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chinopinyin

New HSK

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chinopinyin

Apparently, there is a new HSK (http://oia.pdx.edu/confucius/about_hsk/)

6 levels are planned. For the first two levels, there are already sample tests available (http://oia.pdx.edu/images/confucius/hsk1_outline-sample.pdf and http://oia.pdx.edu/images/confucius/hsk2_outline-sample.pdf) They seem considerably easier than the current HSK beginner level.

Does anybody have any further information on the new HSK?

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roddy

This looks interesting. They're tying it into the CEFR, they're making extensive use of pinyin, and look to be producing lists of functions, vocab and grammar points for each level. The sample papers are listening and reading only, there's reference to a recorded speaking section and I see no mention of any writing.

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Meng Lelan

And look at the pretty photographs they use in the sample exams. How can they afford to do that for the real exams if the exams are real?

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imron

Gah, I hope they do away with pinyin above the text for the higher levels. It's so distracting when trying to read Chinese quickly.

I can't say I like the pictures that much either. I always liked the idea that you not only need to be able to listen to something, but you need to be fast enough to read the Chinese answers as it puts emphasis on having balanced Chinese skills. I guess pictures put the emphasis more on 听力 rather than also being able to read, but I don't think that's a necessarily a good thing. Sure, people will feel happier because they're getting higher scores but it doesn't necessarily reflect a higher level.

As for how they can afford to print the pictures, printing is cheap and any extra cost will I'm sure be borne by people taking the exam and not the Hanban themselves.

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roddy

I'm all in favour of the listening section being as accessible as possible to those who can't read - it's the listening section, after all. If they can't read, that should be shown up on the reading section. Similarly you don't want anyone to fail a writing exam because . . er . . .they didn't understand when they were told to start . . .

I'm not keen on the pinyin though. Hope it's not there at higher levesl (can't be, surely) and might suggest it isn't given at low levels - either you're expecting people to learn Chinese characters or not, and if you are, don't muck around with crutches.

But it does look VERY skewed towards lower levels, no, if you just look at the vocab levels? 150 words for the first level is virtually nothing, 300 for the second not much more.

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Meng Lelan

I am shocked at the use of pinyin even at beginner level in these example exams, even though everyone here knows that I am difficult if not impossible to shock.

The whole HSK structure is such a complete mess on every level.

Considering the Texan obsession with and excellence in education assessments, I hereby propose we Texans create a set of Chinese language level exams to replace the entire HSK structure. No argument here, I assume.

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roddy

I can see the point of pinyin in some places - for example section three of the listening. You could have someone who understood the dialogue, but happened to not know the characters in the answer. There's no harm in giving them the help there (although Imron thinks differently). But I don't like it in the reading section.

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isela

But wouldn't having Pin-Yin in the listening section be cheating? It'd be so straight-forward to figure out the answers, just like choosing an English phrase after you hear its pronunciation. I doubt even someone who knows NO Chinese will be able to do it.

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roddy

If the questions are well designed, it won't be that easy. However, THESE questions don't look so good. Take a look at the example in Listening Section 3 ( of the level 1 exam). All you've got to do is hear the '商店' and match it with the pinyin. If the audio was just '我想买一些水果', you'd be sure the student had got the idea of 'buying fruit' rather than seeing a doctor, going to class; rather than just matching up the two 商店s.

But that's a badly designed question.

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Gaogao

Though there are 6 levels, the exam consists of actually 3. (Wiki) Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced and you can get 2 different results, eg. simple elementary, excellent elementary.

I have a testbook for the Elementary and plan to buy the other two levels as well. Published by BLCU Press, you can find them here: http://www.blcup.com/en/list_2.asp?id=2026

I was wondering wether it can be known when they´ll be implemented all over the world, because I´m planning to take the traditional Elementary-Intermediate this autumn in Budapest and the local Confucius Institute already announced the test dates and fees and now they already have "Advanced" and the prices got higher, I wander if it´s due to this, because they still write there "Elementary-Intermediate" and "Basic".

I used the brown book for the revised Elementary level to prepare for the traditional Basic level, and I think those questions are not basic at all, they are much harder, somewhere between the E-I and Basic. There are idioms and complicated functions, conjunctions, not to even mention how many and long texts there are in the Reading section, replacing the whole synonym thingy and some letters are printed in "fake" handwriting!! The only one I think is fine is the Listening section, which stayed. I haven´t dealt with Writing, since I did not have that one, but I can´t see it yet, how to work out those questions. On the other hand, Elementary Speaking seems a piece of cake, I cannot judge the higher ones. Though I did not take the revised exam, but after doing this revised Elementary book, Basic grammar was a piece of cake, listening went very well and reading was all right as well, except for synonyms.

I am really curious how will examinees etc. manage with the revised HSK. Overally, I think adding Speaking is nice, since it is very important.

I don´t know how will they fit it to CEF, but here´s what I´ve found about CEF and traditional HSK:

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Gaogao

I´ve just taken a look at the linked new HSK papers and they look totally different!! Now I really don´t know how the new HSK will look like, I got extremely curious! :mrgreen:

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Meng Lelan
I´ve just taken a look at the linked new HSK papers and they look totally different!!

They really do. Maybe I can sort of take those new HSK papers and rip out the pinyin and use them as quizzes for my ultra-beginning Chinese classes this fall. Won't have to write up my own quizzes anymore, maybe.

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roddy
I´ve just taken a look at the linked new HSK papers and they look totally different!!

Basically you've got the original HSK - the 汉语水平考试. This is still the one universities refer to when they say you need an HSK level of X to enter a certain course. Then back in I think 2007 the HSK test center at BLCU started running a 改进版 HSK. At this point, the 汉办 ( 国家汉语国际推广领导小组办公室), which being an agency of the State Council outranks BLCU and the test center, started complaining that hey, we should be doing that. See here. This new exam looks like Hanban's own attempt to knock the HSK exam into shape.

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renzhe

So now we basically have 3 different HSK exams?

Whatever they do, I hope they standardise on one of them soon.

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roddy

For practical purposes I'm not sure we do. This new 'New HSK' seems to only be being tested - there's no way it's available on a wide scale, and there's no reason to believe it will be soon. The Revised version I'm not sure about, but if anyone can find a concrete date, time and place to take it, I'd be interested. A few minutes of random clicking around this didn't work. Either it's not being offered, or it's being offered in secret (or the HSK office forgot to put the details on their website, which is entirely possible). I suspect it's withering on the vine.

Assuming the above is correct - we're back where we were before they started meddling, with the standard, non-new, non-revised, HSK being the only real option.

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realmayo

I saw a notice offering the choice between the old HSK and the new one, but didn't pay attention to the descriptions, I just know that the old one = the original one everyone knows. I think they cost the same.

EDIT: this was for the exams last month.

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roddy

Where was this?

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realmayo

Wuhan.

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chinopinyin

According to Hanban, the new 6 level HSK will replace the 3 level old one from January 2010 (http://english.hanban.edu.cn/content.php?id=4847)

The New HSK-Levels 1, 2 and 3 are for beginners, the new HSK-Level 4 corresponds to the old HSK Basic, New HSK-Level 5 to the old HSK Elementary-intermediate and the New HSK-Level 6 to HSK (Advanced).

Does anybody have any further info on the new HSK on top of the one in http://english.hanban.edu.cn/content.php?id=4846http://english.hanban.edu.cn/content.php?id=4846?

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