Dec 3, 2008

Aspiring to 61%

I've been pacing around my apartment a lot, listening to Japanesepod101, sitting with my textbooks on trains and in coffee shops, and have given myself a temporary respite from studying political science. During my breaks at work I've closed the door to my classroom and am reviewing grammar and testing myself with flash cards. The primary forms of leisure that I've allowed myself are either reading Dragonball in Japanese, or watching Witch Hunter Robin (albeit with subtitles), so that I don't have to exit my Japanese brain space more than is necessary. Yesterday I tried to limit the amount of English that I used with my manager and coworker (much to their amusement) and have generally tried to soak my brain in the language.

Why on earth am I doing this, you ask? On Sunday I'm taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, third level. This is the same test that I took last year, and failed. Granted, last year I was biting off a bit more than I could chew- I really should have taken the fourth level, the lowest one. I'm a bit more confident this time around- hopefully my brain will be sufficiently marinated in Nihongo that I pass.

But, the test is a bitch. So much of what I know I've learned from context, and the test is entirely decontextualized. This is good and bad. On one hand, language is always in context, so the test (much like many English test) is very artificial. On the other hand, it really does test whether or not you know the language in and of itself, not just whether you can read situations and deduce stuff.

Anyhow, this has made having to teach English a little odd. I'd rather be a student now, and would like to selfishly refrain from having to teach my own language. But, my free time is packed with an intesity of study that I never had when I was a university student, which is a nifty feeling.

To pass, all I need is over sixty percent. Here's hoping for sixty one...


Kori the tomorrow lady said...



inkandpen said...