Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You too can learn Mongolian

In order to gauge the effectiveness of our Language and Culture facilitators and our own ability to learn a new language, Peace Corps has Language Proficiency Interviews (LPIs) before Mid Center Days, and once more before we swear in as a volunteer.

The language learning program that the Peace Corps has is probably one of the best that I have ever seen. Using local teachers as facilitators, the Peace Corps Trainees gain invaluable language and cultural experiences. The other factor that is also important to note is that when you are forced to live in a new environment (Orkhon) with no language (Mongolian), it makes it necessary for you to pick up conversational and important phrases or else life can be tough.

After Mid Center Days, all PCTs were in the range of Novice Low, N Mid, and N High. I was tested as Novice High, which is the minimum requirement for language proficiency before you can head out to the field as a volunteer. After the Final Center Days and the second test, I am now an Intermediate Low. According to the Peace Corps language handbook, now I can do all of these things in Mongolian: introduce myself or someone else, initiate and close conversations appropriately, and can discuss simple topics with friends. Cooped up in my apt, I feel that my language is slipping a little bit now; I need to get out there and talk more.

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1 comment:

Mary O said...

Get out and talk to the people. Be sure to listen too! You will be just fine.

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