I have a friend in Bristol with a Japanese wife and a child, who keeps a blog on which he posts updates about his progress in learning Japanese. This week, just like thousands of others around the world, he received the results of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, held every December.

This time he didn’t pass, but he’s already looking forward to his next attempt. Reading his blog (which for some reason I can’t find now, I’ve lost it in my jungle of RSS feeds!) has inspired me to make the decision to take the test myself this year.

I don’t value JLPT so much for what it certifies, but rather, I value the motivation I believe it will give me to continue to work on my Japanese when I return there in the summer. I know from experience how easy it is to get by in Japan without using Japanese – and this is not necessarily a bad thing, who ever said one should have to speak the language? …But for me personally, I really want to have good communication skills, as I feel it will have a great impact upon my relations with my immediate family-to-be, and also my in-laws. Additionally, I believe it will give me more opportunities to explore my passions whilst in Japan. Oh, and it keeps my brain ticking over too!

I can imagine that after I leave uni the last thing I will want to do is enroll upon yet another language course, but I think that if I don’t set myself some specific goal (such as taking JLPT in December) then as has been the case this year, I will forget much of what I have learnt thus far.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate my classmates who did take it this year, Charlotte, Chris and Jon. I think Jon deserves particular recognition – 76% at Level 1! Amazing stuff, I don’t know how they managed it what with everything else they had going on.

3 Responses

  1. Excellent! It’ll be good to know I’m not alone 🙂

    I got an email from a friend in Tokyo who has also decided to go for it, so that’s three of us at least!!

  2. Hey,
    recently found your blog.
    I decided a few months ago that I wanted to change my aim in my Japanese (I’m a university student, exchange student right now) and my new aim includes having to study for the JLPT 2. I’ve never been very good at studying by myself but I’m finding more and more fun ways to study, like challenging myself to read Japanese novels to learn ‘real’ kanji as opposed to just the academic ones that I normally learn.

    Anyway, good luck to you!
    Ps, my Australian friend also failed the JLPT this year. Looks like I’m going to have to study extra hard! 😉