søndag 14. juni 2015

Day 128 and 129: TOEFL-test = polite Japanese!? And Vietnam festival

Saturday 13th of June
I usually only work Mondays and Saturdays with the LEPTON-program. Thats is the English teaching materials the students use. And (as you may already know) I give and check homework, set up the PC and reserve Skype calls, check their progress in the books and generally help them if they need something or don't understand the English. But this time I did something a little different!

Here is a random picture of my working place, it's on the second floor
Between one and two weekends my workplace is organazing the TOEFL-test:

Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL (/ˈtfəl/toh-fəl) is a standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in U.S. universities. The test is accepted by many English-speakingacademic and professional institutions. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being theIELTS.
So I said I could work this weekend + Saturday 27th for the TOEFL-test. I didn't have much clue what to do other than I was going to "chech" the participents. You know, make sure that they don't cheat or whatever, help them with the PC if there are any problems etc. But it turned out to be a little bit different. 

Right away I was set to greet the participents, tell them where to sit (to fill out some papers), then guide them to the correct check-in. Doesn't sound to difficult, but you're supposed to use the polite Japanese, called keigo:

Honorifics in Japanese are broadly referred to as keigo (敬語, literally "respectful language"), and fall under three main categories: sonkeigo (尊敬語), respectful language;kenjōgo (謙譲語),[note 1] humble language (or "modest language"); and teineigo (丁寧語), polite language. Linguistically, the former two are referent honorifics, used for someone being talked about, and the last is an addressee honorific, used for someone being talked to. Sometimes two more categories are also used, for five categories total: teichōgo(丁重語) "courteous language" and bikago (美化語), "word beautification", but more often these are included in the above three: teichōgo as a kind of kenjōgo (humble), bikago as a kind of teineigo (polite)—these two other categories use the same forms as the general categories, but are used in different contexts, hence differentiated by some linguists. Each type of speech has its own vocabulary and verb endings.
For example, the standard form of the verb "to do" is suru (する). This form is appropriate with family members and close friends. The polite form of suru, the addressee honorific, is shimasu. This form is appropriate in most daily interactions. When showing respect, such as when talking about a customer or a superior, however, the respectful word nasaruand its polite form nasaimasu are used, and when referring to one's own actions or the actions of a group member, the humble word itasu and its polite form itashimasu are used. These respectful and humble words are referent honorifics, and thus can coexist with addressee honorific -masu. 
Easy to say; I don't know how to speak "respectful" over the "normal" -masu form. So it must have been a little weird for the participents to first (in the hallway, for identification) be greeted by two japanese girl speaking in a very formal way, then be "directed" by me with my half-assed Japanese, trying to be polite. But as I have the Scandinavian appereance, I hope they didn't think too much about it. You know; I'm not Japanese so I'm somewhat excused for being "rude" in my language. Haha! But all in all, it went fine and everyone got to the rigt place.

Then I got sent to "watch" over the participents taking the test. That was pretty boring, haha! I made sure they followed the rules and took their break etc. During my lunch I went out to buy some food and the cashier called me beautiful, which made me very happy ^_^ The break was 30 min and after about an hour I got to put sticker, with adresses written om them, on flyers that's going to be sent out. Pretty random! But I didn't mind, but it got a little borin too~

One of my coworkes where so kind to print out some "respectful sentences" that I can use tomorrow. The only problem was that it was way to complex for me to remember, so I had to make some adjustments to it. 

When I was done at work I went home and didn't do too much because I was feeling a little under the weather. To cheer me up, Jimmy came over to visit me ^_^ We then went out to eat some delish food because it's Saturday!
Later I talked with my mom, sister and nephew <3 It was so good to see them and for once Skype didn't fuck it up, haha!

Sunday 14th of June

I guessed I would be given the same job as yesterday, and I did. So I practices my three "respectful sentences" that was:  

1) Good morning, please take a seat over here
2) Please use the bathroom before checking in
3) Please sit in this order over here. 
(Of course in Japanese, but I'm too lazy to write it..)

And the easiest when they were done with the check-in; "good luck with your test" in plain English :P It is an ENGLISH test after all~

Today was nosticker job, but I helped with cleaning instead :) Then we had a quick review before we were done!

After working I took the train to Shinjuku to meet Jimmy. Today is the last day of the Vietnam Festival in Yoyogi so we wanted to try out some good food ^_^


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