How to learn Dutch: Use the source!

26 Feb

My colleagues recently told me about a very interesting Internet application for learning Dutch.

The application is called Alane Newsreader and by using that people can learn and test their Dutch at their own level. This clever digital newsreader automatically selects actual and real world news at the current level of the learner. The system tests the knowledge of the new newsreader words after the
student has read the text.

The Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs selected the Alane Newsreader as one of the top ten successful innovations in the public sector. Since January 1, it is available in all libraries in the Netherlands. A demo video shows you how to practice with Alane Newsreader.

You can try it yourself at for free. Here’s a couple of screenshots from my recent sessions (and some criticisms):

First select a news category such as World, Sports, Entertainment

Learn Dutch by using Alane Newsreader

Then read the news and do the exercise

Learn Dutch by using Alane Newsreader

And be proud of your score ;-)

Learn Dutch by using Alane Newsreader

Even though in the demo video I could clearly see a part that shows how the system measures the level of the language learner I could not find this functionality in the current system. On the positive side it is visually very simple and functionally easy to use. Also there are some minor quirks, e.g. the system loses login information if I refresh the page (nobody said web programming was easy).

Finally here is a newspaper article about the system:

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Posted by on February 26, 2010 in Linguistics, Programlama


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