Saturday, August 24, 2013

B1 Test (AKA Saturday Morning Adventures)

Today we took the B1 German competency exam at our language school. Here is the explanation of the levels. It went pretty well, and we felt good coming out of it, even though it was a formal test. We won't know how we did for another 10 days or so. Here are some thoughts from today and an explanation of why we decided to take this formal exam.

The first reason we took this test was because we needed it for our visas. I think we have between two and three years to get to this level of German to meet the visa requirement, but we figured that it would be good to get it out of the way while the grammar nuts and bolts were firmly fixed in our heads. This leads into our second reason for taking the test. We wanted to get a bench mark for how far we have progressed in the language. Language learning is something in life that is hard to pin down. Often times you grow and grow and don't really notice the growth that has happened. There aren't that many times that we have something like this to take the pulse of our progress and so we jumped at the opportunity.

Last fall, I wrote about speaking like a child and preparing for our A1 exam. That feels like so long ago and it is amazing to see how we have grown in the last nine months. Like any student studying a subject, the further we go into German, the more we realize how much we have yet to learn. 

Ultimately, language and culture are tools that we use to effectively communicate the gospel cross-culturally. We really love German and Austria, but we are not here just to learn the language and culture. We are here because we have a loving and good God that wants to have a relationship with Austrians in German*. And we believe wholeheartedly that the time we are investing now in language learning will bear fruit in the future as we seek to be a witness to Christ's message and to encourage Austrian believers to do the same.

*I am still blow away at the language diversity on this planet. The fact that communion with God is had through so many different languages and variety of cultures completely astounds me.

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