Friday, September 10, 2010

365 Challenge, Day 55: ¿Cómo se dice...fluent?

When freshmen Foreign Service Officers journey to DC to begin their new careers, most do so with a heavy burden to bear: they must achieve a score of 3/3 in a world language within their first five years of employment or risk not seeing a sixth. Some are able to "test out" prior to their first day of work. Others are required to take language courses prior to arriving at post. Others still are assigned to English speaking posts and must delay their pursuance of a foreign language for two years. For TJ, a 3/3 means not only being one step closer to gaining tenure, but also gaining clearance to travel to Guadalajara in November to begin work.

My first week of language training coincided with TJ's last week. Today, I struggled to recall information from high school Spanish as TJ went on to earn a 3/3 in Spanish. I don't know what the scoring consists of, but apparently he's fluent. I don't know. I can't understand a word he says. Yet. But I sure am proud of him.


  1. 3/3 means professionally proficient. And actually you can get off language probation with a 2/2 in a hard language or I think a 2/0 in a super hard language. Either way, congrats to TJ!

  2. Oh, I know. But Spanish isn't considered hard or super hard, so it did require a 3/3. :-)

    I suppose my wording could have been a little clearer regarding overall language requirements, but since all we were concerned about was clearing Spanish, that's where I placed emphasis.

    I wonder if that qualifies as selfish, lazy, or just honest? lol

  3. YO QUIERO TACO BELL! I know, I can trade private tutoring in Spanish for some interview practicing (I just can't seem to bring myself to say "oral assessing" for some reason ;-) )