Student Achieves Highest Possible Proficiency Rating on Prestigious International Exam (JLPT) Administered at the U of A

Kassidy Joyner, a senior majoring in economics, believes that learning a second language is not about memorizing grammar rules or conjugations, it’s about figuring out what works best for you, and having fun with it.

 Joyner has been studying  Japanese language and culture for four years. Her passion for language learning was fueled by her desire to learn more about her heritage.

 “I have always had an interest in learning to speak the language and in becoming more connected to the culture, because my grandmother is Japanese (Okinawan),” said Joyner.

To further improve her skills, she spent an entire year studying  Japanese language and culture with the  Shimane University’s exchange program. “Because I was in an almost completely immersive environment, it was incredibly challenging for me to understand what people were  saying,” said Joyner.

“It was difficult, but it was also rewarding. This experience definitely helpled me become more fluent in Japanese.”

 As a result of her commitment to learning the language, she recently reached the highest proficiency level (N1) in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

The U of A is one of only 15 test sites in the U.S. certified by the Japanese government to administer this pretigions exam.

JLPT certificates offer various advantages, ranging from recognition as academic credit and graduation certification at many  schools, to preferential treatment at companies and recognition of qualifications  internationally.

 “I now have a certification that could potentially open-up a number of career paths. Although I am still ‘weighing’ my options, I would like to pursue a career that would allow me to utilize my language skills,” said Joyner.

She plans to continue studying Japanese, because she would like to maintain her current  level of proficiency and add even more advanced skills the language.