With the advancement of Chinese studies worldwide, students everywhere are starting to ask themselves- Just how good is my Chinese? How does it compare to my friend’s Chinese in Sweden/Japan/New Zealand/Africa/Anywhere? What level do I need to have to do X job or X course? What areas do I need to improve on?
Such are the questions almost 90 students of Chinese (an almost four-fold increase from last year) from various countries sought to get answers to on Saturday, April 14th 2012 in University College Dublin. This is the 5th Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) held by the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland to date.
The new HSK (Chinese: Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is an internationally standardized exam that tests and rates Chinese language proficiency. It assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic and professional lives. The exams are done in test centres around the world, and then they are sent to the international assessment centre in Beijing, where the results are processed and certificates are sent back to the examinees. Examinees can also access their results online.
With the increasing exchanges between Ireland and China in various fields, such as politics, trade, culture, education etc., the numbers of people who are learning Chinese are also increasing rapidly. The UCD Confucius Institute manages a variety of Chinese language and culture courses, ranging from the degree courses in UCD itself, evening classes in 2 different locations and our ever expanding secondary school Chinese classes.
A total of 86 examinees took the HSK examination from levels one through to five. There are 6 levels in total. These large numbers and the huge increase from last year clearly show the popularity of Chinese in Ireland today.