As the Consular Register grows and grows, my chances of getting ‘the call’ get smaller and smaller. Right now, my oral assessment score of 5.3, which would have gotten me an offer a year ago, has me ranked somewhere around 70 out of 100. BUT! All is not lost. As I’ve said before, passing a phone language test will add 0.17 points to my score, bringing that score up to 5.47, and my rank somewhere around 20. That is mind boggling.
On Tuesday, one week from today, I’ll be taking the phone test for Hebrew (gulp!). So I’ve been studying, I’ve been talking to Leah in Israel on the phone, I’ve been watching Rexhov Sumsum (Israeli Sesame Street) and some really depressing Israeli movies. Tangentally, Israeli movies are sooooo depressing – people are constantly dieing, ugh. I’ve also been taking a conversation class at Sixth & I downtown, and have been doing some self directed study. All of these have really helped me get my Hebrew up to a level where I think I can pass the phone test.
Lucky for me, Hebrew is considered a ‘hard’ language, and I only need to speak at a level 2 to pass. According to the government Interagency Language Roundtable speaking self assessment, I should have the proficiency to pass. The gap between level 2 and level 3 is pretty big, and I don’t think I would be able to pass.
One of the best parts of my conversation class is my wonderful teacher, Naomi McNally. She actually taught Hebrew at FSI at one point, and her husband is a retired FSO! This afternoon, she gave me a short practice phone test. While she’s familiar with the in person test at FSI, she’s a little uncertain about exactly how they’re going to test me on the phone, as the process is a little different. Still, it will be good to get her feedback after tomorrow night’s class – and maybe I will be able to fit in another practice test before next week.
So between now and then I’ll be studying, practicing, and thinking in Hebrew. Wish me luck, Internet!