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Language Proficiency Testing for Chinese as a Foreign Language

An Argument-Based Approach for Validating the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK)

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Florian Meyer

How did the (old) Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) assess the Chinese proficiency of non-native speakers of Chinese? What inferences can be derived from HSK test taker scores, especially from Western test takers? How difficult is it to learn Chinese according to the HSK? Thirty years of research have been synthesized into an argument-based approach for validating the most widespread test for Chinese as a foreign language. In addition, the author has analyzed the scores of a sample of over 250 German test takers in order to investigate how many hours German natives needed on average to study for reaching a specific HSK level. This work also extensively discusses validation theory for psychological testing, and it demonstrates how to put an argument-based approach to validation into practice.
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Appendix A

Extract



女:昨天晚上的音乐会,你去听了吗?

男:去了,我坐在最前面一排,而且我一直在拼命地鼓掌。你看,我这手都拍肿了!

女:哦?你还在鼓掌哪?说实在的,我也算是个音乐爱好者,我一向觉得听音乐是人生最美好的享受之一。只是,昨天的音乐会实在让人不敢恭维。尤其是最后出场的那个歌手,哥儿唱得那叫什么呀?简直是糟糕透了。

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