Last Tuesday was my first day at the Japanese language school. There were many new students from around the world – I’m the only one from the Netherlands though – and we all had to take an entrance test to determine in which class we would be placed. I could only understand about one third of the written exam and could only answer about a fifth of the questions asked during the oral exam. So I thought I didn’t do too well, but I still got placed in the second level class (out of four), because the first level is for beginners with no knowledge of the Japanese language at all.
Everyone with ‘a little bit of knowledge’ is in the second level, which means that the knowledge varies a little within the class. I’m in a class with 12 other students, from Switzerland, Belgium, Thailand, Korea and Taiwan. The textbook and lessons are completely in Japanese and English is only allowed as a last resort, so we were immediatly thrown in at the deep end. It means a lot of struggle in the beginning, but I guess it is the best way to learn quick.
It feels kind of weird going to school and getting homework again, but learning new things is actually very satisfying. Learning Japanese at a language school already seems to be much more efficient than self-study at home. I’m definitly not at the top of my class (yet 😉 ), but fortunately not at the bottom either.
For now I’ll just get back to my homework to keep up!