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More Info About HSK for Students Who Study Chinese in China

During the organizing process of implementing HSK, examination points and examiners continuously have the feedback that the HSK is too difficult. Examiners who study Chinese in China can’t pass the HSK(primary), although they have studied Chinese for two years or longer. They will have the feeling of frustration after they are examined and feel afraid of learning Chinese, which will influence their enthusiasm of learning Chinese further. Teachers don’t like HSK and don’t encourage students who study Chinese in China to take part in HSK. They think that HSK is divorced from students’ real level and can’t have the function of checking and promoting teaching achievement.

Under this background, the Office of Chinese language Council International organized experts in the fields of Chinese teaching for foreigners who study Chinese in China, linguistics, psychology and education meterage to research and learn the reality of Chinese teaching for foreigners abroad to carry out the new HSK which is taken example by the latest result of the international language teaching theory and absorbed the advantages of the original HSK and thought about the differences between common Chinese learners, Chinese learners in China and Chinese learners abroad and based on the Standard of the International Chinese Ability.

The implementing tendencies of the new HSK

Review the birth process of the new HSK: the Office of Chinese language Council International entered into the period of comprehensive investigation and reform in 2007; in 2009 the research of local Chinese test and questionnaire survey of school students in globe started and the Level 1 and Level 2 of the new HSK started overseas forecast in May and the seminar of experts at home and abroad was held in June and the first examination was held in November and the pretesting for comparing the new and original grades started in December; the new HSK held its first global examination in an all-around way in March, 2010.

The biggest change of the new HSK is the transformation from the research on students’ language knowledge to the estimation on Chinese learners’ practical communication skills and the new HSK references the standard of language skills of the CEF (Chart 1). The new HSK has two independent parts, the written examination and the oral examination (Chart 2).

Chart 1: the correspondences of each level in the new HSK with the Standard of the International Chinese Ability and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) are as followings

Writing exam: HSK(一级)、HSK(二级)、HSK(三级)、HSK(四级)、HSK(五级)、HSK(六级);

Oral exam: HSK(初级)、HSK(中级)和 HSK(高级),will be recorded.

The new HSK follows the principle of combination of examination with teaching, whose goal is to promote teaching by examination and to promote study by examination. It not only pays attention to the objectivity and accuracy of comments and the level that students have already got, but also emphasizes on the strategy of encouraging examiners and how to improve and develop their Chinese skills further. The new HSK tries to encourage students but not weed out.

After the new HSK was implemented, it has been highly praised by students and teachers abroad. The Confucius Institute of Trier University in German gave the feedback that many students who don’t study Chinese in China took part in the HSK for the first time and they all thought that the difficulty of new HSK is suitable and they were encouraged by the success of this exam and would like to take part in higher exams.

The Confucius Institute of Ateneo De Manila University’s feedback is that many students like the pattern of HSK Level 1 and Level 2 and they think the questions were very interesting so that they can enjoy the examination and they are full of confidence in learning Chinese continuously. 

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