On the first day of this new school year, fifty-two LaSalle II Chinese language students were extremely excited as they received the certificates mailed from Beijing China for their YCT and HSK Chinese test results! These results, from tests taken in mid-May, showed that our LaSalle II Chinese language students once again did a magnificent job!
Both YCT and HSK test series are international standardized tests designed, developed and implemented under the Office of Chinese Language Council International for young Chinese learners and for college students and other adults to rate their Chinese language proficiency levels. For each single test of YCT and HSK, the test papers were prepared, printed and mailed from Beijing to test proctors in the countries around the world. These closely monitored standardized tests were then collected and mailed back to Beijing for grading.
From LaSalle II’s founding year of 2008 to the year of 2017, we have seen a complete cycle of students passing from kindergarten through 8th grade. From 5-year olds with no knowledge of Chinese to 13-year olds passing the adult level HSK IV, LaSalle II students have shown remarkable progress in their proficiency of Mandarin. And, by the way, passing HSK level 4 test is commonly a requirement for foreign students wanting to study in Chinese universities.
Students taking these tests, regardless of level, eagerly look forward to being able to demonstrate how well they understand and can use Mandarin. It is not just students passing the HSK level IV test that makes achievement seem so important but rather the steady improvement demonstrated by students passing higher and higher level tests year after year. In the year our students first took YCT tests, our third graders took YCT levels I and II. As students acquired greater proficiency in subsequent years, the highest level tests taken rose to III, then IV, and this past year to HSK level IV test. To see so many students rising to the challenge of making major improvements in their language skills each year is truly gratifying.
Our Chinese student achievements would not have been possible without the generous support of LaSalle II’s PTO and the strong support of LaSalle II’s administrators. On more than one occasion, the PTO and our school administrators have provided without hesitation needed financial help so that YCT/HSK test proctors’ expenses could be covered. Additionally one of our parents for two years in a row, donated test registration fees for students needing financial help. We appreciate the help of everyone involved in making our LaSalle II Chinese Program one of the strongest in Chicago.