Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview Blues

You would think that as a former journalist, I would like interviewing.

And in English, you would be right. I am very comfortable with it. I enjoy it. I like seeing where a question can take you.

But in Estonian, you would be wrong. Very wrong.

Do. Not. Like.

I know we need to practice it in class, though it isn't something we do all that often. We devote much more time to reading and speaking at length.

But this is my least favorite part of the test. And, I think, my weakest area.

I have trouble not getting into the answers and using those to segway to other questions. I understand most of what is being said to me.

But then I have to report back what I heard...and inevitably, I forget half of what was said.

Why don't you take notes, you ask. Geez, why didn't I think of that?

Actually I did. And I have tried. But I don't yet feel competent to take notes in Estonian. And if I take them in English, the switching back and forth between the two languages makes me miss much of what I am hearing. Because my understanding is better if I don't try to translate.

All of this is to say that my brain hurts. Only a week and one day before my test.


Diplogeek said...

You describe the exact issues I had in Mandarin. The interview section was my least favorite section of the test, as well. I think it's because I found it way harder to control than the other two sections (well, of the spoken test- the reading was a giant slap in the face), and you're juggling a lot at one time.

I never did figure out a good way to take notes; writing in characters was helpful in that sometimes characters could jog my memory in a way that pinyin couldn't, but that was slow and sometimes stalled out if I didn't remember a particular character. Pinyin wasn't bad, but could end up with the wrong meaning if I wrote the tones wrong. English was easiest to read back, but made it harder to concentrate on what was being said. I still don't know the best way to do it- so if you find out, please let us know!

Good luck with the rest of the test prep- most people I know find the interview part the hardest, too.

fsowannabe said...

Good luck getting ready over the next week - I'm sure you'll do great!