With a little help from her mom, TaalTaal teacher Myrthe

“My name comes from the comic book Asterix; there is a small white dog by the name of Idéfix. I'm 8 years old and a very happy doggy. I love the beach, people and treats, but I hate being home alone. My humans think I'm the sweetest and cutest dog in the whole wide world.”


They are an inseparable couple at The Language Institute TaalTaal in Scheveningen: Dutch teacher Myrthe and her poodle Idéfix. Most people are surprised to see a dog at a language institute, but they almost immediately melt by the cuteness of Idéfix and they try to get her attention. She is the star in many student photos and TaalTaal students feel more relaxed around her. Myrthe: “I can tell it boosts their spirits! Idéfix makes people laugh when she plays and runs around, and she provides a pleasant distraction at breaktime. During the lesson itself she sleeps in a fluffy doggy bed we have in the classroom.”


Teacher Myrthe is very kind, but don't mistake her kindness for weakness, she is quite feisty: she has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and she enjoys going for rides on her motorbike. Besides being a Dutch teacher, she is also a therapist: “As a psychologist, I often come across studies about the positive effects of pets, and now I have experienced myself that this is actually true. Petting a dog releases (the happiness hormone) endorphin(s) and it decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone – something some students have plenty of at the start of a language course. There is even a study that proves people actually learn and memorise and process things better around pets!”


It goes without saying that Idéfix now speaks perfect ‘Dog Dutch’. In class, she knows exactly when it's break time, and she gets up and stretches. She often gets up even before Myrthe even says the word 'pauze'! So she can either understand Dutch or she just has an excellent sense of timing. In any case, it’s a good indicator for students to know when they can get their cup of coffee.


Myrthe smiles: “When I meet students from other languages at the coffee machine, they let out little cries of adoration and crouch down to pet the dog. Some of my colleagues at TaalTaal will call me over to introduce Idéfix to their students, and it has never failed to put a smile on people’s faces.”


Do you also want to learn (Dog) Dutch, but do you need a break from the ‘dog eat dog society’? Then fix your Dutch skills with perhaps Myrthe and Idéfix at The Language Institute TaalTaal! First enjoy the holidays, afterwards go to https://taaltaal.nl/course/dutch and sign-up for the January season, starting in the week of January 22nd for all languages.


There are Open Days on December 12th, January 10th and January 13th. 


Free intakes are always available at: https://taaltaal.nl/en/intake/