JLPT Equivalency
  • I'm wondering if anyone knows the answer to this. My girlfriend is Japanese, but she's just finished studying TESL at University and is looking for a job. She was interested in maybe teaching Japanese, but the school she talked to said that they needed some proof of her Japanese abilities. Kinda strange to me to ask a native about their ability, but anyways. She just missed the last mid-year JLPT, so is there anything else that is recognized as a JLPT equivalent or is there some other way to prove ability if they need something in writing. I suggested she just arrange to talk to them, but I don't know if that'll work. -.- Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • I would have thought that any qualification gained in Japan would be sufficient. For example, a high school certificate or something similar would show her Japanese was of a high standard.

    I can't help feeling there's been some kind of misunderstanding though, for the school to ask her for proof.
  • It makes no sense that they would ask her for a JLPT cert.... I doubt even 1% of Japanese adults would fail even JLPT1... I mean, it's multiple choice questions and only tests recognition... and 70% is enough to pass it. Any person who can read a Japanese newspaper even decently shouldn't have any problem what so ever with JLPT1 (for a native that is, it's completely different for foreigners).
  • Thanks. She even graduated from University in Japan before she started studying TESL, maybe her University Diploma would be enough to prove ability. What I'm wondering is if the school is asking this as some kind of way to filter out 2nd+ generation children who may not have Japanese as their first language. My friend who is also Japanese, but grew up in America, wouldn't be able to even pass 2級 because he never learned kanji. He always tells me I probably know more Kanji than him now, but I don't believe that.

    Just in case the diploma doesn't work, are there any other tests or certifications which people can take to prove their ability that you know of?
  • If she is serious about pursuing a career in teaching Japanese professionally, then she'll need to start with the 日本語教育能力検定試験 (Nihongo Kyōiku Nōryoku Kentei Shiken): http://www.jees.or.jp/jltct/index.htm . It is not merely a test of Japanese ability like the JLPT and requires serious study and preparation. Topics covered may be found here: http://www.jees.or.jp/jltct/range.htm . There are many study guides available at bookstores. They are currently accepting applications at this time for an October test.
  • Thanks, I'll pass that site along.
  • 日本語教育能力検定試験 is probably the way to go. I go to a class put on by volunteers in the city I live in here in Japan, and some of the volunteer teachers were talking
    about taking that test so they can teach Japanese more professionally somewhere. The JLPT test is intended for non-Japanese people so I don't think that would help. I mean, since your girlfriend is obviously a native speaker, the employer would probably just say "so what?" right? Just being a native speaker of a language doesn't mean you can teach it by any means though. If you know nothing about how to dissect the grammar of your own language, you won't be able to see and explain the patterns and you won't be able to recognize what trips people up (and why). You should probably just ask the school more specifically what "Japanese abilities" they are talking about, and exactly what certification they are looking for. Their request sounds too general to me.

    Japan accepts native English speakers with no teaching experience (and no Japanese ability) as ASSISTANT Language Teachers (the job I'm doing) but they aren't expected to be able to conduct a class by themselves. After I studied a lot of Japanese, got better at speaking, and learned all the vocabulary used to teach English, (i.e. how to say "infinitive" or "gerund" or "preposition" in Japanese) I became about 10 times more effective and sometimes the English teachers ask me to do a class by myself.

    My first Japanese teacher was actually a Polish lady who was an English / Japanese interpreter in Japan. Her Japanese wasn't as native as someone plucked off the streets of Tokyo, but she had to learn the language to the level of being able to do interpretation so she could probably teach Japanese to English speakers better than most Japanese people (and also was able to see it from a student's point of view). Just saying "this is wrong" or "this is right" is not sufficient (and will of course frustrate the students) and moreover, being able to answer the endless string of "but why?" question that students will ask is also very important. So if your girlfriend is planning on teaching Japanese all by herself, I'd say proof of teaching experience or something is probably what they're looking for, and probably not proof of Japanese-ness.

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