My name is Bertho Smit. I’m a qualified Dutch and English teacher with decades of experience teaching a wide range of levels, from basic to highly educated, from inburgering-lessons to lessons for expats.
Leiden, my city
Leiden is a beautiful, fun and thriving city. There’s a good atmosphere (or as we say in Dutch – gezellig), a historic centre and a friendly population. I’ve been living in Leiden for many years and I’m proud to call it my hometown. I know many people and places and, in the course of Dutch learning, can introduce both to my students.
Learning Dutch is a mindset
I work at language-schools in Leiden and do private lessons at home. A nice combination. Besides the methods/books I use, I also create my own material for the lessons. My view on language-learning: learning a language is much more than studying grammar rules and doing exercises; the most important factor is that students dare to make mistakes, dare to take a risk. In other words: have a lot of language-contacts with Dutch people, watch tv and listen to the radio. Talk to your neighbours, they might not be as boring as you thought.. Go for it! Neither your talent nor your intelligence will do it for you; your mindset will be your most important asset.
(Picture: Irma Booij)
I love to spend time in my town. Leiden will never stop surprising me. I enjoy the historical atmosphere, walking along the grachten, the cultural life and the restaurants. On Saturday nights, you’ll often find me at the 5 Meihal. That´s where ZZ Leiden, the local basketball heroes play their homegames. Outside Leiden I´m especially fond of the beaches around Katwijk and Noordwijk, our flatlands and the peace and quiet of the Waddeneilanden.