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Chart of Ability Levels and Assesments

#26
Of course Heisig would have something to say here. . .
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#27
(2017-08-12, 11:23 am)ariariari Wrote: The JLPT also surveys people for how many hours they've studied, and things like that. Every time I take the test I kinda guess for those questions though! Those questions are hard for people who self-study - especially because lots of people put down their studies for a few years and then pick it up.


You might not believe some people's responses to that survey.  There's a couple of people here in my share house and they live in Japan and work at Japanese companies and use Japanese all day long every business day and have Japanese friends with whom they speak only Japanese.  And they put ZERO for time studied for JLPT.  Because they aren't in a Japanese language class per se.  And although they study on their own they feel it isn't effective enough to count at all.
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#28
(2017-08-23, 4:06 am)kraemder Wrote:
(2017-08-12, 11:23 am)ariariari Wrote: The JLPT also surveys people for how many hours they've studied, and things like that. Every time I take the test I kinda guess for those questions though! Those questions are hard for people who self-study - especially because lots of people put down their studies for a few years and then pick it up.


You might not believe some people's responses to that survey.  There's a couple of people here in my share house and they live in Japan and work at Japanese companies and use Japanese all day long every business day and have Japanese friends with whom they speak only Japanese.  And they put ZERO for time studied for JLPT.  Because they aren't in a Japanese language class per se.  And although they study on their own they feel it isn't effective enough to count at all.

Hopefully they remove the outliers when reporting results on that question Smile

There are other things in the various surveys that are more binary and are fascinating.

I mentioned this earlier, but I think that the speaking / writing stuff is more interesting to me than the listening / reading stuff. Maybe just because we don't have standardized tests for them.

As an example, here's the "can-do" survey for speaking: http://www.jlpt.jp/e/about/candolist_speaking.html

Only 25%-50% of people who passed N1 said "I can express my opinion in a logical manner when I join in discussions and debates on topics I am concerned about."

It's humbling.
Edited: 2017-08-23, 9:35 am
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#29
(2017-08-23, 9:23 am)ariariari Wrote: Only 25%-50% of people who passed N1 said "I can express my opinion in a logical manner when I join in discussions and debates on topics I am concerned about."
Sounds about right -- I've passed N1 and I wouldn't feel confident enough to say 'yes' to that. It's a comparatively high bar as speaking/listening tasks go -- there's likely to be topic-specific vocab you may or may not know, and you often want to express a complicated or nuanced point of view, which needs more than purely basic grammar tools. Plus of course you need enough practice in speaking in general and in that kind of situation in particular, which probably varies a lot over the N1-passing population. There are some things you can specifically study here that help, like sentence patterns for common ways to express an opinion in a discussion (stuff like "that's certainly true but I think you can also look at it as X" and other kinds of hedging and acknowledging what the person you're responding to is saying, etc).
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#30
Thanks for sharing that @pm215. I suspect that part of the problem is what when you're talking about or debating things that you're concerned about, you're naturally riled up or what not. And "joining in a discussion" implies you joining a group of native speakers discussing things amongst themselves. The question implies both that you can get what they're saying, and that you can speak well enough to not kill the mood.

I guess my larger point with the post was to say that I think things like this might be a a more useful metric than knowing X,000 kanji and YY,000 words.
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#31
(2017-08-23, 5:37 pm)ariariari Wrote: I guess my larger point with the post was to say that I think things like this might be a a more useful metric than knowing X,000 kanji and YY,000 words.
Yes, definitely, and I think they're probably easier to informally self-assess than a vocabulary or kanji count, and they can cover the full range of language skills. I think the US Department of Defense defines its language proficiency levels with that kind of "can do x, y, z" metric.
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#32
Yeah I look at those questions and I can see that it's intended to go from easier skills at the bottom to more difficult skills at the top. But for me, watching a TV show or listening to a news broadcast is generally easier than interacting with a group of natives regardless of the topic. They just tend to disregard me and speak to the other natives who have a not just a shared native language but a shared culture and maybe even shared experiences to which I am not a part of. But anything on TV will at least try to minimize the shared experiences and background and include more information to appeal to a broader audience. Usually.
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#33
(2017-08-24, 3:00 am)kraemder Wrote: Yeah I look at those questions and I can see that it's intended to go from easier skills at the bottom to more difficult skills at the top. But for me, watching a TV show or listening to a news broadcast is generally easier than interacting with a group of natives regardless of the topic. They just tend to disregard me and speak to the other natives who have a not just a shared native language but a shared culture and maybe even shared experiences to which I am not a part of. But anything on TV will at least try to minimize the shared experiences and background and include more information to appeal to a broader audience. Usually.

I love this post - it reminds me of why I was happy to leave Japan Smile

More seriously, it also caused me to look up the JLPT "Can Do List" for Listening. Interestingly, <25% of people who pass N1 can do the following:

1. I can understand the main points of TV news about politics, economics, etc.

2. I can understand the general content when I engage in conversations on current topics covered by the media.

You have to go down to the third question to find >25% of N1 people who agree to a statement:

3. I can understand the general content of speeches in formal situations (e.g. welcome parties, etc.).

So to bring it all back to the OP's post, the JLPT has a nice diagram showing the relationship between what they call "language knowledge" and "ability to use language knowledge in actual communication": http://www.jlpt.jp/e/about/points.html. I love anki and improving my language knowledge. But it's also important to remember that it's not a substitute for actually using the language to communicate.
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#34
(2017-08-24, 11:19 am)ariariari Wrote: So to bring it all back to the OP's post, the JLPT has a nice diagram showing the relationship between what they call "language knowledge" and "ability to use language knowledge in actual communication": http://www.jlpt.jp/e/about/points.html. I love anki and improving my language knowledge. But it's also important to remember that it's not a substitute for actually using the language to communicate.

Yeah, which is why you have people like me who attend group lessons with people going for N5 or N4 while only having mildly better output skills than them, despite being close to N1 level (according to JCAT). Perhaps even worse than the one that spent a month or so for a homestay in Japan; pretty sure I only really best him on the number of words I can say, not my ability to say them in a fluent manner.

So yeah, don't neglect output.
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#35
(2017-08-20, 9:02 pm)Furikake Wrote: Yeah, that's why so few people get past 2150. Past 2500 or so, I just don't see the point. Pass a useless kanken exam? It just seems like the pursuit of vanity more than anything else. We're better off using our Japanese ability for something beneficial to the community, not pursuing more kanji trivia.

Well, knowing more obscure kanji would also help make a wealth of historical texts and literature directly accessible to you. 

It's only becomes "trivia" when you're not doing anything productive with it.
Edited: 2017-08-25, 12:17 am
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