin, your teacher will create a collection for you. That collection will be a connection between your learning and your teacher. If you work with a private teacher, he or she will provide you with a link to your collection. Open it on your mobile or desktop, and subscribe by clicking the SUBSCRIBE button.

If you already have a teacher, then he/she probably already overwhelms you with PDF files, Google Docs, or chat messages. Taalhammer solves that problem for you.

Teachers can easily add more words and sentences to your learning stream. Taalhammer will make sure you learn them all in the most optimal way. That way everyone can focus on their task. You can focus on practice and repetitions.

A collection is a place where you store two types of content: 

  • chunks of language – all the things that you need to memorize and automate (i.e. words, phrases, and sentences).
  • all the other supporting material (i.e. links, texts, videos, comments and other notes).

During the lesson, you typically work with your teacher on the Taalhammer Board. The teacher simply needs to share their screen with you and start making notes on it. All language chunks from the lesson will be added to your learning and scheduled for repetitions.

Collection types

There are several types and sources of collections.

First you have Dutch core collections, which have carefully curated content optimized for building and strengthening speaking skills in the most fundamental part of the language. 

Second are the collections that come from your teachers. They will contain content from your classes, and they are much easier for you as you already have some context and emotional connection to their content. 

Lastly, we are continually adding topic collections (like “COVID-19” or “love and flirting), so you can expand your vocabulary and learn about things interesting for you.

Not only a collaboration tool

Taalhammer is not only a great collaboration tool.

Its true power comes from the combination of the collaboration features with what you’ll be learning and how.  Thanks to our algorithm, you can easily remember thousands of simple sentences. 

With each remembered sentence, your brain is coding patterns and saving language chunks.  Add questions and negations to the mix and you’ll be able to hold a conversation.  Change the tense/time to the future or the past, and more often than not you’ll know how to say something without knowing a grammar rule behind it, just like we all do in our native languages.

When looking for a collection, in our catalogue you can filter them by various attributes. If you are part of a language school that works with Taalhammer (like the Amsterdam-based Koentact), your teachers’ collections will be available on a filter named for your school.

If the content provided by your teacher is not enough, subscribe to one of our core or topic collections. Go to the collection catalogue and make sure your target language is set to Dutch. Now find a collection that corresponds to your level and subscribe to it.

Even if you’re on an intermediate level like B1 or B2, we recommend you go through the core collections. It will give you speed, fluency, and confidence in the most fundamental areas of the Dutch language.

Keep in mind that if you subscribe to multiple collections at the same time, the content served to you will be coming from all these collections. It may seem chaotic or without a context at times. If the content served to you is too easy or too hard, you can always change your subscribed collections.

In learning mode, if a word or a sentence seems to be strange or irrelevant, just click the trash icon and Taalhammer will never bother you with this content again.

Core Collections

So, what does learning with sentences in the core collection look like?

You will learn a few words and then we will teach you sentences with those words. While we increase the new words slowly and steadily, the number of sentences increases rapidly. The sentences are mostly variations of themselves: questions, answers, negations, etc. After around 200 hours spent on repetition, you’ll know 1000 words, 700 phrases, and 3300 sentences.

A good analogy to help you think about this is music. You can view words like musical notes. The various phrases and sentences you use can be viewed as musical scales. By practicing a small set of musical scales, you can open yourself up to playing a huge number of songs.

Why should you learn with whole sentences?

Take a look at those examples:

  • I go to the gym.
  • She goes to the gym.
  • She goes to the park.
  • She does not go to the park.
  • We went to the park.
  • We didn’t go to the park.
  • We didn’t go there.

You need to learn them by heart. It does not matter if you actually go to the gym or not. It’s popular enough to be worth learning. Not only because of the fact that many people do go to the gym and you’ll hear that quite often. It’s extremely important because it contains different forms of the verb “to go“, which is one of the most frequent and important verbs and we use it all the time. You constantly talk about going somewhere — in the past, now and in the future. If you want to communicate fluently you have to automate the usage of these verbs in conjunction with places and across tenses and persons.

This approach gives even more spectacular results with typical language troublemakers like temporal expression and conditional sentences.

  • She looks healthy.
  • She will look healthy.
  • If she goes to the gym, she will look healthy.
  • If she went to the gym regularly, she would look healthy.
  • If we went to the swimming pool regularly, we would look healthy.
  • When we were healthy, we were going to the swimming pool more.

