In the past few years, increasing numbers of students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds have been taking the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), and Children’s Chinese Competency Certification (CCCC), showing the Mandarin learning population is indeed on the rise. The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver will be holding the tests again on April 28 and 29 this year. The CCCC exam will take place at Richmond Mandarin School on April 28, and the TOCFL exam will be held at Union Mandarin School on April 28, and at Vancouver Formosa Academy on April 29.
Mr. Tang Tien-Hua, Senior Assistant Director of the Education Division, took part in the Lunar New Year celebration and networking event on February 25, hosted by the Western Canada Chinese Schools Association and encouraged the participating principals and teachers from many Chinese Schools to have their students take the tests.
Mr. Tang pointed out the benefits of taking TOCFL and CCCC: as well as giving both the teachers and their students feedback about their developing language proficiency, students who pass TOCFL at Level 3 and above can receive extracurricular credits that is certified by the Ministry of Education BC, and will be considered highly if they apply for one of the scholarships offered by the Ministry of Education of Taiwan. Having Chinese language skills is also an asset for job seekers. The Steering Committee for the test of Proficiency (SC-TOP), has been working with overseas Taiwan-based businesses, such as Hon Hai, to recruit skilled people worldwide for both full time and internship positions (For more information please see: http://www.sc-top.org.tw/chinese/adopt2.php).
Businesses in many countries require local people who are proficient in Mandarin, and they view TOCFL as one of the requirements when they are recruiting.
SC-TOP has a list of resources in the Studying Resource area on its website at http://www.sc-top.org.tw/, to assist students prepare for the TOCFL exams. These include three sets of mock exams that can be downloaded from http://www.sc-top.org.tw/mocktest.php; textbooks such as “The Ultimate Guide to Chinese” and “The Ultimate illustrated Chinese Grammar Guide” compiled by National Taiwan Normal University; and classes that are specially designed for TOCFL offered by National Open University, and Ponddy, which offers online classes.