Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle...
Peter: Are You Improving? How to Reassess Your Language Skills.
Chigusa: You’ll learn...
Peter: One: The Power of Re-assessment...
Chigusa: and Two: How to Reassess Your Language Skills...
Peter: All so that you can master your target language and reach your goals.
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned about all about tipping points...
Chigusa: And tipping points are... when you, your free time, and your actions start tipping more and more towards your language goals.
Peter: For example, when you start spending your free time on language instead of watching TV...
Chigusa: ...or when you choose to review words instead of browsing social media on your train ride...
Peter: ...that’s when you’ve reached a tipping point. They’re signs that you’re on the right track.
Chigusa: But, the tricky part is... you can only spot them in hindsight.
Peter: Chigusa, there’s another thing you can only know in hindsight - that I want to talk about today. And that is, how far you’ve progressed.
Chigusa: Listeners, do you ever wonder if you’re getting better?
Peter: It’s a normal thought to have because with languages...
Chigusa: ...it’s a bit tricky to see your results and progress, isn’t it?
Peter: It is. For example, with gym, you can see your results. With language? Not so much.
Chigusa: So, Peter, is your Korean improving?
Peter: That’s a great question, Chigusa. I HAVE been hitting my goals so far. I reached my 17 minute mark. But, those are my own goals.
Chigusa: Right, it’d be better to have a second opinion.
Peter: Exactly. So, this past month, I retook the assessment test that we have on our site.
Chigusa: And... how’d you do?
Peter: Well, that’s the topic of todays’ Inner Circle
Chigusa: Are You Improving? How to Reassess Your Language Skills.
Peter: And let’s jump into part 1.
Chigusa: Part 1 - The Power of Re-assessment
Peter: So, listeners, have you ever wondered if you’re improving in your target language?
Chigusa: If you feel like you’re not improving, that can hurt your motivation
Peter: And, if you see that you are... that can fuel your motivation.
Chigusa: But the tricky part is... how do you reassess yourself?
Peter: So, I was thinking about this the past month, Chigusa. It’s almost the end of 2019, and I wanted to know where my Korean is right now.
Chigusa: So, you took the assessment test?
Peter: I re-took our Premium PLUS assessment test.
Chigusa: The one users have to take at the start, right?
Peter: Exactly. I’ll tell how I did in just a second, but to give you a bit of background: All language schools have you take an assessment test before you start learning. And we do the same with Premium PLUS. Do you know why?
Chigusa: To see what you already know....?
Peter: ...And so you get the lessons that are appropriate for your level.
Chigusa: So, the first time you take an assessment test, it’s more so... for the teacher, right?
Peter: Exactly. So they know where you are and what you need to learn.
Chigusa: But what if you’ve been learning for the past 3 months... and now, you want to know how far up you are?
Peter: Exactly, Chigusa. So, that’s where reassessment comes in. Since you’ve put some time in, now it becomes useful for you.
Chigusa: You get to see where you stand.
Peter: You can see where you’ve improved. What your strengths and weaknesses are.
Chigusa: And I bet it can be pretty motivating. So, you took the test. How’d you do?
Peter: Well, the results were super encouraging. I’ve had improvement in listening and reading. I’m at the Lower Intermediate level there. There was some real improvement in reading...
Chigusa: ...and writing?
Peter: Well this is the interesting thing about language learning. Writing, not so much. And you know, I guess that makes sense.
Chigusa: Yeah, you focus mostly on speaking and listening, and ignore writing.
Peter: Guilty as charged. But Chigusa, it’s super encouraging to get confirmation from the assessment test - that I am improving.
Chigusa: Would you say it helped you hit your monthly goal though?
Peter: Not directly. Taking it did not add any minutes to my conversation, but... confidence and motivation-wise, amazing. It really made me want to study more because I saw tangible results that I was getting better. And it also really brought to my attention that what I need to work on.
Chigusa: Writing?
Peter: Exactly. So, nowadays, I'll take a few minutes and write out the dialogue from our lessons. And let me tell you, this is not as easy as it sounds. When was the last time you took out a piece of paper and wrote something.