Learning with sentences enables you to get a feeling for how to speak correctly. If you work that way, you will feel the progress week by week. The constant progress will be your motivation to keep going in your marathon.

Start learning Dutch now on taalhammer.com

Simple recipe to personalise your language learning

You learn 5 times faster and you remember forever if the content you are learning has a contextual or emotional load.

Yeah, we’ve all heard that but how do we actually do that? 

Well, we solve the problem for you. Use Taalhammer when you search for a meaning or a translation and it will include your search history in your repetitions. Have you found a nice word or interesting sentence on the web? Just paste it in Taalhammer. it will not only make you remember that forever but it’ll train you to use it, with speed and confidence, very soon.

Imagine you had a conversation and wanted to say “Let’s have a drink after work” and did not know how. Just start typing it here 

Taalhammer will search for some examples that you can click and save. You’ll see that You’ll quickly be able to say that sentence fluently. You can also translate your sentence by clicking here.

It’s a very good way of learning. By remembering the whole sentence you also learn the structure and the way of saying something. There is more to it, our Spaced Repetition algorithm trains you on that sentence so you can easily recall, say and even swap parts of the sentence fluently. This is how we create native-like language reflexes.

Just click Save and we’ll add pronunciation audio for you but more importantly, we’ll add it to your Spaced Repetition queue. 

You can always access it here in your active collection. You can also add images for even stronger memory stimulation. I encourage you to add a few example sentences as often as possible. 

For example, let’s add not only that but also “Are you coming for drinks after work?” 

That way you’ll quickly remember and be able to say a few things about a topic. Let’s add not only a question but also negation: “Are you not coming for drinks?

This will allow you to quickly automate things in a language like asking questions, negating, accepting, confirming something, etc.

You can easily create many variations of sentences by changing the person speaking or moving it to the future or in the past.

With few clicks you can add to your learning something like that:

Do you go for a run?

Will you go for a run?

Did he go to the gym?

We went to the gym yesterday.

They didn’t go anywhere today.

Learning statistics of our users show that our algorithms show an element only on certain days our brains usually need 45 days to master an element really well. 

People often think about remembering the whole sentence as something hard or laborious. Not true!

Write rather short sentences where you already know at least 80% of words. 

Don’t worry about the workload. Our Spaced Repetition algorithm called Atom will optimize repetitions.

This is a very powerful and natural way of learning a language.

Listening

Last but not least. You can hack your memory even further and train your ear by listening to everything you saved or learned from other collections in the listening mode.

This is hands free activity where you can listen to everything you’re learning.

Studies report that combining language learning and physical activities improve your ability to remember information by 25%

Thank you for watching and enjoy language learning with Taalhammer!

An easy way of improving your teaching with Taalhammer

Artificial intelligence won’t replace teachers

We believe that the teacher plays a crucial role in the process of language learning. We also believe, despite the popular opinion, that AI will not replace humans in teaching languages anytime soon. The current situation proves completely the opposite. We have an explosion of teachers and tutors offering their services via online marketplaces, Facebook or WhatsApp groups.

Why are we not getting the most out of lessons?

We conducted a survey among students and teachers asking them about the strengths and weaknesses of the relationships between them, as well as their ways of working. It turns out that the biggest problem, especially for students, was the lack of an easy way of repeating the content from classes in a digestible way. Students are overwhelmed by the quantity of notes, PDF files, and photocopies – let alone the chat messages.

While the majority of teachers do a terrific job of explaining language concepts, correcting pronunciation or finding examples of use, they fail on passing that content to students using repetition. Remember, the human brain needs to process information on average at least seven times before we really learn it.

Google Docs is not a tool for language learning

We have been there too – frustrated by the long lists of words and sentences shared in Google documents after online lessons, which are inconvenient and hard to repeat.

Because of the pandemic, we are seeing an even faster trend of moving language learning online. Combine that with the explosion of online teachers, tutors and platforms, and two questions arise:

  • How to stand out from the crowd
  • How to retain students.

Learners increasingly expect teachers and schools to incorporate modern and mobile tools into the learning process and provide a seamless learning experience between the online and offline worlds.

Many statistics show that slow progress increases the likelihood of leaving to find another school or tutor or method, or even of dropping language learning altogether.

And we fully understand why that is.

Isn’t it frustrating when you have to repeat the same things with your student over and over again? It’s even more frustrating for the student. Wouldn’t be great if they could retain things from classes? Well, it turns out there is a better way to do that.

