The Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations (BICER) of the Ministry of Education Signs an Academic Cooperation Agreement with the French Centre International d’Etudes Pedagogiques (CIEP) Ushering in a New Era for Assessing Chinese as a Foreign Language Proficiency
Founded in 1945, CIEP is the leading research institute of education and language testing with superb prestige in the world for its quality research on higher education, vocational training, educational assessment, and French language testing.
Based on the Agreement, SC-TOP, the organization in charge of TOCFL development, will have a direct channel of cooperation with CIEP on matters like test design, item pool management, computer adaptive testing, academic conference, and joint publication. The discrimination, validity, and reliability of TOCFL developed under the scheme will be enhanced.
The growing number of Chinese Mandarin learners has made it one of the most popular language for international communication. The Test of Proficiency Huayu (TOP) was launched in 2005. The test was renamed TOCFL in August 2010. In six years, an accumulated 69,771 test takers have taken the test. In 2011 alone, the number has reached 20,049. The test is now given in 49 cities in 25 different countries. The number of test takers overseas in 2011 is 5,759. Starting from 2007, SC-TOP has worked to align the test with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR). The test now has five levels, equivalent to the A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1 levels of CEFR.
CIEP, according to Roger Pilhion in his speech in the ceremony, is in charge of the development of 18 versions of French as a foreign language diplomas (DELF and DALF) and four versions of French Language Test (TCF). These Tests are administered in 166 countries with over 400,000 test takers in 2011. With the new Agreement, CIEP hopes to acquire the professional experience of language testing and facilitate the development of computer adaptive testing of the above-mentioned French language tests.
With a toast of champagne, representatives of BICER and CIEP joined to celebrate the beginning of a new era of academic cooperation between the two countries and a new milestone for the development of TOCFL.
CIEP Deputy Director Roger Pilhion and BICER Director-General Tony W.T. Lin offer congratulations to each other, regarding the signing of an Academic Cooperation Agreement between CIEP and BICER.