Sunday, 6 December 2009


No, not certified insane, (although I sometimes wonder.....), but certified as TOP Grade 2, look:

After checking on the TOP site and various other materials, I've worked out that this equates to Level B1 on the CEFR, which also translates to a good AS Level (UK exam at age 17 after at least 3, if not more, years of study) or A2 grades C-E (UK exam at age 18 etc, following directly after AS). OK, I feel better about only being TOP Grade 2 now!! Levels A1 and A2 are 'basic user', B1 and B2 are 'independent user' and the 2 C levels are 'proficient user'.

In May I plan to be at least on Grade 3, preferably Grade 4, which will be CEFR Level B2, equal to a good full A/A2 Level at Grade A or so. Actually, I'm not really sure that B1 equals any grade on full A/A2 Level, but I do know that the grammar required for A Level Chinese is mostly taught during our intensive first year at Leeds Uni. The vocab etc though, I still find rather challenging and specialised when I look through the 'Chinese for A Level' textbook I have. Degree level Chinese and other ab initio languages (ie you start on them fresh at uni) is nothing like degree level languages where you go in at Level B2/good A Level. However, we should have at least another 4 quarters here, if not 5 or 6, so I should get plenty learned and hoist that level right up!

I'm wondering about the Japanese though. I haven't really touched it as yet and I'm beginning to lean more towards Korean after all. You can get good Korean resources here and I did bring the 'Teach Yourself' book you can see in my header photo with me and so few westerners speak Korean compared to even Chinese and Japanese. Also, I'm developing an interest in both Koreas etc, so I think I might go for that one instead and come back to the Japanese later on. We shall see!

Our new teacher this term seems quite determined to get us through this textbook as quickly as possible and have it finished this term. No-one, including her, thinks it's really possible, but we're going to try all the same. We can then easily move onto Level 6 (of 10) classes.

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