Monday, June 06, 2005

Packing for Wednesday

My long weekend has been full of learning, pleasurable learning. I have filled my brain with so much it is almost set to explode. But this is all in the name of good timing. My Japanese proficiency course starts on Wednesday and I need to be hitting well above my weight from the start (as I will be at a comparative disadvantage from all the other students who will have had received recent Japanese teaching or been to Japan).

So comes the art of packing one's brain. As with going abroad to study, it pays to really do intensive learning prior to starting to ensure as many of the hurdles one is going to encounter are minimised and the time spent in class (or abroad) is really worth every penny. Since this course will cost me a bundle, in these low-income days, I want value for money, and I want my efforts and this course to lead to a good level of Japanese and a pass in the second level of the test.

As with my current burst of Chinese study, my Japanese study is going far beyond what I could do previously and oddly it has been easy to do so. Probably one of the better results of this weekend is that I know I can pass the third level of the test already. I have already passed it in 1997 and was initially planning to take it again this year just to shore up my Japanese ability. But if I know I can already pass it, doing it again is rather a waste of time. I did the past test (from 1996) and passed in all sections, even the listening test which is the weakest link in my lingual suit of chainmail. Kanji and Vocabulary was 92%, Listening 77% and Reading and Grammar was 74%. The pass mark is 60% overall.

However, I rediscovered my test results from 1998 to see how badly I did. That was my first and only previous attempt at level two. 19% in listening is a hard thing to accept. It is multichoice with four choices for each answer, so my listening at level two was no better than random guessing. And another aspect I missed, was that even Reading and Grammar, back then, was 57.5% which as a section, does not help me to pass.

Anyway, I still expect a rough time on Wednesday. But have a small goal to use polite language with the teacher if I can. Something, my high school Japanese has not provided me with.

1 comment:

Crypticity said...

Wednesday class has come and gone.

It was a whirlwind of information, with the teacher occupying 98% of speaking time. In a way, that is to be expected as it is an exam class, not a commuication class.

My hard work over the weekend definitely paid off with the teacher retreading those things I studied and more, as well as me being able to understand her rapidfire speech more often than not.

I still suck at speaking, but I will use language exchange to bolster this.

Now I have homework that I have been given, rather than giving it to myself. How novel!