New year, new exam..

2019 already!  As I said, I did not end this blog, just took some time out continuing my studies. In fact I went back to St Petersburg and to Liden-Denz school for three weeks in September, followed by a visit to Moscow for an online learning conference

I have been continuing my weekly Skype lessons with the wonderful Lilya, but sadly there was no Advanced evening class at UCLAN this year, so all my UK learning has been online. And now it is time: new year – new exam!

cat with Russian materials

My unofficial New Year’s resolution is to take (and pass) the TORFL/TRKI at First Certificate (B1) level by the end of March., 11 months after I took the A2 exam. This is approximately equivalent to the UK ‘A’ level – which I would be interested in taking, but struggle to find a nearby school that offers it. During my three weeks at Liden-Denz in September, I studied alongside a young woman and man who’d both done A level German in UK high schools. I was astonished – until I learned that they had both gone to fee-paying schools 🙂

I plan to spend March in St Petersburg, studying and working for Moodle HQ before and after my class hours. And yes, I am very nervous!

I have been doing sample papers – including A level papers. In terms of the TORFL/TRKI, I am confident in the grammar paper and think I will be OK with the reading paper too.

Writing will be a challenge, particularly as I still haven’t mastered cursive and deeply resent having mastered one alphabet only to have to re-learn it all over again! (like t becomes m and d becomes g… hmmmm)

Speaking I will falter with – I am fine memorising a ten minute speech in Russian – but improvising on unplanned questions is another issue, and I imagine myself biting my nails on that one. (On the other hand, the examiner for the A2 oral exam completely disregarded the script, so maybe I will strike lucky with the B1 oral too)

The listening paper is interesting. For the  B1 TORFL/TRKI, you can only listen to the passages ONCE! (When I did A level French and German years ago, we were played a tape twice. Now for the UK ‘A’ level it appears you are in control of your own tape and can play it as often as you like – within the exam time frame) However, the Russian and UK versions seem to balance out, because although you can only hear the Russian B1 exam passages once, the questions are (to my mind) fairly straightforward. I did the sample paper quite confidently. And while you can listen to the UK ‘A’ level passages as often as you wish, the questions are (in my view) very hard!

So this blog will be updated on a fairly regular basis until I have done the B1 exam. And then I should stop! I really should! I’ll maintain my level of Russian but there is no real reason for me to go on and do higher and higher levels… and besides, with Moodle HQ having a new Northern hemisphere office in Barcelona, I want to raise my level of Spanish above A1. But that is a whole new story….



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