The placement test is composed of two parts -- a written test and an interview. The written test for SILAC is divided into the same sections as the SILAC modules themselves, most likely so that the instructors can determine which module a student is weakest in so that he can be assigned to that. The test progresses from easy (beginner level), where you simply fill in a blank from four choices and becomes more difficult until you get into intermediate level questions. Towards the end of the written test, you will find yourself filling in those blanks yourself and reading a short prose and answering questions relating to it. If you have difficulty completing the test, though, it is quite OK to give up. Even though I was struggling towards the end of the test, I was able to answer every question (even if I had to make an educated guess).
|Statue of Tarokichi Hattori in front of Yamasa II|
After the written test there is a spoken interview, where an instructor will ask you questions (usually pertaining to what you missed on the test). It is not unusual for someone with a lot of grammar knowledge to be placed a level lower due to lack of speaking ability, which makes sense because Yamasa is here to help people actually be able to communicate.
Based on your overall test results, you get placed in one of 5 groups: Beginner (for those folks who have never studied Japanese and cannot read or write in ひらがな or カタカナ), Basic 1, Basic 2, Basic 3, and Intermediate. I was placed in Basic 3, and while I will be reviewing concepts that I have studied before, I will also be doing chapters in みんなの日本語 that I have not gotten to yet. Erica, unsurprisingly, was placed in Basic 1 since she already knows the ひらがな and カタカナ.
|きつつき, or the Woodpecker, is a lunch spot on campus.|
In the afternoon, we met Declan Murphy, who is basically the guy to go to if we have any questions about anything. He also handles admissions. I must say, though, this guy is a certified badass -- he is of Irish descent and serves as director for Yamasa, as well as the handler of most student affairs. He gave us the low-down on living in Japan and about what we could expect from Yamasa's programs.
Afterwards, we took off for the evening, explored Okazaki for a little while, and checked out the AEON Mall, where I picked up my copy of コクリコ坂から and watched a movie called グスｺーブドリの伝記. I'll write about Okazaki some other time, though, I need to go to sleep for morning class. I'll leave you with a few more pictures, though.
|Sugarwater and a random Japanese house.|