Chigusa: Ten years ago.
Peter: Okay, I don’t think it’s that.... But yes, the birthday cards and things like this, but it’s a very unusual feeling to have the pencil and paper in your hand and rewriting. But, let me tell you, it’s really powerful. I can’t prove it but I feel things stick better if I write them out. So what I do is I handwrite them. Then, I’ll send the images to my Premium PLUS teacher. So instead of texting the teacher, which is very interesting. Texting nowadays is almost a bit like cheating, can you guess why, Chigusa?
Chigusa: Because they autocorrect spelling?
Peter: Exactly. I can write in Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean... just by getting the first few letters correct, it will autocomplete the rest. When I have to write, I have to know all of the characters. So writing it out and sending a picture, for me, is 2x more powerful than just texting, because I don’t have to get the spelling right anymore.
Chigusa: Right and now what about our listeners. How can they re-assess themselves?
Peter: Let’s move onto part 2.
Chigusa: Part 2: How to Reassess Your Language Skills
Peter: So, listeners, if you started with us at the beginning of the year...
Chigusa: ...Now that you are in your 10th month of learning, you want to know how far you’ve come right?
Peter: So, here’s how you can reassess your language skills.
Chigusa: Number one: If you’re a Premium PLUS user...
Peter: Re-take the assessment test. Technically, you can only take this once, but we’ll give you the secret link.
Chigusa: You’ll find the link to the test inside the PDF of this Inner Circle.
Peter: Just be careful. Your learning level may be adjusted based on your results.
Chigusa: So, if you’re an Absolute Beginner and are now at a Beginner level, you will get Beginner level lessons on your dashboard.
Peter: So, if you don’t want to lose your current lessons, just change your level back to Absolute Beginner.
Chigusa: Number two: Revisit old lessons.
Peter: An easier way to self-assess your language level is to revisit lesson dialogues from old lessons.
Chigusa: If you’ve truly made progress, then you should be able to understand them with no problem.
Peter: If not, then you know that you need to review them some more.
Chigusa: Number three: Try harder lessons.
Peter: So, try lessons from a higher level. If you’re a Lower Intermediate, try Upper Intermediate Lessons.
Chigusa: If you don’t understand anything, that’s fine.
Peter: But if you do, then that’s a good sign that you’re ready for harder lessons.
Chigusa: Number four: For Reading...
Peter: ...check out our graded reading books.
Chigusa: These are available for all levels. So you can re-read old ones...
Peter: ...or try harder ones to see where you stand.
Chigusa: You’ll find these books in our Lesson Library.
Peter: Number five: For speaking, use our voice recording tool.
Chigusa: If you can easily repeat the lines from the conversation, that’s a good sign.
Peter: As a bonus tip, also try reading out loud - because it’s almost like practicing speaking.
Chigusa: Right. If you can read a line easily, then you’ll be able to say it easily too.
Peter: Number six: For Writing - which is my weakness...
Chigusa: ...try and copy out the lesson dialogue by hand.
Peter: By hand. Remember, write them out. Take a picture, and then send it to your Premium PLUS teacher. This is the most powerful way to really sear it into your brain. Now, if that’s too easy, which I don’t think it will be, try Number seven...
Chigusa: Ask your teacher for Premium PLUS assignments for reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Peter: And they will provide feedback so you can see where you are with each skill.
Chigusa: Listeners, the point of reassessment is not to pass or fail, but to see where you’ve improved...
Peter: ...and where you need to work.
Chigusa: Alright Peter, speaking of work... what’s your next goal?
Peter: For next month, I want to do 17 minutes of conversation and 3 pages of writing.
Chigusa: What’s the deadline?
Peter: November 30th.
Chigusa: Sounds good!
Peter: And listeners, tell us.
Chigusa: How often do you try and reassess your language skills?
Peter: Shoot us an email at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Chigusa: And we’ll see you next month!


Chigusa: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye. Everyone!
Chigusa: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.