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Tests & Classes

Nov 6, 2017Canadian, Education, Female, Japanese

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José Cruz: As a teacher I don’t like the idea that um, there is a more important goal outside of my classroom. (Hmm mm) It’s- for example, the the idea that- be- because this was completely different from the way I went to university. When I went to university, and I went to the University of Toronto. The program there had as part of the program- you had to be able to graduate uh to- or to be able to graduate you had to take (Mm) these classes in this program (Mm) and sometimes in the program you had to take a language class (Mm) like French or Spanish (Hm-mm) because the program was about working in Third World countries. (Mm hmm) So you had to show that you could speak a languageJosé repeats this word often to make sure that Haruka understands (0:48) – a language like French or Spanish. And they went all the way up to third year. The understanding was, to graduate or to pass those third year classes (Mm) the teacher will look at you and say, “can you actually speak Spanish or French?” At third year level you have to speak the language because in class the teacher will not allow you to speak another language. (Mmm) You have to read books and books in the other language. You have to write very well. And there was no other test outside of that. (Mm mm) There was only the classes. (Mm mm) And that was always enough. It was understood that if you passed this class that meant that you could speak the language. (Mm mm) And the idea that even if you graduate from this university, but you don’t take the TOEIC test, the company does not trust your English skill, is a strange idea to me. (Yeah uh-huh) The idea should be that if you went to Kyushu University, (Mm) and you graduated from Kyushu University (Mm) shouldn’t that be enough? Wha- why, th- why do you need to take another test to show that you speak English? Wha- is my idea, (Uh-huh) right? I- I find that really strange, and that’s why I don’t like the idea of testing.

Yamashita Haruka: Maybe that’s that’s because Japanese really like to have a licenceIn Japan, it is popular to take a test in order to receive an official qualification or, “licence” certifying knowledge in topics that range from history, to Chinese characters, to trains (2:14), like yeah, (Mm mm) like the TOEIC. (Mm mm) Or just like uh- Maybe we just like to have a licence. (Mm mm) Mm mm. But Japanese university student is underHaruka should have said “In a hard situation” (2:26) hard situation actually.

José: Uh, is under, I’m sorry, “is under…”?

Haruka: Under hard situation. “HardHaruka shows a good example of repeating a word when in a situation of a communication problem. And José shows how to confirm understanding by, again, repeating (2:27)
”. (Oh. “Under” OK) Hard (A hard) Under a hard situation. Is in a hard situation. Actually we have to uh, we have to think about a lot of things like, Although we’re in the university right now (Mm) and we have to study right now (Mm-hmm) You know I’m in the third grade, I have to start thinking about uh getting a job, and have to do some- something, have to move on, have to move on something like (Mm-hmm) how to join the, like internship program (Mm-hmm) and have to get a chance to have a meet- interview with the (Mm-hmm) like, with the interviewer. (Mm-hmm) So, and how to get a connection to the company. (Mm-hmm) So just- and and as you said before I have- we have to get a good score on TOEIC (Mm-hmm) or have to get a licence. So we have to- we have to concentrate on a lot of things not just on studying. So maybe that’s that’s one of the reason why we cannot really concentrate on just- for studying. (Mm)


Are English tests like TOEFL or IELTS a good idea?

Do you think a university degree can guarantee that you have good knowledge?

Both José and Haruka give good examples of speaking in long turns here Jose speaks for about two minutes and ten seconds in one turn, and Haruka speaks for over a minute and half for her turn.

Haruka shows a good example of repeating a word when in a situation of a communication problem. And José shows how to confirm understanding by, again, repeating (2:27)

When speaking to a non-native speaker, note how José naturally and unconsciously refrains from using liaisons and reductions such as “GONNA”. He also repeats words or key phrases often, like “program” or “language”.

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José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Yamashita Haruka image

Yamashita Haruka


Oita City, Oita


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