Jiaqi “Talia” Chang ’14 recently earned a perfect score on the N2 level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), an exam held worldwide to evaluate and certify proficiency in Japanese of non-native speakers. The N2 level of the JLPT – which has five levels in total – is the required level of certification necessary for applying for most jobs that require Japanese language proficiency.
“It was beyond my expectation to receive a perfect score,” Chang says. “I am one step closer to my dream of working and living in Japan.”
JLPT is the largest Japanese-language test in the world, with approximately 610,000 examinees in 62 countries and areas worldwide. The 155 minute long exam consists of vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening sections.
Chang, who majored in psychology and minored in education at HWS, says that she took the exam to “challenge her potential,” and to open up more job opportunities. She is currently living and working in Beijing as the assistant to the president of Joy Vision Media, a Chinese film company, and plans to attend graduate school at Nagoya University to further her studies of Japanese language and culture.
“The experience of taking the N2 is an affirmation of my effort and a great encouragement for my future studies,” says Chang, who intends to pursue a career in education at a university after graduate school.
Although Chang developed her interest in Japanese language as a junior high school student in China, she says her first experience studying the language “systematically” was as an HWS student. After sitting in on a demonstration class of Japanese, she explains that she liked how the class was student-centered and focused on spoken Japanese language.
As a student, she says her Japanese lessons with Associate Professor of Asian Studies James-Henry Holland and Tanaka Lecturer in Asian Languages and Cultures Kyoko Ishida-Klaus, combined with her study abroad experience in Hikone, were instrumental in advancing her language skills.
“I would like to give special thanks to Professor Holland and Ishida Sensei for their great lessons and all the help they have offered me even after graduation,” Chang says. “The intensive language program I participated in during the semester abroad in Hikone was also extremely helpful.”
As a student, Chang was co-president of Asian Sudent Union, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi.