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  Last update: 3 July 2020

Tailor-made courses

Key aspects

English is increasingly important for many professionals in the EU.
For some underlying causes see Proficiency levels. The basis of
successful communication in English hinges on two key aspects:

  • Proficiency in English

  • Other verbal and non-verbal communication skills


Tailor-made & in-house  

The core business of AC&C is the development of tailor-made courses, generally in-house, with the added advantage of being:

  • Tailored to your needs and vocabulary

  • In a familiar environment

  • Promoting teambuilding


Underlying philosophy  

Tailor-made courses are developed with an underlying philosophy:

Polder Model versus Mountain Range.

The key is raising awareness of the differences between the English
and Dutch languages and cultures, because mistakes generally derive
from the false assumption that these differences are minor.



We pride ourselves on our English but is this justified? Common
mistakes are caused by transferring features from Dutch to English.
These are related languages, but you cannot always get away with
applying Dutch rules to English:

  • Vocabulary

  • Grammar

  • Pronunciation

  • Presentation



When describing a graph, a Dutchman may be tempted to say:

This line goes up.

A native English speaker would rather say:

Here you may notice a dramatic increase. 

A better illustration of cultural contrasts is hard to find:

  • The flat Dutch polder landscape (doe maar gewoon, dan doe je gek genoeg)

  • The Anglo-Saxon mountain range (using the full spectrum of vocabulary and pitch)


AC&C approach

Generally, a dual approach is applied:

  • Spoken and written English is improved by raising awareness of the differences between the English and Dutch languages and cultures. By means of a “contrastive approach” insight is gained into the peculiarities of either language and consequent potential pitfalls.

  • Presentation skills are developed by raising awareness of the relationship between speaker and audience in general. Pointers are given on how to get the desired message across by application of verbal and non-verbal techniques.


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