Last night was the 16th class by ROC Mondriaan. We did something that we have done almost every Wednesday (as we have different teachers on Monday and Wednesday). It is an exercise called Vandaag – nu – hier or Today – now – here. I think it’s an exercise the teacher himself made. It covers about 20 very simple sentences like:
Het lokaal is… The classroom is… [#106]
Het seizoen is… The season is… [herfst/fall]
De lesdagen zijn… The class days are… [maandag & woensdag/Monday and Wednesday].
Usually he goes through the exercise once and then tries to put a spin on it. This time when he asked the temperature questions he began a discussion about freezing, melting, ice, hail, and similar things.
Then we moved on to the book. We started chapter 5, Leren en Werken or Learning and Working. Instead of starting with the introduction page on the right side, he first asked us to look at the photo on the left side. It showed a woman helping a male teenager using the computer – presumably she was his mother or teacher. He asked us to describe the photo and then he asked us to guess her age. He then launched into a discussion about guessing and uncertainty:
een raden = iets dat je niet weet maar je zegt het toch. Something you don’t know [for sure] but you say it anyway. ‘a guess’
Ik raad dat zijn leeftijd 15 is. I guess that his age is 15.
Ik geloof dat… I believe that…
We then talked about the education system in the Netherlands which you can read about on Wikipedia. First you have onderwijs (education) and then you have opleiding (university or job training). The interesting thing about Dutch education is that around age 12 you take the Cito test which helps your teacher and parents determine what track you should be on in high school. It is of course possible to step sideways to another track (higher or lower), although if you going to a higher track you might need to start at a slightly lower year than you otherwise would have if you had stayed in your own track.
The highest track (gymnasium – nothing to do with physical education!) also teaches ancient Latin and Greek. That sounds pretty cool if you ask me…
And here I was just happy that I was able to pick from German, French and Spanish in high school. (I ended up with 4 years Spanish and 2 years French although only 2 years in one language are required.)