Confucius Institute Helps Assess Fluency in Chinese
New UT Dallas Testing Site is One of Only 11 Approved for the U.S.
Jan. 14, 2009
In addition to helping non-native speakers learn the Chinese language, the Confucius Institute at UT Dallas is helping people assess their Chinese language proficiency.
The Institute has established a Chinese Language Proficiency Test site at UT Dallas, the first in North Texas and one of only two in the Lone Star State. There are currently 11 testing locations in the U.S.
The Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK), often dubbed “Chinese TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language,” is a series of examinations administered by the Office of Chinese Language Council International in Beijing through its various approved testing sites all over the world. At present, there are 161 test centers in 38 countries.
The HSK tests are designed to assess non-native speakers’ capabilities of applying Chinese language in study, life and work. Successful testers are issued proficiency certificates, which can be used as part of an admissions application to Chinese schools and for exemption from Chinese courses at educational institutions. Tests are available at three levels:
- Basic – is intended for beginners who have studied Modern Chinese for 100-800 hours and have mastered 400 to 3,000 characters and grammar items.
- Elementary-intermediate – assesses elementary and intermediate learners who have studied Modern Chinese for 400 to 2,000 hours and have mastered 2,000 to 5,000 characters and grammar items.
- Advanced – tests those who have studied modern Chinese for more than 3,000 hours and have mastered 5,000 to 8,000 characters and grammar items.
The UT Dallas site offered its first testing service Dec. 7 at the School of Arts & Humanities. Fifteen students from the Dallas-Fort Worth area participated. There were test takers for all three exam levels.
The UT Dallas testing site will continue to offer testing services throughout the academic year; the frequency will be determined by demand. Information on the next Chinese Proficiency Test is available from Sharon Yang, assistant director of the Confucius Institute at UT Dallas, Xiaohong.firstname.lastname@example.org, 972-883-4860.