Go to ...

Esdoornblad

RSS Feed

19 december 2018

Language Islands

Welcome to Language Islands – Welkom bij Taal Eilanden

Click on the Language Islands at the bottom of this page

Language Islands are about learning Dutch and English by using a technique popularised by Boris Shekhtman, a very successful language teacher. His “method” is quite comprehensive and will not be addressed here. Rather, a part of his method called “language islands” will be used here to help Dutch/English language learners to vastly improve their conversational Dutch and English, and generally improve their writing, reading and listening skills as well.


What is a Language Island?

A language island is a short paragraph about some specific subject in the language your are learning. The objective is to memorize the paragraph to ensure you could speak or write it very well. Ideally, your pronunciation would be native-like, but realistically, you pronounce it as well as you can. To make it easier and more productive, all these islands have parallel Dutch and English text.



One island by itself is not very useful. The idea is to have many of these islands at your immediate disposal. You use them to help you with a conversation, or in your writing. Typically, they might be about:

  • yourself (to introduce yourself in a conversation)
  • where you live
  • what you do (student, work, retired, etc.)
  • things you like to do
  • hobbies and interests
  • music, movies
  • travels
  • family
  • things you need to do such as shopping
  • traveling (directions, tickets, hotels, restaurants)
  • whatever you want to talk about


The people who have used “language islands” successfully say it really helps their confidence, their conversations and it really speeds their progress. You will soon find yourself branching out from your islands, using parts of the information, the sentence structures and the vocabulary.

Ideally, islands are first created in your native language from the things you normally talk about. Then they would be translated into your target language by a native who, ideally, would also help you with the islands and especially with the pronunciation. The plan here is to add English and Dutch audio of the texts.


Language Islands with Dutch/English Parallel Text

Hello – Hallo
Goodbye – Tot Ziens
Dutch Language – Nederlandse Taal
Canada – Canada
Ottawa – Ottawa
Toronto – Toronto
Netherlands – Nederland
Amsterdam – Amsterdam
Rotterdam – Rotterdam
Saint Martin – Sint Maarten
Belgium – BelgiĆ«
Brussels – Brussel
Language Immersion – Taalbad
Official Language – OfficiĆ«le Taal
Airbus A380 – Airbus A380
The Weather – Het Weer
Weather Forecast – Weersvoorspelling
Weather Map – Weerkaart
Weather Words – Weer Woorden
Global Warming – Opwarming van de Aarde
Connectors – Connectoren
Town Words – Stad Woorden
Skype Chat – Skype Chat
Computer Blogging – Computer Blogging
Handyman – Klusjesman
Broken Lightbulb – Gebroken Gloeilamp
Fruit – Vrucht
Vegetables – Groenten
Eating – Het Eten
Breakfast – Het Ontbijt
Brunch – De Brunch
Dinner – Het Avondeten
Ramanujan – Ramanujan

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
De tekst is beschikbaar onder de licentie Creative Commons Naamsvermelding/Gelijk delen, er kunnen aanvullende voorwaarden van toepassing zijn.