Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan's New York office holds annual Chinese test

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, NEW YORK

The Cultural Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York City will hold this year's Test of Proficiency-Huayu (TOP) of Mandarin, for beginner and basic levels on April 15.

Ethan Kuo (郭秋義), director of the TECO Cultural Division, said that non-native Chinese speakers over 16 years-old are encouraged to take the beginner or basic level test.

The TOP assessment is a standardized test that was developed by a Steering Committee affiliated with the National Taiwan Normal University.

The fashion

Given the so-called rise of China and a renewed interest -- seen not only in North America but all over the world -- in Eastern culture, Learning Chinese Mandarin has become ever more popular.

Believing that Mandarin students would appreciate the opportunity to assess their proficiency and receive credentials for the reference of educational authorities or employers, Taiwan's Ministry of Education has promoted the assessment system overseas since December 2003.

As the test in New York City will be the first of its kind in the US, TECO will start by offering tests only at the beginner and basic levels.

In general, non-native Chinese speakers familiar with at least 800 Chinese characters -- or who have taken between 240 hours and 360 hours of Chinese language lessons -- can take the beginner's test.

Those familiar with at least 1,500 Chinese characters, or who have taken between 360 hours and 480 hours of Chinese language lessons, can take the basic test.

How to apply

Electronic application forms can be downloaded from the TECO Web site, at www.edutwny.org.

All applications must be submitted by mail or in person to the Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 1 East 42nd Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017 before March 15, 2007.

In addition to the application form, three photos, a copy of a valid passport or ID and payment of US$28 (for the basic level test only) should be included.

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