That is why we built a tool that helps teachers and students and supports them in building a successful and long-lasting relationship.

Magic formula = spaced repetition + boards

We developed Taalhammer Atom – our version of the well-known “spaced repetition” algorithm. Then we combined it with a simple-to-use yet powerful virtual board, a place where teachers can put words, sentences, examples of use, texts, comments etc. – whatever they think is important during the lesson. Just like a regular whiteboard in the classroom.

The content you put on the board is added to students’ repetitions and Taalhammer will make sure they remember everything they need to know. It takes around 5–10 repetitions spread over 2–3 weeks to learn an item.

Supercharge your classes with boards

Do you have a new class or a new student? Create a new collection right here and share the link so students can subscribe to it. From that moment on, whatever content you add to this collection will instantaneously be available for all your students to learn from all devices, including their phones and desktops!

Two types of content: multimedia vs flashcards

While studying and working with teachers, we’ve realized there are two types of content:

  1. Chunks of the language – items that should be remembered and automated (words, phrases and sentences)
  2. Content supporting the learning process, i.e. texts, comments, names, videos, links etc.

This is how Taalhammer boards are designed. For all the supporting content, use the text elements – these will be available for reference. For the language chunks, use flashcards – these will be scheduled for repetitions by Taalhammer Atom. You can combine them however you want. Taalhammer will take care of the rest.

Let’s say you want to analyze a short text with your students. Let’s paste it here. While you work on it together, let’s add a few flashcards to the board with example sentences. Oh, and if somebody didn’t know that word? Let’s add it as a flashcard too. And maybe that one.

Now we click “Save.”

Note what happened here. Taalhammer not only saved the whole board for reference; it also created separate flashcards. From now on, it will be challenging the students with these words and sentences till they have memorized them. A few weeks later they’ll not only remember them, they will use these words and sentences without hesitation.

Always in sync with your students

The combination of boards and collections is very flexible and allows you to change the way you work with your students without extra work.

You can reuse existing boards, change them a little bit and share with different groups.

You can create templates with lexical or grammatical content upfront, share them with your class, and add even more examples during the lesson. It’s a very powerful method to help them remember even better!

Does your class or student want to discuss the conditional tense today? No problem. Choose the previously prepared board from your personal collection, set the students’ collection to active and press “Save.” The content has just been copied and your students can start learning right NOW!

Flexible homework

With Taalhammer boards and collections, it’s super easy to give your students homework. Because they have subscribed to the collection you shared with them, you can give them content to learn whenever you want. Just add more boards or flashcards to the collection.

The content will not only be immediately available to your students but more importantly Taalhammer will make sure they learn it by challenging them as often as needed, whether they use it on their mobile devices or their desktop.

Quickly catch up after absence

This way of working comes to the rescue for students who have missed a few group classes. Coming back from a break and catching up can be a really daunting task. Not with Taalhammer boards! During their absence, all the content has been organized and automatically scheduled for your students. It is almost like they never missed a class – without any special effort needed from the teacher.

Start using today on www.taalhammer.com

How to learn a language with Taalhammer

Hi everyone and welcome to this short demo about how to learn a language with taalhammer.

You always learn with questions and answers. Research has shown that learning in this way stimulates your memory so you remember more and faster. This helps to learn the language very effectively. Each question and answer pair we call a flashcard.

But in Taalhammer, you are not just learning a random list of words. You are learning a carefully selected content that consists of the most frequently spoken words, as well as simple phrases and sentences that illustrate how to combine those words. 

After showing the answer you give feedback to yourself.  For example:

  • She is the best. … Ze is de beste. … EASY … NEXT
  • Are they the best? … Ze ziiiiijn de beste … Zijn ze de beste? … ALMOST .. NEXT
  • She makes good decisions. … yhmmm … I don’t know … Ze neemt goede beslissingen. … DIFFICULT

Based on your feedback the ATOM algorithm precisely calculates the date of the next repetition. This algorithm was designed to facilitate the transfer of elements from short term memory to long term memory.    

All the flashcards scored DIFFICULT or ALMOST end up in a DRILL queue.  In the DRILL you will repeat those flashcards again and again, for as long as you need — so that you can finally answer EASY to all of them. Answering EASY to all the flashcards will finish the DRILL. Those flashcards will become much easier for you on the next repetition. Although it is not mandatory, we recommend you to finish the DRILL at the end of each learning session. It gives your memory an extra boost!

