American Chinese Press reported that as authorized by China's National Office for Teaching Chinese and Foreign Language (NOCFL), and under the Ministry of Education, Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in America officially became the testing center of Young Learner Chinese Test (YCT) this May, making SFSU responsible for conducting the YCT in Northern California. The first YCT test in the area was held on May 31st at Washington High School in Fremont city of East Bay, in cooperation with Yellow River Chinese School and Yangtze River Chinese School.
With further enhancement of comprehensive national strength and successful hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games, China’s international prestige is rising and Chinese is paid more and more attention. Thus, in line with world development trends and their own interests, some countries have made certain adjustments to their language policies. Schools in many countries have started creating Chinese courses in order to adapt to today’s education needs. Meanwhile, parents are beginning to take note of the advantages of learning Chinese and are enrolling their children in Chinese courses at earlier ages. Jennette Lee from Edmonton city, Canada registered her child for the YCT test because “Beijing Olympics left foreigners a new and improved impression of China, so I hope that my child can speak fluent Chinese to strive for a better future.”
Young Learner Chinese Test is an authoritative Chinese level test given by China's National Office for Teaching Chinese and Foreign Language (NOCFL). It is similar to the HSK test, but designed to meet the needs of Chinese learners under 15. After the YCT was designed, many parents and children questioned the necessity of taking the YCT. There are many answers in response to this question. Most parents think that the purpose of attending this test is to assess their children’s Chinese level. An American-Chinese, Tang Juan who accompanied her child to take the test, told her 7-year-old son: “Do what you can do and do not force yourself.” However, Beijing Daily once reported: “As a supplement for HSK, YCT is a test designed to meet the needs of learners from different ages over the world. It has become one of the stepping stones to enter premier high schools to study.”
Mr. Zhou Peng a seasoned teaching expert at eChineseLearning.com, a well-known online Mandarin school, commented: “The earlier one starts studying Chinese, the easier it is for children to master this language. YCT provides a platform for foreign teenagers to test their Chinese level, which not only remedies the shortcomings of the age limits of tests such as HSK, AP, SAT, but also stimulates children’s interest studying Chinese from a young age, which can help to lay a good foundation for later Chinese Learning.” Jack Smith, a New York student who attended theYCT Test Prep Courses from eChineseLearning.com says: “YCT adds to my interests and inspires me to learn Chinese. With the interesting, vivid and effective training classes from eChineseLearning.com, I passed the YCT successfully, which makes me more confident, and I will continue to learn Chinese.” Among those various Chinese Proficiency Tests, is it necessary to take YCT test? Mr. Zhou says “It depends on the child’s age, Chinese level, and long-term plan to learn Chinese. As a means of testing learning effectiveness, YCT test can give students a clear understanding of their Chinese level, and they can consequently adjust their learning strategies to improve the efficiency of their learning. YCT test is a good and effective teaching and learning aid for primary and secondary school students.”