Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Challenge or Torture

Today's blog is about one of my unfavorite topics. "Evaluation." What evaluation am I talking about? It's about the proficiency of English as a foreign language.

I'll tell you the conclusion first. I had two kinds of language certificate examinations in summer and in autumn. It was my New Year resolution. One was the EIKEN Test in Practical English Proficiency and the other was The TOEIC test (Test of English for International Communication). Well the evaluation from the exams were like as follows: I was certified as a holder "pre-1st Grade"(second highest level) from EIKEN and as a holder of 895 scores out of 1,000 from TOEIC. Whew, I did better than I expected. EIKEN is my second and TOEIC my first trial.

These tests are very distinguished ones and performed widely throughout the country. Every year, millions of people mostly students, businessmen and other English learners take either of these tests for getting an admission for a higher education or their own evaluation or better job positions.

In fact, I took my first EIKEN way back when I was a freshman at high school. It was school compulsory. Yap, it's a long time ago! I haven’t had it since then. As for TOEIC. Since it had not been launched yet in my school days, I had never had it before and had not paid too much attention to it. I impudently didn't like the idea. I didn't like taking these kinds of exams and hated that my language ability was judged by scores. I think at that time I was slightly offensive against language proficiency judged by scores. Maybe I was young.

On the other hand, our society gradually had been active in the international world. English language had been required as a communication tool in various fields. With a huge population of studious English learners, these test results became an objective gauge that the learners themselves as well as the third parties could locate one's ability in the whole group. In short, it is that there are too many people with too many levels of English language ability.

That was the reason for my trial. My life for these years became more involved with English language. Being a member of a volunteer interpreter, I had to keep up with my English and to improve it. Sometimes the results of these tests are prerequisite for a requested job. Although I didn't like the score-oriented idea, I knew I was in a situation that I had to know my ability in a huge population of English learners.
I thought studying for the exams basically should be fun to me. Now I think I am quite in it as long as I enjoy studying English. Maybe I'll try out for better results next year.
It's "a challenge" not "a torture." anymore.

Finally some of my friends who are professional and qualified interpreters/translators, tour guides, and language teachers eventually gave me a push to make one step forward. Otherwise, I don't think I accomplished my New Year resolution.

all the images above are from:
TOEIC http://www.toeic.or.jp/toeic_en/index.html
EIKEN http://stepeiken.org/

5 comments:

Au and Target said...

Watching DVDs with the English subtitles can be a help. They're not always accurate but it's amazing how much you can pick up about subtleties of grammar from reading while you listen.

Mekkan said...

Thanks for your advice. By the way my husband didn't get your book at a book store he checked while he stayed for transit in Singapore. Making an order on online is the best way?

The Chair Speaks said...

Reading helps. Happy New Year!

Janine said...

…………(¯`O´¯)
…………*./ | \ .*
…………..*♫*.
………, • '*♥* ' • ,
……. '*• ♫♫♫•*'
….. ' *, • '♫ ' • ,* '
….' * • ♫*♥*♫• * '
… * , • Feliz' • , * '
…* ' •♫♫*♥*♫♫ • ' * '
' ' • . Navidad . • ' ' '
' ' • ♫♫♫*♥*♫♫♫• * ' '
…………..x♥x
…………….♥
Best wishes to you and your familie, Janine

Anya said...

We want to wish you and yours
A HAPPY & HEALTHY New YEAR
enjoy New Years Eve with your family

Hugs from your Dutch friends :)