English week should lower the threshold

A whole week dedicated to the working language that our university has officially maintained since this year: English. From June 8 to June 12, TU/e's TIP group would like to draw everyone’s attention to the English language - on an educational note, but with humor.

image TIP TU/e

Since January 2020, the university’s directory has been ‘English whenever necessary and Dutch whenever possible’. All written communication should basically be in English, however, not everyone seems to be comfortable enough to express themselves in English. TU/e’s TIP-group - a development program for supporting and administrative staff (OBP) up to scale 8 - was therefore asked to positively draw attention to the new working language.

“We had many plans that we would have liked to carry out on campus, but we had to cancel everything due to the Corona crisis”, according to Tamara Vereggen, who’s a project administrator at Financial and Economic Affairs for the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences. As a result, online initiatives had to be found.

The non-academic staff will daily receive an email with an activity as from June 8. “We would like to engage them with English in a funny way, and particularly ask them to join in”, states Mariëlle Kruizinga, who’s working as a secretary for the unit Urban Systems and Real Estate. “We truly hope that people feel encouraged enough to actively take part.”


For example, participants will be challenged to record a short video clip in which they pronounce an English tongue-twister. Other challenges include, mangling a Dutch saying to English, to solve an English crossword puzzle, or to take an online mindfulness-training with an English touch. Besides, everyone who participates could win a bol.com voucher as well.


An educational component has implicitly been linked to the English week. Vereggen states: “We will point out opportunities to improve one’s English, through courses that are being offered by the TU/e or GoodHabitz. The underlying message is that people shouldn’t feel ashamed when their English isn’t perfect yet - we are able to understand one another anyway.”

“Our main goal is to lower the threshold to speak English”, states Valerie Mackenbach, secretary for General Affairs. “We know that people might be scared to speak English, but with this week, we would like to help them to diminish their fear.” Sandra van Venrooij, employee front office and contract management at Real Estate Management, adds: “Especially since we are all working from home, it’s a nice distraction from your daily tasks!”

The English Week program outline can be found on Intranet


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