Entry #44: Wrapping up Language Training

Date: 7/26/2019
Time: 1:08pm
Location: Language training site

Gimme that yung sitrep, what’s up?

Just finished our language exams!

I’ve learned some languages before, went through classes for Tagalog, Korean, and French (not fluent in any, kinda functional lol) but this five week language was something else. It compresses a lot of what you learn in any language and pushes you to practice.

Missing one day would hinder your practice for days. The material compounds on itself, and the language only gets more and more confusing. That’s how it felt, I guess.

So, how good are you in your language?

It’s okay.

In my opinion, I think I did pretty well for the five weeks that we’ve spent in practicing this language. I’ve got a bunch of vocabulary setup on an excel sheet and wanted to continue going strong with my studies in Lusoga.

In terms of what goes on in the oral assessment for Lusoga, we went from the easy questions to the more difficult questions that was testing our ability to function at a higher level.

Novice Intermediate Advanced
– What’s your name?
– Where do you live?
– Do you have parents in America?
– What do you do everyday in Uganda?
– What is Peace Corps?
– Tell me how you traveled to Uganda from America.
– What is the story about in the book you are reading?
– You are the scene of an accident, describe what has just happened.

-Elaboration and describing various locations and scenarios.

As the oral assessment, also known as the LPI (Language Proficiency I_______________), the questions we are asked go from simple to advanced levels of questions. Our ability to answer, our ability to maintain focus within the target language without trying to translate from English out loud is where we are being assessed on performance. This includes our ability to keep a conversation going and asking questions as well.

Where do you think you placed?

I REALLY want to say that I could have gotten ~ Intermediate-Mid, but who knows and who cares.

The standard proficiency level for us, in Peace Corps Uganda at least, is Intermediate Low. Proficiency levels can vary across countries, some countries you are not able to apply for unless you already have proficiency in their language, i.e. South American countries.

To me, the result doesn’t matter as much. I’m confident enough to say that I have passed, but I have other things in mind. For one thing, I don’t plan on making fluency my goal. For these kinds of skills, life skills that I will want to carry for as long as possible, I create habits instead.

My habit for Lusoga… is to study at least 5 NEW words a day and make ONE new sentence using the words I have learned, everyday.

I learned this kind of way of framing learning from skimming through the self-help books I used to read lol. So, I’m not really sure where I can credit this. By thinking this way, I won’t have as much anxiety about trying to reach a certain proficiency by a certain date because if I’m practicing everyday, I will be learning no matter what.

So what’s next?

Technical Immersion tiiiiime.

Our next phase in training will be something called Technical Immersion.

Technical Immersion is about learning about what we can do at our jobs. Many of us have had some level of training or understanding to function in our jobs, we just need to be shown the ropes of what there is to do in Uganda. Because of this, it is a short, but intense, week-long training to learn about our sector-specific responsibilities.

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