All you need to know about the Listening or 'luisteren' part of the Dutch civic integration exam-het inburgeringsexamen.


1. What does listening at B1 level mean?

Similar as with the reading part, at B1 level you need to generally understand short audio clips and conversations between two native speakers who speak formal Dutch and not dialect or 'street language'.
As expected the types of audio clips you need to comprehend associate with daily life including topics like; voice messages, sports game commentaries, basic instructions from an employer, short public announcements, getting directions etc. 

2. Practical information about the listening exam.

The listening exam will be conducted on a computer with a maximum of 25 multiple choice questions about video and/or audio clips you have been presented with. The clips and questions will be about daily life, work and education, as mentioned above, and you have 45 minutes to complete them. 

3. What do you need to know for this exam.

You need to be able to understand basic interactions between native speakers who use formal language, not dialect or 'street language'. This also applies for video or audio clips that you might come across in your daily life. 

4. How can you prepare for this exam?

A. The news: A handy tool if you're starting from scratch is the NOS jeugdjournaal, where they take newsitems from the general news and simplify it for children. Its one of the best places to find native narration for beginners.
Once the challenge wears off, then move on to watching the regular news

Watch daily and make and assess your ability to understand the general context of the information. If there is something you don't understand, ask a native speaker or your Dutch trainer to explain it to you.

B. Activate a native: Improve your abilities further by asking any Dutch natives you have around, to only speak Dutch to you. At first you can reply in English and as you progress, eventually you should switch over to replying in Dutch. It's a relatively slow process and you should pick a few words or phrases daily and use them in your conversations. If the native uses words you don't understand, ask them to explain in Dutch, and try to use the newly learned words yourself as much as you can.

C. Dutch TV: Watch Dutch television, especially series. In the beginning use English subtitles to familiarise yourself with the basics. As you rely less on the subtitles, change them to Dutch subtitles. Being able to read and hear the same text, helps a tremendous amount when learning any new language as you involve more senses in the process. If you have the time, we would recommend watching each episode, or scene, twice. The first time with English subtitles for context and directly theirafter with Dutch subtitles.
Here is a list of some popular Dutch series.

D. Music: Listen to some Dutch music. You can find some great Dutch songs 

As with series, follow te lyrics while you play the songs. Be aware that songs often use poetic license and colloquial terminology which might sometimes be a bit difficult to understand. When in doubt it is best to ask your language trainer for more clarity about the song, rather than confuse your learning process.

E. Learn Dutch Online : If going through it alone is too challenging you can always sign up for our beginners and intermediate courses that have been designed to aid you in achieving B1 level. The multi-media you will work with is designed to not only prepare you for the exam but for actual use in daily life. Together with your dedicated trainer you will look and listen to clips about day to day life in the Netherlands while being assessed on your abilities. Feel free to contact us for more information.

F. Practice exams: You can always check your progress by filling out the practice exams