But there is more to it! Learning that way you’re not actually memorising sentences though, you’re memorising patterns!

What you learn consists mostly of words that you have previously learned. That way you don’t focus on the meaning of words, but how to arrange them in a sentence. So you are never bored nor overwhelmed. You are always challenged to stay motivated and keep going!

Successful learning also means planning your work and keeping track of your progress. Know how many flashcards are scheduled for today, how many for tomorrow and how many you have learned in total.

If you want to go through the same material again on a given day, go to the listening mode where you can listen to all the flashcards that you have previously seen.

So how to start learning?

Go to the languages RIGHT HERE.

You start in the core collections. These are our featured collections carefully prepared by our team.

You can choose the language you want to learn right HERE. Note that we do not offer all languages on that list yet.

You can also search directly RIGHT HERE, for example for “beginners” if this is the level you are looking for.

Now click the green SUBSCRIBE button, and the collection will be added to your LEARNING STREAM. You can see it right here, it contains all collections that you will be learning in the LEARN mode. You can always come back here and UNSUBSCRIBE, if you want to stop learning a particular collection.

You can also search for collections shared by the users within our community, or, if you are part of a language school that works with taalhammer, like Koentact, you find their internal collections right here.

In this demo, you have learned how to learn using questions and answers, what is a drill and how to plan your learning.

See you in the next demos!

What is Taalhammer?

Did you know that more than 80% of language students fail in reaching conversational fluency?

Are you one of that 80%? I was.

Why is that?

When you want to have conversations and interact with people, you need to use sentences. However, in the current language learning methods, online and offline, teachers and applications, there is no focus on training full sentences.

There is a better way to learn a language!

Train the language with taalhammer!

  • You will gain confidence by using full sentences
  • You’ll understand 75% of the things you hear in the new language, including movies
  • You will engage in social situations, like asking someone out.

How do we do that?

Using advanced statistics we have carefully selected 1270 most commonly spoken words and we combined them into 4000 simple sentences. We call them CORE COLLECTIONS. These collections will help you to speak with confidence, to use phrases and full sentences. You’ll learn a lot more than the meaning of words!

What do you need to do?

You need to learn the collection! Our advanced ALGORITHM called ATOM will optimise your repetitions by serving the right content at the right time. This will reduce learning time and increase retention, so you will speak in less than no time. 

Good luck!

Jak nauczyć się języka za pomocą Taalhammer’a?

Witam wszystkich na tym krótkim demo o tym, jak nauczyć się języka za pomocą taalhammera.

Uczysz się zawsze na zasadzie pytanie, odpowiedź, pytanie odpowiedź. Badania wykazały, że nauka w ten sposób stymuluje Twoją pamięć, dzięki czemu zapamiętujesz więcej i szybciej. Bardzo to pomaga w efektywnej nauce języka. Każdą parę pytanie, odpowiedź nazywamy flashcardem lub fiszką.

Ale w aplikacji Taalhammer, nie uczysz się tylko losowej listy słów. Uczysz się starannie dobranej treści składającej się z najczęściej występujących słów i prostych zwrotów ale przede wszystkim wielu prostych zdań, które ilustrują jak połączyć te słowa. 

Potrzebujesz skutecznego narzędzia do wkuwania języka? Tak się składa, że mamy bardzo sprytny młotek. 🙂 Sprawdź jak się uczyć i szybko osiągać rezultaty.

Po wyświetleniu odpowiedzi oceniasz sam siebie. Na przykład:

  • Ona jest najlepsza. … She is the best. … Łatwe
  • Czy oni są najlepsi? …  Are we the best? … Are they the best? … Prawie 
  • Ona podejmuje dobre decyzje. … yhmmm … Nie wiem … She makes good decisions. … Trudne

W oparciu o Twoją ocenę nasz algorytm zwany Atom precyzyjnie oblicza datę następnej powtórki. Algorytm ten został zaprojektowany tak aby ułatwić przenoszenie elementów z pamięci krótkotrwałej do pamięci długotrwałej.  

