Do you experience difficulties with spelling or grammar when writing texts in Dutch or English? On this page you will find an overview of useful websites, handy books and courses to improve your language skills.
- Language Cafe Utrecht Evenings in café Marktzicht where language to language exchanges are organised: for example Italian speakers who want to learn Dutch, Spanish people who want to learn English, etc.
- Babel Is a language institute that offers language courses at various levels. The courses are not free, but as a UU student you get a 15% discount. Sometimes there are extra costs for teaching materials.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab The "Grammar" section deals with all kinds of language issues that can help you with your English writing, such as spelling, prepositions, relative pronouns, verb tenses (different from Dutch!), and so on. The English rules of punctuation can be found under the heading 'Punctuation'.
- DeepL Translation site built with artificial intelligence. Often works better than Google Translate.
- TheSaurus Useful website if you are looking for synonyms in English.
- Just the word This site helps you find common word combinations. For example: a verb that belongs to "research".
- Righting English that's Gone Dutch Burrough-Boenish, J. (2013). Righting English that's Gone Dutch. The Hague: Kemper Conseil Publishing
(Check Utrecht University's Worldcat to find the book in the library)
- Language assistants UU The language assistants are fellow students who can give you feedback on the use of language in your text. Not only in English, but also in Dutch, German, French, etc. Note: Unfortunately, this service is only available to students at the faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, Economics and Governance.
- Babel A language institute that offers language courses at various levels, including academic English. The courses are not free, but as a UU student you get a 15% discount. Sometimes there are costs for teaching materials.
- Manchester Phrase Bank This overview of academic phrases is intended as an aid for writers of academic texts in English. It provides a list of typical phrases and expressions that make clear the function or intention of a particular piece of text.
- Online Writing Tool This tool helps you look at your work with a critical eye. You paste your Dutch or English text in the writing tool and then choose which aspects of the text you want to have 'checked', such as spelling or signal words. After that, it is up to you to revise your text.
- UEfAP "Using English for Academic Purposes For Students in Higher Education" is a website with explanations and exercises about spelling and punctuation, but also formal writing and other aspects of style.
- Science Research Writing Glasman-Deal, H. (2016) Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English. London: Imperial College Press.
- The Student Phrase Book Godfrey, J. (2013). The Student Phrase Book. Vocabulary for Writing at University. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Academic Writing in English Loon, van J., A. Thüss, N. Schmidt and K. Haines. (2016). Academic Writing in English. A Process-Based Approach. Bussum: Publisher Couthino.
(Check Utrecht University's Worldcat to find the books in the library)
- Getting to know (the) Dutch Free course offered by the UU for international students and exchange students. It teaches you the basics of the Dutch language (words, situations and grammar) and introduces you to Utrecht and the university. You can choose from the hybrid guided course ''Entry Level - Guided Course'' or the online self-study course ''Entry Level - Self-study Course.''
- Language Cafe Utrecht Language-to-language exchanges in café Marktzicht. For instance for Italian speakers who want to learn Dutch, Spanish speakers who want to learn English, etc. On location at café Marktzicht.
- Taal Doet Meer organises language coaching, courses and several language cafés. Check out the overview page of the language cafes, because they are open to everyone. You can usually drop in without registering (unless stated otherwise).
- WelnU Language cafés for everyone who wants to learn the Dutch language. There is also the possibility to work through textbooks (available in 6 languages) and practice other aspects than speaking skills. In theory, everyone is welcome, but priority is given to people who have few other means to learn Dutch (undocumented people, people from the AZC).
- De Voorkamer Language café with a low threshold aimed at learning Dutch. Occasional language exchange evenings.
- Babel is a language institute that offers language courses at various levels. The courses are not free, but as a UU student you get a 15% discount. Sometimes there are additional costs for course materials.
- Beter spellen If you sign up, you will receive a short language test in your mailbox every day. This will help you improve your spelling, including verbs, vocabulary and sentence structure.
- Dutch grammar Improve your knowledge of Dutch grammar or try out some listening exercises.
- Language advice The website of the Dutch Language Union provides answers to a wide range of language questions, including conventions, grammar, spelling, pronunciation and word usage. You can enter a keyword about which you want to know more.
- Onze Taal The website of 'het Genootschap Onze Taal' offers some 1,500 different language recommendations. It covers language issues such as 'a number of people is/are', use of 'their' and 'them', 't kofschip' and so on.
- Practising verbs Welklidwoord.nl shows nouns plus article. Also includes (daily) exercises. Or, try the 'Flash your Dutch' app.
- Taalunie On this page you will find an overview of different websites and when to use them. For example: answers to your language questions, advice on spelling or assistance with grammar.
- Vraagbaak Nederlands Tiggeler, E. (2005). Vraagbaak Nederlands. From spelling to style: quick and clear answers to practical questions about language. The Hague: Sdu Publishers.
- Schrijfwijzer Renkema, J. (2020). Schrijfwijzer. Amsterdam: Boom Publishers.
Check out Utrecht University's Worldcat to find the books in the library.
- Language assistants UU The language assistants are fellow students who can give you feedback on the use of language in your text. Not only available in Dutch, but also in English, German, French, etc. Note: Unfortunately only available for students at the following faculties: humanities, social sciences and Law, Economics and Governance.
- Academische Uitdrukkingen (VU) The academic expressions on this site can help you with your writing. You will find lists of phrases that are typical for certain parts of the text (e.g. introduction) and goals (e.g. indicating the importance of the topic).
- Online Writing Tool (KU Leuven) This tool helps you take a critical look at your work. You paste your Dutch or English text in the writing tool and then choose which aspects of the text you want to have 'checked', such as spelling or linking words. After that, it is up to you to revise your text.
- Taalwinkel (UvA) On this website you will find a lot of information and exercises on topics such as study skills, text types and style. You can also take a language test or find tips on word usage.
- Basic skills in academic writing Goosen, M. and F. Schoordijk (2015). Basisvaardigheden academisch schrijven. Bussum: Publisher Couthino.
Check out Utrecht University's Worldcat to find the book in the library.
Contact Skills Lab
- Mail to email@example.com or call +3130 253 630
- University Library Utrecht Science Park | Room 2.45
- Heidelberglaan 3, 3584 CS Utrecht