Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Test Results

Today, I received my score report for the J. Test 実用日本語検定 which I took on November 15th.  I took the A-D level test. There are 7 different levels that can be attained on this test of 1,000 points. The lowest starts at 500 points and is D level. The highest level starts from 930 points and is the Special A level.  The last time I took this test level was 3 years ago. This time, my score is 154 points higher, however I did not receive a level certification because now there is a requirement that your score must not fall below 20% of the allotted score for any of the 8 sections of the test. I failed the written portion of the test as time was running out and I had difficulty thinking up any sentences that could be made with the given words. Next time, I think I'll jump to that section first and do it while my mind is fresh.

Here is my scoring history.

AD Level Scores
  • 11/2009  613 points
  • 11/2006  459 points
  • 04/2004  376 points
This time my annual improvement was about 51 points per year. Before, my reading score was about 10% higher than my listening score.  This time, however, my listening score was 12.8% higher than my reading score. I scored 57.6% on reading/writing. Actually that was all from the reading questions and nothing on the written part. And I scored 65% on the listening portion which makes up half of the test.

I did not expect to get over 600 points. I was expecting to at least get more than 500 points, so I'm pleased with the score but not the fact that I didn't get the certificate, however, that doesn't bother me. I just take the test to see what my real improvement is. I have never prepared before taking the J. Test. I was going to do more reading before this test, but I only read that one book which I finished 2 months before the test. After that, I didn't do any reading. It would have really helped though as I was struggling with all of the articles you have to read to answer the questions on the test. There were 7 articles. Only the first 2 were short ones. The others weren't real long but they were more and more difficult to comprehend.

Last week, I received my results for the Japan Kanji Proficiency Test 日本漢字能力検定. I took and passed level 8 with a score of 144 points which is 96%.  This level tests on the 200 characters that are learned by 3rd grade elementary students in Japan.  Combined with the previous grades' characters, that makes 440 characters. As I told Emma, I missed the readings for 歯車 as well as 画板, and the writing of 究 as well as 発. For that last one, I don't remember what I did to get that one wrong. I probably wrote the last two strokes starting from the bottom horizontal line instead of the line above it. But I really don't recall.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

what does it mean to learn a language without translations?

The conversation still continues over in the channel comments of algworld's YouTube channel. I think part of the reason that some people think languages are always learned through translation is because of a misunderstanding of what it means to learn languages without translations. I had a brief talk with my webcam to explain a point about this, and my computer graciously offered to record it for me. So without further ado, I give you that resulting video!

Please let me know if my speech makes sense, if I get my point across or not. Thank you!