Wszystkie fiszki, na które odpowiedziałeś “trudne” lub “prawie”, trafiają do kolejki Drill.  W Drill’u będziesz powtarzał te fiszki tak długo, jak będziesz tego potrzebował – abyś mógł w końcu odpowiedzieć na nie wszystkie “łatwe”. Drill skończy się w momencie jak odpowiesz “łatwe” na wszystkie fiszki. Te fiszki staną się dla Ciebie o wiele łatwiejsze przy następnych powtórkach. Mimo, że nie jest to obowiązkowe, zalecamy, aby zawsze opróżniać kolejkę Drill na koniec każdej sesji. Daje to silnego kopniaka twojej pamięci!

Warto podkreślić, że ucząc się w ten sposób zapamiętujesz nie tylko całe zdania ale przede wszystkim trenujesz i zapamiętujesz wzorce i schematy.

To, czego się uczysz, składa się głównie ze słów, których nauczyłeś się wcześniej. W ten sposób nie skupiasz się na znaczeniu słów, ale na tym, jak ułożyć je w jedno zdanie. Dzięki temu się nie czujesz ani znudzony ani przytłoczony. Drobne wyzwania i sukcesy utrzymują Twoją motywację.

Skuteczna nauka wymaga dobrego planowania i śledzenia postępów. W statystyce zobaczysz ile fiszek masz zaplanowanych na dzisiaj, ile na jutro i ile nauczyłeś się do tej pory.

Jeśli chcesz w danym dniu ponownie przejść przez ten sam materiał, przejdź do trybu słuchania, w którym możesz odsłuchać wszystkie fiszki, które wcześniej widziałeś.

Jak więc zacząć się uczyć?

Kliknij na Języki.

Na początku widzisz kolekcje Core’owe. Są to nasze promowane kolekcje starannie przygotowane przez nasz zespół. 

Możesz wybrać język, którego chcesz się uczyć. Zauważ, że nie oferujemy jeszcze wszystkich języków z tej listy.

Możesz również po prostu wyszukać jakąś kolekcję np. dla początkujących, jeżeli jest poziom który Cię interesuje.

Teraz kliknij na zielony przycisk Zapisz się, a kolekcja zostanie dodana do Twojego Strumienia nauki. Możesz go zobaczyć tutaj, zawiera on wszystkie kolekcje, z których będziesz się uczyć w trybie nauki. Zawsze możesz tu wrócić i wypisać się, jeśli chcesz przestać uczyć się konkretnej kolekcji.

Możesz również wyszukiwać kolekcje udostępniane przez użytkowników w naszego community.

W tym demo dowiedziałeś się, jak uczyć się za pomocą pytań i odpowiedzi, co to jest Drill i jak planować swoją naukę.

Do zobaczenia w następnym demo!

Co to jest Taalhammer?

Czy wiesz, że ponad 80% uczących się języka obcego nigdy nie osiąga biegłości w mówieniu?

Czy jesteś w tych 80%? Ja kiedyś byłem.

Dlaczego tak się dzieje?

Kiedy chcesz prowadzić rozmowy i wchodzić w interakcje z ludźmi, musisz używać zdań. Natomiast obecne metody nauki języków obcych, zarówno tradycyjne jak i te nowoczesne, a także nauczyciele i aplikacje, nie koncentrują się na nauce i trenowaniu całych zdań.

Na czym polega przewaga Taalhammer’a w nauce języków obcych i czemu jest tak bardzo skuteczny?

Znam lepszy sposób nauki języka!

Trenuj język z taalhammerem!

  • Nabierzesz pewności siebie operując całymi zdaniami
  • Będziesz w stanie zrozumieć ze słuchu 75% treści, np filmy w języku obcym
  • Będziesz mógł udzielać się towarzysko. Kto wie, może nawet poznasz swoją drugą połówkę w ten sposób?

Jak to robimy?

Przy pomocy zaawansowanych metod statystycznych, wybraliśmy 1270 najczęściej używanych słów i starannie połączyliśmy je w 4000 prostych zdań. Kolekcje te nazywamy KOLEKCJAMI CORE’owymi. Dzięki nim wyćwiczysz się nie tylko w rozumieniu słów, ale przede wszystkim w mówieniu za pomocą zwrotów i pełnych zdań.

Co należy do Ciebie?

Musisz tylko przerobić te kolekcje! Nasz zaawansowany algorytm zwany Taalhammer Atom precyzyjnie wyliczy datę kiedy powinien zapytać Cię o dane słówko czy zdanie. Skraca to czas nauki i poprawia zapamiętywanie. Zaczniesz mówić, zanim się spostrzeżesz, 

Powodzenia!