Rotterdam offers free online language education

The municipality of Rotterdam offers low-literate people the opportunity to improve their language skills during corona. It concerns Rotterdammers who have Dutch as their first language and Rotterdammers who learned Dutch at a later age.

For many people, the daily routine is reading the corona measures or participate in digital meetings. But not for the 90,000 Rotterdammers who have difficulty reading and writing.


The language schools offer the lessons for free and now often online. “Many students have to cross a threshold first”, says language teacher Arno van Alsare. “But once they do, they are enthusiastic. It also offers structure and distraction when you spend a lot of time at home.” Language lessons also focus on digital skills. Many digital language lessons are given via smartphone. The language providers help students with smartphone, but participants still receive normal books and aids from some groups.

“At first I thought it was a bit weird. I had never taken a course from home before. But it was not too bad. The lessons are fun and I can concentrate better at home”, said Joseline, the language student who has been taking language lessons since March.