Nederlands als tweede taal
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The Free University of Amsterdam offers refugees preparing for university in the Netherlands a special course called the Preparatory Year for Refugee Students (VJV). The aim of this course is twofold:- to upgrade the proficiency in Dutch and English and in some subjects (mainly mathematics) and to provide them with the study skills necessary for Dutch university;- to make them familiar with Dutch society in general and Dutch universities in particular.In this article an attempt is made to develop a method which can help teachers to acquire some insight into the combination of factors responsible for the success or failure of a student.Three reasons are discussed why a student might fail at a certain task: insufficient proficiency in Dutch or English (the language factor), insufficient knowledge of subject matter (the content factor) and inadequate mastery of study skills (the study skills factor) .The main point made in the article is that these three factors interact; in the VJV it is important to distinguish between these interacting factors both when assessing students at the beginning of the pre-sessional course and when actually preparing them for university. Ideally, teachers should be able to unravel these factors i.e. to analyse students1 products in terms of their separate effects.Two examples of the interaction of these factors are given:taking notes during lectures, which is practised in the Dutch lessons, and solving a mathematics problem.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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