Chinese as a foreign language

The term Duiwai Hanyü jiaoxue (Huayüwen jiaoxue in Taiwan) may be translated as ‘teaching Chinese to foreigners’ or ‘teaching Chinese as a foreign language’ (TCFL). The field has developed rapidly since reform and China’s opening to the outside world. Beijing Language University (Beijing yüyan daxue, or Beiyü for short; formerly known as Beijing Language and Culture University from 1996 to 2002 and Beijing Language Institute from 1964 to 1996) leads the country in teaching Chinese to foreign students, in training teachers in TCFL, and in promoting the HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) designed for foreigners. Almost all major universities across the country have a department or a college for TCFL but those who hold a teaching certificate in TCFL or a degree from the BLU have an edge in employment.
The Mandarin Centre at the Taiwan Normal University also runs MA programmes in TCFL. The International Association for Chinese Language Teaching (Shijie Hanyü jiaoxue xuehui) in Beijing and the World Chinese Language Society (Shijie Huayüwen jiaoyu xuehui) in Taipei are the professional organizations in the field, each holding an international conference every three years. The highest state organization governing the teaching of Chinese to foreigners on the mainland is the National Office for Chinese as a Foreign Language or NOCFL (Guojia duiwai Hanyü jiaoxue lingdao xiaozu bangongshi; Guojia Hanban or simply Hanban for short; see www.hanban.edu.cn). It is composed of eleven departments and commissions under the State Council, including the State Working Commission on Language (Guojia Yüwei), the PRC’s language legislator.
HELEN XIAOYAN WU

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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