The 9th HSK & YCT Concludes in PSU – 85 Examinees Attend the “Chinese TOFEL”
A group photo of students from the Masters in International Management Degree (MIM) at the School of Business Administration in Portland State University, Liu Meiru (1st on the right), Director of the Confucius Institute at Portland State University and teacher Zhao Wenjuan (2nd on the right)
The “scout” of the Northwest Chinese Academy triumphantly joined the forces of teachers and parents after taking the new Chinese TOFEL. After the new HSK ended, examinees, director of the Confucius Institute and teachers taking a group photo
Students are carefully answering the text paper of the new HSK
According to journalist E Guangcai from usqiaobao in Portland, the 9th HSK & YCT of the Confucius Institute at Portland State University was held at the School of Business Administration of Portland State University (PSU) on April 18th. 85 examinees hailing from the Northwest Chinese Academy, Spring Leaf Chinese School, the International School, MIM of the School of Business Administration of PSU, the Chinese Flagship Program at the University of Oregon (UO) as well as the Chinese class of the Confucius Institute at PSU took YCT levels 1 to 4 and HSK levels 1 to 5. The Confucius Institute also setup an exam site at the UO for the convenience of examinees from Oregon and other states. 6 students from the UO Oregon Chinese Flagship Program attended the HSK level 4 to 6 at the UO exam site.
The new HSK, developed by Hanban, is an international standardized Chinese proficiency test designed in accordance with the regulations of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages. It has incorporated the merits of the old HSK and made use of the latest achievements in the research of international language testing. Adhering to the principle of “testing while teaching”, the new HSK aims to promote Chinese teaching and learning through examination, putting emphasis on encouraging examinees and developing examinees’ Chinese proficiency.
The new HSK has retained the initial functions of the previous sytstem, increasing the number of exam levels and now offering written exams at 6 levels. It has also expanded its exam scales, offering 3 independent speaking examination levels including the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels in order to strengthen its examination of listening comprehension and speaking. In addition, the new HSK has also set out guidelines vocabulary targets and made exam goals clear. The photos in the test papers have added interest to the exams; they better reflect the texts and comprehensively reflect examinee’s day to day Chinese communication.
Among the 14 MIM students who have chosen Chinese as a compulsory course, 8 of which have taken this year’s HSK. Although they have learnt Chinese for only half a year, they wanted to test their own Chinese proficiency through this test so as to set future goals in Chinese learning. These students wish to obtain scholarships by taking the exam so that they will be able to further their education in China and, if possible, receive job opportunities there.
In the previous HSK held at the School of Business Administration, 15 examinees passed the exam and winning Hanban’s scholarship. For the time being, 8 of those scholarship winners are studying at some language studies universities in Chinese Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian and Jinan.
25 pupils from the Northwest Chinese Academy in Oregon constituted a scout group intended to take the Chinese TOFEL, some among which have taken the YCT levels 1 to 4 whilst others have taken HSK level 1, the school has also become the Chinese school accounting for the largest number of patricipants. Amongst examinees coming from the Northwest Chinese Academy, 8 pupils including the 6-year-old Mei Xiang, Yi Zhen, Yuan Shan, Peng Cheng, Geng Jun, Shu Yi, Yi Wen and Xue Ying who took the HSK to excellent result in 2009, formed the youngest new HSK examinee team ever. Due to expansion incorporating photos and pinyin, this year’s YCT has become comparatively easier for these little examinees.
However for those who have taken the new HSK advanced level, the exams were not that simple. Examinee Han Na, Chen Fang and Kai Er thought the test question that required examinees to make an 80-word-sentence by using 5 new words was very difficult, because it was a little bit tough for them to put the word “Tan Cheng” (meaning honest in English) into the sentences made along with the other 4 words. The three above mentioned examinees are veterans who have never failed the previous HSKs, moreover, Han Na had had obtained a Hanban scholarship.
On the contrary, student Zhou Ya who had taken the HSK level 5 had a different explanation. She considers it an exam which is simply a measure to test one’s Chinese proficiency, and she will be content if she could get a score of 85. Historically speaking, Zhou Ya is the only student who has continuously taken the HSK 9 times. She also won a scholarship which was issued by Hanban in 2009.
According to Dr. Liu Meiru, Director of the Confucius Institute at Portland State University, 673 people have taken the YCTs, HSKs and BCTs in total since the Confucius Institute began to hold the Chinese proficiency exams in 2007. On average 90% of them obtained qualification certificates of Chinese proficiency exam issued by Hanban; indicating the excellence of the Chinese teaching team and teaching methodologies of the area that have laid a solid foundation of Chinese for students.
The Confucius Institute at Portland State University is understood to be the Confucius Institute which is home of the highest number of HSK examinees and the most HSK categories in the US.
The test papers will be marked by specialists from Hanban’s Examination Center. Examinees will be able to view their results by referring their exam IDs on www.hanban.edu.cn. In addition, Hanban will grant certificates to those who pass the exams and the top scorers of different exam levels will be awarded with Hanban’s scholarships and free short-term Chinese training opportunities in China’s Beijing Language and Culture University.
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