Study Guide

Field 057: World Languages—Japanese
Sample Speaking and Listening Assignments

The following materials contain:

General Directions

This test consists of six sections: (1) a speaking section in which you will respond to an assignment by speaking in the target language, (2) a listening section in which you will listen to an audio excerpt in the target language and write a response based on your comprehension of the excerpt, (3) a language structures section in which you will complete grammatical exercises, (4) a reading section in which you will read a passage in the target language and write a response based on your comprehension of the passage, (5) a multiple-choice section in which you will respond to questions presented on the screen, and (6) a writing assignment in which you will respond to an assignment by writing in the target language. The directions for each section appear immediately before that section.

For sections containing multiple-choice questions, read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the ONE best answer. You should answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all.

Directions for the Speaking Assignment

Note: These are the directions you will see during the operational test. In this study guide, your response will not be recorded, and you will not see a Recorded Answer box.

For this section of the test you will record a spoken response to the assignment that will be presented on the screen. You will have two minutes to read the assignment presented on the screen and consider your response. You will then have two minutes to record your response by speaking into a microphone. Your response must be in the target language. Once recording has begun, it cannot be stopped, nor can you re-record your response.

What you say must be relevant to the situation presented in the assignment. Your response will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

The speaking assignment and a Recorded Answer box will appear on the next screen. A sample of the Recorded Answer box appears below.

When you are ready, click Next and begin reading the assignment. The Recorded Answer box will count down the time until recording begins. You will have 2 minutes to review the assignment and prepare your response. Be sure not to begin speaking until the status on the Recorded Answer box changes to read the number of seconds remaining.

You will then have 2 minutes to complete your response in the target language. You can monitor your time remaining by referring to the Recorded Answer box. The time will count down from 120 seconds (2 minutes) and the status bar will fill as time progresses.

When your time is up, the current status on the Recorded Answer box will change to "completed" indicating the conclusion of the speaking section of the test. Once the status in the Recorded Answer box changes to "completed," select the Next button to continue with the remainder of the test. Do not click Next until you have finished recording your response.

You will have only ONE opportunity to record your response. Select the Next button when you have finished reading these directions and are ready to begin the speaking section of the test. Be sure you have your headset on and that the microphone is in a downward position near your mouth before proceeding. Once you select the Next button, the timed speaking assignment will begin and you WILL NOT be able to return to these directions.

Sample Speaking Assignment

Objective 0008
Presentational and Interpersonal Communication Skills (Standard 4)

Read the assignment below. You will have 2 minutes to review the assignment and prepare your response. Begin speaking in Japanese when the current status on the Recorded Answer box changes to "time remaining." You may take up to 2 minutes to complete your response. Monitor your time by referring to the Recorded Answer box. Begin reviewing the assignment now.

Imagine that you live in Japan and your car breaks down while you are on your way to the dentist. You call the dentist's office but no one answers. Speaking in Japanese, leave a message on the dentist's office voice mail in which you explain the situation. In your message, you must include, but are not limited to, the following information:

Sample Strong Response to the Speaking Assignment

A strong response to the assignment would fully address the assigned topic and develop the topic through extensive elaboration of ideas. The response would be delivered in a consistently clear manner using appropriate cohesive devices to connect ideas within the response. The examinee would speak fluently with easily intelligible pronunciation. The examinee would have good control over simple and some complex linguistic constructions that demonstrate the maintenance of time frames and would avoid errors that interfere with communication. The examinee would show mastery of a broad range of vocabulary including the use of appropriate idiomatic expressions and precise word choice.

Performance Characteristics for the Speaking Assignment

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the speaking assignment.

Purpose Extent to which the response addresses the assignment and is appropriate for the given context
Coherence Clarity of the relationship among ideas
Fluency Ease of expression and flow of speech
Pronunciation Intelligibility and accuracy of pronunciation
Grammar Command of grammar and syntax
Vocabulary Command of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions

