Level Up! レベル アップ!

Last December I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. In 2013 I tried level 2, the second hardest of the 5 levels, and didn’t pass, so this time I tried level 3. And after three months’ waiting, I finally got my results back.


And I passed! I expected to pass, but it felt good to have something official to validate my language skill. The Japanese are really good at that. Making things feel official. I remember when I first applied to study abroad in Japan, when they sent the acceptance packet, it was full of multiple forms and official documents sealed in a fancy envelope. When I received my brown belt in Aikido, it came with a very official document on special paper with special Japanese signatures and seals on it. I would expect no less from the official Japanese Language Proficiency Test!


And yet I feel like I have so much more to learn about the Japanese language. A fellow foreigner once told me that passing Level 1 of the JLPT is really just the beginning. I’ve always thought that learning a language is like eating a whole whale, or some other gigantic beast. It’s just such a huge task, you can’t expect to do it all in one sitting, or one month, or one year. It’s a journey. And if I’m really still at the beginning of it, then it must be a long one!


In the meantime, I’m still waiting to hear back about my application to JET. No doubt countless friends and family have asked on multiple occasions if I have heard back from JET yet. Early April. It doesn’t seem that far away now. Anyway, until then, I wait with hope, and hope doesn’t disappoint.



About Stephen Gabriel Falke

Stephen Gabriel Falke is passionate about loving Jesus and loving Japanese! He grew up in Virginia, America, and first visited Japan in 2007. He then studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for a year in 2012. He also participated in the JET Program as an ALT from 2015-2017. He currently works as an English teacher at Hirosaki Gakuin Seiai Secondary School in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan.
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