Sunday, June 12, 2011

Language Testing Part II

Sadly, FSI didn't exactly jump at the chance to test my Serbian speaking and reading skills. They agree it makes logical sense, but logical and possible are two different things, so I'll be testing elsewhere. And, sadly, on my own dime.

I did, however, learn one interesting fact when I made my request. It turns out GW uses the ACTFL scale of language fluency, with their 'intermediate-high' corresponding to a 1+ on the ILR scale. This is a big relief, because intermediate high sounded a lot like a 2+ to me, and I think that's right at the edge of my ability level.

How long did it take me to hit a level 2 or maybe 2+ in Serbian?
*an 8-week intensive summer program
*a 3-week in-country immersion program
*1 semester of regular language class
*1 year of very half-hearted tutoring
*1 year of being in country (3 months of which I also went to a once-a-week tutor)
*6 months of once-a-week tutoring
*And lots of time forgetting in between.

Yeah, it apparently takes an act of God to teach me Serbian. My two biggest take-aways after all that studying?
1)The only thing half-hearted or occassional tutoring is good for is maintenance.
2)Unless you make a point of studying the language in-country immersion isn't as easy as it sounds. In a perfect world we would all learn in intensive in-country programs I guess. In this, less-than-perfect world I'm just going to have to settle for reading Sumrak and the paper.

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