Statnice (was Certifications - accreditations)
- In a message dated 3/6/03 9:53:57 AM, tonylong@... writes:
>The general EnglishI have heard many stories from people who took various state language exams
>language exam is a cruel joke, for reasons that need not concern us here.
>Suffice to say that only the very best grade - 1, 'excellent' - in any way
>guarantees that the holder may be able to answer a telephone and write
>a simple message in correct English:
in the CR, and I was wondering if anybody on the list believes them.
One of my friends was ordered to take his state general proficiency exam in
English in another town than Prague, because it was claimed that the Prague
facility had a strange way of not passing people who did not train for it at
their school. All the language students at the private English school where
my friend went in Prague were sent out of town for their statnice.
You hear stories like that all the time in the CR, and I generally think that
only a minority of them are true. However, my experience with the Czech
statnice was a little bizarre too. When I went to inquire about it around
1992, the fact that I did not live in Prague became an issue. I was told
that I had to attend the preparatory course in Prague whenever I could, and
pay Mrs. So-&-So (a very sweet, caring instructor) under the table in
exchange for my presence there. (She would never have demanded this of me
herself, so her boss told me the plan.) So, I went to classes when I could,
and passed my basic exam. When I wrote and called the school afterward to
find out if there was a reading list or other requirement for the general
exam, I couldn't get any answers for months until September, when I was told
(a) I could read any literature I wanted, and later (b) not to bother reading
it, because everyone thought I'd already read it (I read the books anyway).
The general written exam came, and I supposedly got an unusually high score
on it. Come time for the oral exam, I found that all the students who lived
in Prague had been given a list of possible topics to prepare for, and I had
not been briefed. It didn't seem like simply a matter of my having been
absent when the topics were handed out. The instructors had had many
opportunities to give me the list, but they just hadn't and hadn't even told
me there was one. I did pass, but with a lower mark than I could have gotten
had I known what to prepare for. I was told they hadn't bothered to keep me
informed of the topics (along with some other things) because they knew I
taught 45 hours a week in Marianske Lazne. I felt I'd been mildly sabotaged
and that it was made to look like a favor. Czech friends experienced with
statnice insisted it was political and revolved around the fact that, not
living in Prague, I was not a "real" student at the school where I took the
One of the funniest things about the exam was that I drew the topic of fine
arts, which seemed right up my alley, having graduated from a rather
difficult art school back home. What I found was that from art school I knew
the stylistic periods of some of the most famous Czech artists over their
lifetimes, but the examiners didn't believe me. I mentioned that Kupka had
worked in the Secession style in his early years, but they thought I was
crazy, even though there was an exhibition of his Secession-style drawings
not a mile away from where I was taking the exam.
I was also asked off the cuff to identify Czech folk costumes by region, and
I was expected to know the location of one or two minor statues in Prague.
I don't know what to think. What do you all believe about how the state
exams are conducted?
> I don't know what to think. What do you all believe about how the stateWell, I always thought they wre complete and utter crap myself... at least
> exams are conducted?
from the "what you learn" perspective - they may
be a bit polished up, but the idea remains the same - drill and not natural
language skills. BTW, how much do they charge? I was alittle surprised (then
again not that much) when I found the CERAPT - the exam JTP's putting out
and wants everyone to believe is very important gets them no less than CZK
5k from everyone who applies (one more reason to chuck them out :).
AND! I didn't confirm this, but from the aplication form I suspect you're
supposed to translate the text they gove you hand-writting (!) I don't think
they have enough compos in there for everyone and mpt everyone has a laptop,
so it would not be democratic to ask people to bring one... Apart from the
fact that I usually can't read my own handwriting, I don't think I'd be able
to translate anything on a piece of paper - you can't shuffle things around
the way you do on a screen... :)
Let's pray to whoever we can that they don't succeed in lobbying for these
things to become mandatory..
- In a message dated 3/7/03 4:19:14 AM, mklimes@... writes:
>AND! I didn't confirm this, but from the aplication form I suspect you'reI don't know if this is true of the JTP exam, but it definitely IS true of
>supposed to translate the text they gove you hand-writting (!)
the exam given by the American Translators Association. You are allowed to
bring no electronic devices whatsoever, not even a pocket electronic
dictionary or a C Pen.