Scoring Scale for the Speaking Assignment

Scores will be assigned to each response to the speaking assignment according to the following scoring scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response demonstrates a strong level of skill in presentational speaking.
  1. The response is appropriate for the given context. It thoroughly addresses the assignment through extensive elaboration of ideas.
  2. The response is clear. Ideas are connected and cohesive devices are employed effectively.
  3. The response demonstrates a consistent flow of speech, with few, if any, inappropriate hesitations.
  4. Pronunciation is easily intelligible, with few, if any, errors in articulation and stress/tone.
  5. The response demonstrates consistent command of basic grammar and syntax and some command of more complex constructions. Control of tense and aspect across different time frames is largely maintained. Minor errors do not affect overall comprehensibility.
  6. The response demonstrates broad command of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Word choice is precise, with few, if any, errors.
3 The "3" response demonstrates a general level of skill in presentational speaking.
  1. The response is generally appropriate for the given context. It addresses the assignment through basic elaboration of ideas.
  2. The response is generally clear despite some disruption in the connecting of ideas and/or the occasional misuse of cohesive devices.
  3. The response demonstrates a generally consistent flow of speech. Expression is interrupted by some inappropriate hesitations.
  4. Pronunciation is intelligible despite some errors in articulation and stress/tone.
  5. The response demonstrates general command of basic grammar and syntax. Different time frames are used; however, control of tense and aspect is inconsistent. A generally comprehensible message is conveyed despite numerous and/or significant errors.
  6. The response demonstrates general command of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Errors in word choice may cause gaps in communication.
2 The "2" response demonstrates a limited level of skill in presentational speaking.
  1. The response is partially appropriate for the given context. There is limited elaboration of ideas.
  2. The response is only partially clear. Ideas are only partially connected, and cohesive devices may be largely ineffective.
  3. The response demonstrates an inconsistent flow of speech. Expression is disrupted by frequent inappropriate hesitations.
  4. Pronunciation is at times unintelligible. There are frequent or significant errors in articulation and stress/tone.
  5. The response demonstrates limited command of grammar and syntax; time frames other than the present may not be used. Numerous, frequent, and serious errors partially impede comprehensibility.
  6. The response demonstrates limited command of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Lack of key words and expressions partially impedes communication.
1 The "1" response demonstrates a weak level of skill in presentational speaking.
  1. The response is largely inappropriate for the given context. There is little or no elaboration of ideas.
  2. The response is largely unclear. Ideas are unconnected and there is little or no effective use of cohesive devices.
  3. The response demonstrates little or no flow of speech. Expression is impeded by frequent and/or prolonged hesitations.
  4. Frequent and significant errors in articulation and stress/tone make the response largely unintelligible.
  5. The response demonstrates little or no command of even the most basic grammar and syntax. The message is largely incomprehensible.
  6. Weak command of even the most basic vocabulary or idiomatic expressions impedes communication.
U The response is unrelated to the assigned topic, inaudible/incomprehensible, not spoken in the required language, not of sufficient length to score, or merely a repetition of the assignment.
B There is no response to the assignment.

Directions for the Listening Assignment

This section of the test involves listening to a recorded excerpt and completing a written response based on your comprehension of the excerpt. The listening excerpt will be played twice.

The audio will begin automatically once you advance to the next screen. There will be 20 seconds of silence before the audio excerpt begins to play. During these 20 seconds, you should familiarize yourself with the test question(s).

Once the audio begins, you will not be able to pause, stop, or replay it. Therefore, listen carefully. You will not be able to go back and review your written response in this section of the test. Once you move to the next section, you will NOT be able to go back. Therefore, be sure to compose your response carefully and scan your response sheet(s) before you move to the next section.

Your final response must be written on the Response Sheets provided and scanned using the scanner provided at your workstation. Your response may be written in either English or the target language. You will NOT have another opportunity to scan your response after you leave the assignment screen so it is imperative that you scan your response immediately following the assignment.

Instructions for scanning your response sheets are available by clicking the "Scanning Help" button at the top of the screen.

Your response to this assignment will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

Sample Listening Assignment

The dialogue shown below represents the recorded text you would hear on the actual test. It is shown here for study purposes only; on the actual test you will not see printed text accompanying the recordings.

Objective 0002
Interpretive Communication Skills (Standard 3)

This is a listening comprehension exercise. You will hear a conversation. After you have heard the conversation twice, you will respond in writing to the assignment below. Your response may be written in either Japanese or English. Choice of language will not affect your score. Before you hear the conversation, you will be given 30 seconds to study the assignment. Begin studying the assignment now.

*(PAUSE 30 seconds)

(one male and one female speaker)

(PAUSE 3 seconds)

Now it will be repeated.

(Conversation is repeated)

(PAUSE 3 seconds)

Now write your response to the assignment.*

Write a short paragraph of approximately 75–150 words in English or 150–200 characters in Japanese in which you:

Sample Strong Response to the Listening Assignment

In this dialogue, a woman is trying to find an Italian restaurant called . She asks a man if he knows where the restaurant is located. He tells her to turn right at a big intersection and then to look for the Umeya department store . The woman is not familiar with that store but the man tells her that itís a big department store and that she canít miss it. He tells her that the restaurant is just beyond the department store and that he thinks she will be able to find it because there is a flag in front of the restaurant.

Performance Characteristics for the Listening Assignment

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the listening assignment.

Literal Comprehension Accuracy and completeness in comprehending the literal content of spoken language
Inference Ability to infer information implied in spoken language

Scoring Scale for the Listening Assignment

Scores will be assigned to each response to the listening assignment according to the following scoring scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response demonstrates a strong level of skill in interpretive listening.
  1. The response demonstrates comprehension of literal content, including main ideas and details.
  2. The response demonstrates the ability to infer implied information.
3 The "3" response demonstrates a general level of skill in interpretive listening.
  1. The response demonstrates general comprehension of literal content. There is misunderstanding of some main ideas and/or details.
  2. The response demonstrates some ability to infer implied information. Some communication not explicitly stated may be misinterpreted or missed.
2 The "2" response demonstrates a limited level of skill in interpretive listening.
  1. The response demonstrates limited comprehension of literal content. There is significant misunderstanding of main ideas and details.
  2. The response demonstrates little ability to infer implied information. Most communication not explicitly stated is misinterpreted or missed.
1 The "1" response demonstrates a weak level of skill in interpretive listening.
  1. The response demonstrates little or no comprehension of literal content. There may be understanding of only isolated words or phrases.
  2. The response demonstrates no ability to infer implied information.
U The response is unrelated to the assigned topic, illegible, not written in the required language, not of sufficient length to score, or merely a repetition of the assignment.
B There is no response to the assignment.