Meet The Trainer: Maricelle Tiben

Maricelle trains Dutch and written communications at the TalenInstituut. Her background is in communication studies where she focussed on ‘Gender and Language’. As a result she remains fascinated by how language is used in day-to-day situations.

“I often sit in public transport and listen to what, but mostly HOW people communicate with each other,” she explains, “It is very revealing about why we want to use language.”

“I worked in marketing communications for a while, but quickly discovered that it was not for me” she continues to explain, “I always wanted to be more independent and I was more interested in the language aspect of communicating. I considered teaching high school but realised that wasn’t for me either. Then an old study partner suggested the idea of getting involved with adult education and I started with business language training in 2003.”

Maricelle’s road to TalenInstituut has involved gaining a lot of other experience along the way. “I taught literacy skills and citizenship courses for a while. I also worked as an independent Colour and Image consultant for four years … totally different but really enjoyable. But I enjoy the business language training the most.”

For Maricelle, part of the enjoyment of the job comes from the on-going exposure to new people and different careers and skills. “I often work with orthodontists and other medical professionals,” she smiles, “This has given me an in-depth understanding of their needs in terms of vocabulary, standard sentences and language functions. I have learned a lot from this process as well! But the most enjoyable thing for me is analysing what each person’s specific language needs are and how I can meet them. The freedom, independence and creativity required to do this are important to me.”

Maricelle has also developed a Dutch Written Communications course for native and near-native speakers which brings her communications and teaching backgrounds together. She sees success with her students as represented by the growth of confidence in using their new language. Her own focus is on being able to adapt to the changing needs of the student in order to be able to do this. “A successful teacher can sense the needs of the student and can adapt the course during the training,” she explains, “They can improvise and creatively bring questions and problems into the course. They should also be able to give lessons without a book or even a confirmed programme of learning”

“I always focus on making sure my lessons are interactive and highly focussed on the individual’s needs. Over the years I have also brought in more use of the internet and apps in order to keep up with changes and my client’s needs.” But Maricelle also acknowledges that the client needs to be very involved in the process in order to improve. “Everyone can learn faster if they practice more,” she says, “The best way is to try to speak Dutch as much as possible. Ask your colleagues, clients, and friends etc. to do the same with you.

Maricelle’s Language Learning Tip:

I teach a lot at C1/C1+ level. At this level, participants sometimes have really small grammatical sticking points that they want to improve. My advice to them is to regularly spend 10 minutes analysing one piece of text, or to listen to one piece of text, and to focus only on one specific aspect of the grammar. Such as the use of ‘er’ in Dutch, or the word order. Stick with that aspect until you have mastered it. Then move on.

Here at TalenInstituut Nederland (The Dutch Language Institute) we understand the needs that companies face as well as the fears individual learners feel. This is why we offer flexible, fully customised Business language courses (including Dutch) to businesses and individuals. Through a process of interviews and meetings we establish the unique needs and competence of our clients and design each and every course around those. To find out more about our Business Language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote:
© Taleninstituut Nederland

By: David Chislett
Trainer Business English