Yolande Spaans (English and Dutch edition) got her MA degree in Dutch Linguistics and Literature from Leiden University. And for several years she has worked in different capacities at this renown institution of higher learning. More than a decade she was self-employed as a freelance text editor, while also teaching Dutch to foreign exchange students. In recent years she held a part-time position at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague from which she retired in 2020.
Yolande is a life long animal lover and she likes taking walks along the beach with her dog Veertje. She is also a member of the team that every two years organises the event Struinen in Haagse Tuinen (The Hague Open Garden Days). And, although she is very modest about it, her friends delight in her talent for (French) cooking.
“Studying a foreign grammar works best when matters are made clear in one’s native language”
In writing A Practical Dutch Grammar Yolande’s didactic skills proved invaluable. While teaching Dutch to groups of students with diverse cultural backgrounds and mother tongues, she also became aware that studying a foreign grammar works best when matters are made clear in one’s native language. The obstacle, however, was the lack of a contemporary Dutch grammar book in many languages, if one existed at all. This realisation led Yolande to initiate the Dutch Grammar project through which her original English edition of A Practical Dutch Grammar has by now been translated into several languages, with hopefully many more to follow.