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The HSK Gets Popular in German Nordrhein-Westphalen State
[source]  HANBAN                [ Date of issue]  May 18, 2010

Dusseldorf, May 16th – 92 people took the HSK at the Confucius Institute at the University of Dusseldorf, and this number of participants has created a new record of attendance. An interview with examinees and Confucius Institute staff reported that some of the adjustments made to the HSK have received a big welcome from foreign learners and boosted their confidence.

During the exam, all the examinees finished the test papers and some thought they felt relaxed and confident about their answers. Finkernagel, a female employee in a Dusseldorf enterprise, took the HSK Level 2. Some of the options in the multiple choice questions, the listening comprehension and reading sections are photos, and she said that these photo options are a great help because they can better illustrate information than normal text options.

A 43-year-old female judge took the HSK Level 4, and she pointed out that one positive modification in the new HSK allows examinees to write down the right answers to the multiple choice questions on the test papers first, and then examinees have 10 minutes to fill the answers on punch cards after the exam time ends. This can keep the consistency of the exam and save examinees’ time.

Another examinee called Gille, who came from Koln, thinks the new HSK is sorted into more levels, and she is confident that she will pass Level 2 and will go on to take Level 3. There were also middle school examinees that indicated they want to learn the Chinese language because of its unique characteristics, and learning Chinese will also help them understand Chinese people’s thoughts. All were optimistic about China’s future development.

Han Zhenhua, a teacher from the Confucius Institute at the University of Dusseldorf, mentioned to a reporter that the Confucius Institute is currently promoting its new HSK, and that the paper test has now been divided into 6 levels. In the exam held on May 16th, all 6 levels were taken, among which most (50 people) examinees took Level 2. Examinees that passed the level 2 obtain upper elementary Chinese proficiency; they are able to communicate with others with basic Chinese daily expressions.

Li Yan, the Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dusseldorf said the new HSK is a standardized international Chinese examination for speakers of foreign countries designed by Hanban. Hanban invited Chinese and foreign experts in Chinese teaching, linguistics and psychology to conduct research about the current standard of Chinese teaching in foreign countries and the differences among Chinese learners at different Chinese proficiency levels. The new HSK has specified the amount Chinese characters required for foreign Chinese learners at different Chinese proficiency levels, added photos to add fun to the questions and put pinyin notes on Level 1 and Level 2 test papers to reduce junior learners’ difficulties when reading. The Confucius Institute informs foreign Chinese learners about the HSK through pre-exam promotions.

Director Li Yan thinks the new HSK will be well received by examinees, and that they can overcome any difficulties by studying hard. The new HSK will also play an active role in “promoting Chinese learning and teaching through exams”, expand its presence in foreign countries, better promote the Chinese language, and improve the world’s understanding of China.