How the Brainwash technique can supercharge your Dutch

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Sometimes the best thing you can do to learn a language is fully and intensely immerse yourself in it. But does immersion actually work? What’s the best way to do it?

Dutch language teacher, Albert Both, uses the “Brainwash technique” to get his students speaking Dutch in just seven days — but put those tinfoil hats away. There’s no actual brainwashing involved, just the right tools to learn Dutch fast. 😉

An intensive Dutch language course in Amsterdam 

Learning Dutch can be a challenge, not just because of the language itself (although it certainly has its moments) but also because it’s just so easy to rely on English.

But have you ever felt the need to get down on your knees and beg your well-intentioned barista not to switch to English for you? We feel you.

That’s why Albert’s workshop fully surrounds its students with Nederlands.

With a unique technique, the Dutch Brainwash is an intensive, seven-day Dutch language course that takes place year-round in the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam.

Dutch Brainwash offers a perfect cocktail of in-class learning and real-life adventure! Image: Talencoach/Supplied

Is it possible to learn Dutch in seven days?

Let’s answer the all-important question first: Is it to learn Dutch in seven days? We posed this question to Albert, who keeps it real from the get-go: “Yes and no.”

“Of course, you can’t learn everything about a language within seven days. However, just like with any other skill, you can learn a tremendous amount!” For Albert, the key is instilling a sense of excitement and confidence in his students. 

If you’ve got the right amount of confidence, you can fake it ’till you make it! Image: Freepik

So, over the seven days of his course, Albert’s goal is to equip his students with the tools they need to continue to learn Dutch — the right mindset and the right learning method. 

The right mindset

“What is most important is that the students get really excited about Dutch, and they genuinely want to know much more,” Albert tells us.

“The right mindset is very important. How you think about Dutch and yourself makes all the difference.” 

The right method

The magic is found in Albert’s teaching method. So what does Brainwash refer to? Let’s clarify that, no, you will not find yourself sitting in a room with a ticking pocket watch dangling in front of your face — it’s actually much more methodical than that. 

“In the Dutch Brainwash, we focus on two things. One is a logical system. We develop a system of understanding Dutch,” Albert explains.

Lots of laughter is guaranteed! Image: Depositphotos

Albert asks that his students reflect on their own skills and realise how many could be applied to learning Dutch. Take English speakers, for example: according to Albert, they start with 50% in their pockets before the first lesson.

“The trick is that you start with everything that is logical for you and everything that makes sense. Then step-by-step, you can take it to whole new levels fast.” 

The right teacher

But of course, all of this is only possible with the right teacher. So, allow us to introduce the man of the hour.

Albert Both, a.k.a, Mr Dutch Brainwash, is the founder of Dutch language school Talencoach. While teaching at the school, Albert used his experience to craft his own intensive Dutch language course — Dutch Brainwash. 

Albert used his experience as a Dutch language teacher to construct the brainwash method for learning Dutch! Image: Albert Both/Supplied

In order to prepare for the feat of developing his very own language course, Albert took courses in coaching, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), hypnotherapy and read up on accelerated learning.

Want to be Brainwashed into speaking Dutch?

Before you embark on your Brainwash journey, there are a few things you need to consider, namely — are you really ready for an intensive Dutch language course? While you may have the spirit, there are some practical things you need to consider. 

Albert makes use of many fun methods in order to make the experience of learning Dutch enjoyable and engaging. Image: Albert Both/Supplied.
  • How is your English? Dutch Brainwash is taught (partially, of course) through English, so this is a language requirement! 
  • How long have you lived in the Netherlands? It is preferred that you have lived at least a few months in the land of clogs, cheese and windmills — so that you know a little bit more about the Dutch and their language than just a handful of stereotypes. 😉
  • Speaking of the language, how familiar are you with it? It’s not required that you have previously taken another course but it does help if it looks and sounds familiar to you. 
  • And lastly, you should love to talk about many different topics in Dutch, like to experiment, and be willing to make mistakes!

Ready to dive in for seven days of Nederlands? Fabulous! You can find upcoming courses in Albert’s schedule.

Would you try the Brainwash technique? Tell us in the comments below! 

Feature Image:Freepik
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

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What do you think?


  1. GVD! 1500 Euro ? (GVD: my shorthand for a well used Dutch expletive) Before I can shell out that much I will need some preliminary brainwashing to open my mind to the idea that this could even possibly be worth that much loot. Being of Dutch parents, I inherited an instinct for thrift. This looks expensive even including 4 star accommodations (which doesn’t appear to include).

  2. I definitely would do this; but, I would need to com there and I would need to have dinners planned & some visits to the museum…..


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