A craze for studying Mandarin has arisen across the world and learning Mandarin has already blossomed into a global fashion. Each country is listing Mandarin as an important foreign language in education. Therefore, in November 2005, the National Taiwan Normal University National Mandarin Proficiency Test Steering Committee was formed. The committee changed its name in January 2007 to the Steering Committee for the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu, abbreviated to SC-TOP. The Ministry of Education awarded it a special budget and took on the role of its governing authority. Its aim is to develop and promote proficiency tests for Mandarin language ability. The Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission holds a deep understanding for the importance of Mandarin, and understands the needs of overseas compatriots to learn Mandarin. For a long time, it has been making efforts to research and develop Mandarin teaching materials. Apart from offering them free of charge to overseas compatriot schools and to overseas compatriots who need them, the overseas education centers also organize all kinds of Mandarin courses and teacher training programs. Through the setting up of the HuayuWorld.org network and the assistance to the formation of “Overseas Mandarin Digital Learning Centers,” the OCAC also helps overseas ethnic Chinese and foreign nationals to study Mandarin. In addition, assisting in the promotion of Mandarin proficiency tests is also an important task of the OCAC in developing overseas education.
The“Test Of Proficiency-Huayu” is a standardized test especially designed for people whose mother language is not Mandarin. The test was drawn up by experts in testing and Mandarin education according to a strict standard procedure. The contents of the test have been extracted from materials in daily life. Topics cover adverts, broadcasts, announcements, memos, timetables, weather forecasts and other different sources. The test subjects are diversified, with the topics of selected short texts ranging across literature, science, art, geography, history and other different fields.
The Mandarin proficiency test is targeted at present at listening and reading ability, and divided into basic, beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Test participants can choose the suitable test level according to their own study background or language ability.
All test participants who pass the level standards can obtain the SC-TOP certificate. This certificate can serve to apply for the “Taiwan Scholarship,” as a standard of reference for the Mandarin ability of foreign students wishing to enroll at colleges and universities in Taiwan, as a reference standard for an exemption from the Chinese subject tests under the “University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students” or as a proof of Mandarin ability needed for job applications.
The “Test Of Proficiency-Huayu” takes place on the first Saturday in May and November at locations in North, Central and South Taiwan. In addition, in order to service the numerous overseas participants, the proficiency test has been going international since 2006, establishing test locations all over the world.
Students of Mandarin wanting to know more details about the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu and find relevant news can visit the web site http://www.sc-top.org.tw/ or call the Steering Committee for the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu at 886-2-7734-5638.
Source from HongGuan Weekly