This article explores levels of proficiency in Chinese with reference to the new HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) Chinese Proficiency Test and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Special attention is given to learning and teaching the writing of Chinese characters and the use of Pinyin, a phonetic Romanization of the Chinese language. First, the feasibility of both language scales is considered as a means of capturing proficiency in Chinese; then descriptions of Chinese courses offered by university language centres are analysed; and finally, semi-structured interviews with teachers of such courses and their learners are reported. This results in a number of suggestions for specifying instructional designs for teaching Chinese writing skills.
- HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi)
- Common European Framework
- teaching Chinese as a foreign language
- writing skills
- level descriptors