A couple of days ago, I took a Russian Proficiency test (for fun!) to determine my skill with the language. The test divided proficiency into five categories (Functional, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Professional), with two mini-levels per category. The test covered reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in separate sections, each section having approx. 30 questions. This morning, I finally got the results of that assessment back.
And my estimated proficiency level in Russian is…
Intermediate/Upper intermediate (4-5)!
Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve gotten this far in just two years of study, given that so far my Russian classes have been slow-moving and non-intensive. It must be a combination of that and the more intensive Russian work I’ve been trying to do on my own time. Regardless of how my proficiency level came to be, the results are very encouraging. It means I’m doing something right. And hopefully, if I continue to study Russian at this pace (perhaps intensifying when/where needed), I’ll be able to reach the professional level (C1-CEFRL) one day.
Other test notes:
- reading and vocabulary. Reading Russian articles from Kommersant, Twitter feeds and miscellaneous blogs each day appears to be helping. I also try to read at least two books in Russian per month to pick up vocabulary.
- writing. Russian grammar isn’t too bad…at least for me.
- speaking. I can ask/answer questions, give directions, discuss some stuff etc. but struggle with spontaneous conversation. Accent, however, is not an issue – I speak without a trace of an American accent and in fact sound like a native Russian speaker. I might be able to fix the speaking issues if I can find a way to do one-on-one speaking sessions with a native speaker (preferably taking place in the physical world). It’s better than the classroom setting, where I spend 3/4 of my time listening to the other students make mistakes. My last conversation partner moved to another state a few months ago and I haven’t been able to find a new one since.
- listening. My comprehension is inversely related to the speed of the speaker. Simple fix: increase my exposure to the spoken word through Russian podcasts, radio and movies.
Today is a happy day indeed! 🙂