Geert van de Ven is an experienced trainer/material developer for Dutch for second (non-native) and first (native) language learners (the latter especially for programs in legal and academic writing). He is familiar with many target groups within this field: from (refugee) journalists and dentists or doctors to detectives, professors and knowledge workers, lawyers and ambassadors. When developing materials, he shows the same curiosity for researching sources as he does when writing articles and blogging about his field. In his roles as a trainer, professional coach and material developer, he operates from the same perspective: communicative language teaching is about more than fixed patterns. Inventiveness and empathy are indispensable skills in interactions that rarely go ‘by the book’.