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Eiken for kids 
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:59 pm
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Location: Japan
Post Eiken for kids
I have a mother asking about the EIKEN test for her child. I haven't met either mother or child in person yet, but I'm pretty sure the kid is in early elementary school.

My question is, how early do kids usually start taking the EIKEN test? I think level 5 is the lowest level, and as far as I can tell, you need to be able to read sentences and understand them to answer the questions. None of my current students can read much more than their own name and a few 3 letter words.

I'd like to give this mother a general guideline for when she could realistically think of the test for her kid, so any input here would be well appreciated!

Thanks!


Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:52 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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(background: EIKEN is a Japanese proficiency and licensing test system. They have different leveled tests and students can put their passing results/qualifications on enterance applications for school. They can also serve as credentials for certain job positions.)

There is an EIKEN Jr. and that's probably what they are thinking about. I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty certain it doesn't have much weight. It's just one more standardized test to add to the list. With students younger and younger these days, the pressure for a test has grown. They use pictures and I believe the majority of it is listening.

My motto on that is: Assess to teach. Don't teach to assess.

I generally tell parents that I teach the children what they need to know and how to use English. I don't teach them to pass tests. (They do really well on their tests, and that's the paradox that I wish teachers would stop ignoring.) If you get wrapped up in the testing system, you'll soon find a good percentage of classes are dedicated to test-prep, not necessarily what the students need. I'm not a big fan of these tests and maybe I'll leave it at that.

I tell students if they want to take those test, go right ahead. I advise them to pick up a practice workbook and do it outside of my school. If they have any questions to bring them in and I'll help them out, but they shouldn't waste their time with me doing that.

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Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:26 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
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Quote:
I generally tell parents that I teach the children what they need to know and how to use English. I don't teach them to pass tests. (They do really well on their tests, and that's the paradox that I wish teachers would stop ignoring.)


I totally agree with you Mark!

well said


:mrgreen:


Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:47 pm
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There are some tests by Cambridge. Again I'm not a fan of those either but they are a lot better. If your students want to take a test, take a look into those.

There are some positive aspects to testing your students with proficiency test.
- It gives the students a goal
- It shows the students that they have made progress
- It's recognition by a body other than their English school or teacher

So, feel free to disagree with me.

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Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:11 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:35 pm
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oh do I ever agree with that!!!

Assessing for learning or learning for assessment.

This is the key to what is so wrong with education here.
The focus is on the wrong thing. Students energies are harnessed from such a young age into the assessment grind. I even have had a kindergarten student going to Juku to learn the abacus to help prepare for the entrance test for an elementary school.


Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:54 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:59 pm
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Thanks for the thoughts, and the links to various tests. I'll do a little research.

For the record, I also generally disagree with formal testing of young learners. I've never done any in my classes. I've been very lucky so far to only have people come to my school who were really interested in having their kids enjoy learning English, and who are quite content to just trust the way I do things.

Some of my kids are coming up on a year of working with me though, and I'm trying to prepare myself for the perhaps inevitable request for some kind of formal acknowledgement of progress.


Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:20 pm
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:36 pm
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I totally agree with what's been written here, however I've just started teaching a child, who is taking Eiken level 5 in 3 weeks.
Given the impossibly short time frame I have no choice but to cram as much Eiken related vocabulary into his head as possible (groan).
Does anybody know where I can find a vocab list for level 5? I've been searching for the past hour and can't find anything.


Thu May 26, 2011 3:42 pm
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Level 5??? I think that's the alphabet and "Hello." - "Good-bye"/"Thank you."/"You're welcome." :)

Your best bet is a bookstore. There are a lot of eiken prep books with old tests. I'm not sure there is a set list. There are also some old tests here http://www.eiken.or.jp/listening/grade_5.html

The page is in Japanese.

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Thu May 26, 2011 5:42 pm
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There is a Junior Eiken test, sometimes called Jido Eiken. It comes in 3 levels, bronze, silver and gold

The Eiken test levels 5-3 are generally considered as Junior High level tests. Often students from well below this grade level will be taking the tests. The tests then come in levels, pre 2, 2, pre 1 and 1(These usually being undertaken by University level students).

You can get practice tests for all levels 5 to 1 online, printable versions too. I have never found printable versions of the Jido Eiken tests online, but there is an online practice test that can be taken with sample questions from the test.

As mentioned by a previous poster, books for all levels can usually be bought at any decent sized book shop, including the Jido Eiken.


Mon May 30, 2011 3:33 pm
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