In recent times, more and more schools are reducing A-Levels from 4 subjects to just three and are offering students a range of choices of elective subjects instead. This therefore presents a good opportunity to enhance the profile of your subject in your school as Chinese is one of the few subjects which gives students an opportunity to secure an internationally recognised qualification before they have even left school.
We offer a HSK 1 course as an elective option at our participating secondary schools for Year 12 students who have no prior knowledge of Chinese.
This course is taught for one hour a week with compulsory homework and follows the content outlined in the HSK Standard Course Workbook (not textbook as the layout is dull!). The reason for this is that the exercises follow a logical, scaffolded Scheme of Learning, where students can complete HSK 1 style exercises as early as possible in the course. For example, the first chapter is greetings vocabulary, therefore the first exercises are centred around this theme. As the exercises are exactly as they would be in the actual test, this means students can be familiar with its format throughout most academic year. When it comes to the actual test therefore, it then does not appear so much as a challenge as it would if they were doing a whole bunch of past-papers at the last minute.
In order to get students to buy-in (literally), it is highly recommended you have them pay the test fee within the first few weeks of signing up to the course. The fee is only £15, though it is enough for them to remain committed if say they do not do their homework or attend lessons as they should.
To date we have had over 50 students take the HSK 1 qualification and it has had a great impact on enhancing the status of Mandarin in the schools we work with. Feel free to propose it to your school and see what can come of it!