I am on page 96 of Marion Bloem's Vaders van betekenis. For whatever reason, I have not been disciplined in reading it. Still, every time I read it, it's faster than the last time. Last night, I spent a long time reading 2 1/2 pages. Reading a language you're not yet good at is difficult.
The season began with a transcription exercise. Working with a Dutch friend, I transcribed the first minute of one of the Queen's Christmas speeches. It mimics an exercise I have my students do in English. I did it myself to answer the question every teacher wonders about, "Are they sandbagging?"
Most of the summer was passive listening. I started with BNR, but listened mainly to Radio 1 in Hilversum. It really does help, though I could understand them only occasionally.
Watching TV was hit or miss. I saw a number of episodes of Flikken Maastricht, a cop show. Like many shows, it's basically the same episode every time. If you watch directly from the broadcaster, as opposed to YouTube, you can click on the instellingen (settings) and put on the captioning. I just clicked on them to check the word, but the site I use is having trouble.
Dutch TV ratings are as unreliable as American movie ratings. The ratings tell you what the producers wanted for marketing purposes, as opposed to what might be in the content. Anything other than programming for young children should be watched first before showing it to anyone else.
I just finished a section in Bloem's book composed of letters from the US. Again, she has an incredible understanding of this country and what it is like to live here. Now, I'm at a part where the main character is having a glass of tjendol. Reading about it was a great mini-triumph: I've had that at the Dutch festival!"