The level guide here on Jalup was one of the first things that was created when this website came into existence, and has been at the core of the site up till today. It has been reworked over the years, with many supplements available to figure out how to pinpoint where you stand. But is all of this merely aesthetic to carry forth the video game theme?
Levels mean something
People who first visit this site don’t know their levels according to the level guide I’ve promoted here. So when someone asks them what their ability is like, they’ll go to the classic defaults of beginner, intermediate, advanced, or some slight variation of the 3. This is the way it is almost everywhere.
Here, you get a specific number.
Numbers give you clear goals. These goals become the foundation of your motivation. With numbers, you can measure yourself inching closer to them. Every step of the way you feel a sense of accomplishment. Why do you think video games use detailed levels and stats for everything about your character. How fun would it be to see your video game character progress be described as “okay, good, and great.” Look out, a level okay enemy is coming to attack you!
A number breaks down your goal into something smaller you can use. Think about the above 3 standard categories of beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Those are only 3 categories that cover a time span of years. Even if you add a low or high (ex. low intermediate) to each one, that still is only 9. The level to reach fluency here is 65. That is 65 points of breaking down your progress.
For example, when you are stuck in the mid-level blues, only knowing that you are intermediate level may make it feel like it will continue for months. But knowing that you are level 25, and just need to reach level 30 to get past this phase, can feel empowering.
Finally, numbers allow you to express your ability to others. When you say you are level 15, people on this site have an instant image of what that means. This makes it easier to offer you advice, provide recommendations, and engage with you in simpler Japanese.
But levels are just made up, right?
Of course they are. In the end, you decide what level you are and when you level up. The tests and guidelines on this site are designed to measure your level, but they are only estimations. However, the estimations don’t need to be 100% accurate with some impossibly detailed analysis of your language ability. All it needs to do is provide you a general location of where you are and where you are going. And since everyone else is using the same system of estimation, the numbers can do what they were intended to do.
How have you used the levels?
Have you kept track of your level on Jalup? How has it helped you in your studying?