Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's elementary

Stålhästen in Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm  |  Of tests and things on afeathery*nest  |
Last we heard, I was struggling to keep three languages straight, but soon after that, my new teacher suggested I take the National Exam to move ahead from 3C to the next official level of instruction, 3D. I mentioned a slight problem with that plan: I don't actually speak Swedish yet, which might hinder an exam that tests my reading, writing, listening, oh, and speaking abilities.

He waved that aside and said my reading comprehension and writing were good enough to take the test. Since there's no risk to taking the test and failing, I figured I might as well.

That's why I spent 3.5 hours in a classroom listening to recordings, reading texts, answering multiple-choice questions, writing an essay, and having a conversation with a fellow classmate before the attentive ear of a proctor and then a conversation with said proctor—all in Swedish, last week.

While I felt really good about the reading and the writing, I felt much less so about the listening comprehension and conversations. But turns out I did well enough across the board—I passed the exam and have begun 3D!

Theoretically this is meant to serve as proof that I speak Swedish at the level of an elementary-school-aged child.

"Theoretically" being the key word.

One year ago: Not so fast (<-- That one time my Swedish residency request was denied.)


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