Meine B1 Prüfung ist abgeschlossen :-)
heute habe ich eine vierteilige (Hören, Lesen, Schreiben, Sprechen) Prüfung in Berlin gemacht. Es war für mich relativ einfach, aber zwar gibt es ein paar Fangfrage, die ein bisschen schwer für mich waren.
In vier Wochen werde ich das Prüfungsergebnis in meiner Hand haben. Ich sorge mich nicht, weil ich ziemlich gut vorbereitet war. Zu meiner Überraschung hat die Prüfung Spaß gemacht und hat mir auch ein bisschen mehr Selbstvertrauen gegeben.
Danke euch allen, die mir auf dem Weg geholfen haben. Und duoLingo auch natürlich!
Ich werde das Ergebnis in vier Wochen mit euch teilen.
Side-story: as I stood outside the test center to complete the final portion, a complete stranger came up to me and said, "are you the guy who makes that YouTube channel?" I told him yes, and that hopefully I can make some more of them in the near future. He told me he's Italian and moved to Berlin a while ago, and that my channel helped him with his German. Then we switched to German, and he was rather good I must say! I felt like a very minor internet celebrity for 2 minutes.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch Lance! Ich bin mir auch sicher, dass du die Prüfung bestanden hast! Ich glaube übrigens, dass ich einen kleinen Fehler in deinem Post gefunden habe: „die ein bisschen schwer für mich waren“. Muss auch sagen, dass ich deinen neuen Namen absolut toll finde! Rollt einfach ab die Zunge! (Weiß nicht, ob dieser Ausdruck übersetzt oder nicht :P)
I knew not a single word of German in the fall of 2014. I had the idea I might move to Germany after my studies in London reached an end, and that's when I first started using duoLingo.
But it wasn't until I moved to Mannheim, Germany a few months later in January 2015 that I took my first course. I signed up for an intensive course taught entirely in German 5 days per week, 2.5 hours per class at a place called Abendakademie in the downtown area of Mannheim. After giving me a placement test to complete, they decided I should skip A1.1 and go to A1.2 level.
That gave me a good base. In the meantime before I started up classes again in Berlin in the Spring of 2015, I practice speaking German with my boyfriend and his group of friends (he's German).
Then I started training with a teacher and a few students at the A2.1 level at Expath (a language school in Berlin). That was 4 days a week, 2 hours per class in February 2015.
Following up from that, I attended a 2 day per week course in April 2015. A2.2 Level.
And finally, I took their B1.1 course there in the summer of 2015. Also 2 days per week and 2 hours per class.
That's the end of my "formal training". Since then, I've just been picking up more as I go along through everyday practice. I've read many books in German since then too (all the Harry Potters in German, Die unendliche Geschichte and also MOMO by Michael Ende, and many poems from Rilke and a few from Goethe.
Gosh, now that I write it all down is sounds like a rather prodigious amount of work. But for the most part I have to say it's been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.
UPDATE: Just for fun, I just took the placement test on Expath's website moments ago:
I scored 79 out of 100 points, which placed me at the top end of B2.2. That was quite fun! I wonder how accurate it is...
Sure thing! :-)
To be sure, the entire point of such a test is to help determine where a student should be placed in a classroom environment. They are not intended to judge overall fluency. It is about the overall knowledge you have of the language, not about individual skills such as reading, writing, listening, or speaking.
At any rate, consider someone who is mute but perfectly understands how to read, write, and listen in German. In my opinion they are certainly fluent in the language. Speaking is just another outlet to convey the knowledge of the language. If the knowledge is there, the rest will follow, barring of course certain limitations, like the one mentioned above, that the learner might have.
I would venture to say that the test becomes more inaccurate the longer the test-taker needs to deliberate. Or if they happened to cheat by looking up a word or two during the test. Fluency for me is most strongly associated with what I would call accurate spontaneity. Once the grammar and vocabulary of your target language have been fully internalized, the structures drop away and you are left with a spontaneous command of the language.
If you can fly through the test and answer most of the questions correctly, you are definitely not going to want to go down a level just because your speaking skills suffer. Pronouncing German is luckily very straight forward once your mouth and brain learns how to properly produce each sound. It is a highly predictable language in that regard, unlike English.
For me, writing, speaking, reading and listening developed simultaneously as I learned German, so I would say the test could be somewhat accurate in my situation. I would have no problem in reading those sentences out loud and be perfectly understood by a German.
But certainly there are people who grow stronger in one area and other areas get neglected.
I imagine if I weren't living in Germany, my speaking and listening skills would probably suffer quite a lot.
Ich habe eine Frage für dich: hast du jemand, mit wem du Deutsch sprechen kannst? Heutzutage kann man so viele Chancen finden, mit jemand zu üben. Wenn du keine finden kannst, kannst du einfach allein vor dem Spiegel übst! :-)
Yep, agree with that 100%. I'm an example of someone who's stronger in certain areas. My listening skills are (perhaps weirdly) the thing I feel strongest about, but I've listened to a lot of German over the last two years. It certainly does bleed over into other areas, as I fall back on things I've internalized when I do get the chance to speak the language.
I love your idea of "accurate spontaneity". Definitely have encountered how that works (or doesn't!) in real interactions.
Ich habe Freunde auf italki kennengelernt, aber leider habe ich wenig Zeit für Gespräche auf Deutsch. 30 Minuten jede zwei Woche ist üblich für mich. Ich weiß das klingt komisch, aber mit Arbeit und die Kinder uzw. gibt es einfach keine mehr Zeit (die Zeitverschiebung zwischen Deutschland und den USA macht es auch schwerer).
Du drückst dich besser aus als viele deutsche Muttersprachler, wenn ich die vorigen zwei Sätze so lese. Hardwork pays off!! Especially German is a hard language and you are doing great. English is much easier I think and I still have problems with grammar and missing words! :D You gave me some motivation, thank you!