Nearly every ALT across Ehime ought to be familiar with the EIKEN, or Jitsuyō Eigo Ginō Kentei (Test in Practical English Proficiency).
The EIKEN is similar to the Japanese-Language
Proficiency Test (JLPT). The differences, besides the fact that the
EIKEN tests English-language skills, not Japanese-language ones, are as
follows: the EIKEN offers more levels (seven), is offered
three times a year, can be taken at some schools, and includes writing
and speaking sections.
When people study Japanese as a second language, the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is often seen as a main goal to achieve. An exam that is often overlooked is the Kanji Kentei (漢字検定). This exam is aimed at native Japanese speakers and primary school, middle school and high school students take this exam to see how their kanji knowledge is progressing. The JLPT does not test Japanese learners on their writing abilities, so the Kanji Kentei makes up for a knowledge gap that the JLPT leaves out. So, I believe that this exam is also beneficial for Japanese learners and not just native speakers.
What’s in a name? Or, in the case of Japan, what on earth is the name in the first place? I found out the hard way just how tricky a Japanese name can be.
Names are important. Abraham Lincoln is reported to have never forgotten a person’s name, even of those who he only ever met once. I assume the reporters meant twice, as with those he met only once, there’s no way to tell. I can tell two things for certain from this: Lincoln understood the power of names, and Lincoln never had to learn the names of Japanese school children.