Last week we had our first language evaluation. We should be having these every month or so to help us know how we are progressing. I was totally nervous to walk around with Terry and Rosie (the same folks who have been orienting us this whole time) and talk to people knowing that they were taking notes on everything I said! I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to speak well at all with them scrutinizing every word! But I made it through it and felt like it went pretty well. We spent most of the time talking with Aggie, one of my “Pidgin friends”*, so that made me much more comfortable.
We had to pretend to do things like apologize, buy something at the market, borrow an item, give directions to my house, turn down food politely and leave someone’s house in a culturally appropriate way. I also had to explain how to wash dishes in the American fashion and have her repeat back my instructions. And we did some simpler things, like greeting someone, and talking about colors, numbers, and what was growing in the garden.
So where do we stand? They divide the language learning into levels Basic, Progressive, Capable, and Proficient, and each of the levels has sub-levels low, mid, and high. Surprise, surprise, Joseph beat me. He was placed at Progressive Low and I was placed at ‘Basic High bridging to Progressive Low’. I was a little bummed to not be completely in the Progressive Low level, but its okay. Overall, I think we are both doing well. We’ve still got a ways to go, but we can see so much progress already and that is so encouraging!
Ok, so this isn’t actually a picture from eval day, but I thought you might like to see what Terry and Rosie look like. L-R: Me, Katie, Rosie, Terry and Dave.
*Lucy calls the people here “Pidgin people” since they speak Pidgin, so I have adopted that lingo from her!