Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by SoULWiz, May 15, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Can anyone give me more info on the modern language assesment test. Thinking of learning a new lingo, cheers
  2. It's a Modern Languages Aptitude Test; it is a gauge as to whether or not you have an aptitude for learning languages.
  3. Does it still use Kurdish as the "control" language?

    I don't think it's the sort of thing you can actually prepare for.

    I failed mine miserably. It told me that I was to languages what John Prescott is to hang-gliding. However, many years later when I did a basic Arabic course I started picking it up fairly reasonably. I wonder how accurate an assessment of aptitude it actually is.

  4. Now done from a tape- contact your local Army Education Centre for details. It is quite a good indicator of ability
  5. Thanks....
  6. One tip on MLAT is to really go for it, by not thinking too much. Most people I know who have done it, run out of time, ie do not attempt all the Qs, sometimes, miss about 25% out.

    My advice is to really rush through as fast as you can on the written section, and if the D/S is not watching keep on filling in sections where you ran out of time (allegedly you are not allowed to go back). Lots of people lose many many marks by thinking about the words too the end of the day though it is an instinct thingy. You've got it or you aint....
  7. Sound like an interesting exam. Basically an IQ test on lanquages? Or do you need any knowledge of french german etc...
  8. Although I took it many years ago, and as I said it used Kurdish, my recollection is that it gauges your instinctive ability to understand the cadence, rhythym and structure of language; apparently it's an ability not unlike that of the naturally gifted musician.

    I can only remember that the word yowl is Kurdish for bowl. Funny that after fifteen years I still remember that. After seeing the words transliterated you then hear them and try to marry them up.

    As others have said you have this ability or you don't (I don't). It doesn't mean that you can't learn a second or third language, but what it does mean is that some people are natural brainiacs for languages. Ergo, the army should capitalize on it and give them intensive training.

    Hopefully a foreign language mentat or interrogation ninja will rock up and enlighten us.

  9. No previous knowledge needed and it is a wholly made up language. Good point about not thinking too much - you would end up "3 questions behind yourself".

    Don't wait for a language post to crop up- I tested a number of people "on spec" and then sent the results to their desk officer so that if they were looking at language based posts in the future then their potential was already flagged up.

    On a personal note - I had no language quals or perceived ability-on the strength of the MLAT I ended up on the language side of the Corps, spent 15 years doing various languages and got degree level quals out of it-so go for it!
  10. But on the other hand if you get 90 something percent you can still biff out in the actual language training, as I demonstrated. On the other hand, much later on I did another language (using the Latin alphabet this time) and sailed through, so maybe there's a factor there for aspiring Arabists/Chinese/Ancient Egyptian speakers.
  11. When I started learning Arabic it wasn't the script that was difficult, in fact being left-handed I found it rather easy. I can now put words together and sort of pronounce them but not actually know what they mean.

    What I found difficult was pronounciation (all that "Kha..." that turns into Welsh business) and Arabic is a notoriously difficult language to "solo." You need immersion training or a classroom environment.

    Funny thing is, and this is what I suspect the MLAT tests, is that once I'd got my head around the idea of learning another language I began to find my schoolboy French and Spanish improving dramatically.

  12. im actually lookin foreward to this now, always wanted to learn a multitude of languages. Makes me seem cultured.
  13. The MLAT I did was written in the 1950's and I found it quite difficult because my grasp of my own beautiful language was quite poor. they don't teach grammar any more it's all:-

    'How did you feel reading this piece of prose?'
    'Write your own piece using the Dadaist method'

    Luckily I passed the MLAT and the old Arabic too, though when you just want to express yourself in the real world or write a letter to your boss your flummoxed!

    I digress, what I want to say is that it's worth learning some English grammar first and that will help considerbly in learning any foreign language. Things like the structure of sentences, cases and tenses which are much more grammatically prominent in languages such as Arabic.

    The other thing is that although the MLAT shows natural ability it does not account for the work ethic of the individual. Lots of naturally talented people don't 'bother-their-arse' on the course. This means someone who is not as gifted but will work their guts out and actually complete the course end up losing out. One of the reasons is because people at the training establishments seemed to be blinkered by a 'one-time' exam result rather than continually assessing how much effort a person puts into what they do. Just a thought!
  14. Have to reply on behalf of those that work at the training establishments and have been accused of being blinkered. Having just been posted out of one of these establishments and actually run the test many many times, we are no longer blinkered by a 'one-time' exam. Depending on where you study is how the course is run.

    They do still use the Kurdish words for the memory section and I have to agree with some of the previous comments with regard to not wasting time. When I was giving the potentials the brief, I told them that they best thing they could do is run through it as quickly as possible, not wasting too much time on thinking about it.

    However, whether an assessment which seems to be based on your knowledge of English can give a realistic idea of whether someone can learn a foreign language I am not so sure.

    But it is all that we have at the moment, and so it will be used until someone comes up with a better idea :)
  15. Well said, although languages never appealled to me at all ;)