Sunday, February 7, 2010

What Does Body Armor Have to do with Language Training?

I'm at the mid point of language training - 5 months down, 5 months to go. I was telling someone recently how I had to give a 10 minute presentation in Nepali on the American educational system, and I realized that sounds pretty impressive. So how come it doesn't feel impressive? Progress is hard to recognize when you're focused on what you still can't do.

A couple weeks ago, I met with a language training consultant. I took a bunch of personality tests with questions like: I think wearing medieval armor would be fun, true or false? Two years ago I might have answered true, but after a year of wearing 20 pounds of bullet-proof armor in Baghdad, I have a different perspective. The results of the tests were predictable - ISTJ, likes organized learning, etc.

Frankly, the meeting with the language consultant wasn't terribly helpful. The language test process came up and I shared how a lucky guess got me an extra half point in reading comprehension. She defended the practice, and I interpreted her response to mean that the test doesn't measure reading comprehension, but rather intelligence (aptitude). Interesting.


Mom said...

Testing to find out your personality? Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just have someone call your mother?

Lee said...

FSI language consultants are about as useful as your CDO