Josien Deknatel is the founder of Kickstart Language School She earned her teacher training in the Netherlands, but her teaching career has taken her to special places, and then back home to Holland. Her expat experiences have shaped her teaching and the core values of Kickstart
“Moving to a new country and getting used to a different culture and language is not an easy process,” says Josien. “I know because I’ve been there.”
Josien says, “I’ve been an expat myself and have travelled to many countries where I don’t speak the language and I know you can feel like a 5-year-old. We designed the Starterpack based on our direct experience of what a newcomer needs.”
Expats and internationals in the Netherlands come from various backgrounds with different interests and expectations of the life and language. Josien has made it a point that theKickstart philosophy focuses on the practical needs and personal goals of the students. The Starterpack, for example, was created like a “survival guide” for expats to get by in everyday situations. It’s based on the principle that when you first arrive, you don’t need to learn the conjugations of verbs, but want to develop a simple but functional vocabulary when filling out forms, buying groceries at the local market, or travelling on the bus or train.
“We use colloquial Dutch and lots of role play to create a fun and safe learning environment,” says Josien. “It has to be fun, and it has to be really practical.”
To catch a glimpse of Josien describing the exciting plans for Kickstart, view this new Kickstart video on Youtube (See the video).
Source Kickstart School