Chinese language certification for US teachers

Maryland requires “intermediate high” on both written and oral ACTFL tests for certification:[/quote]

How does one know if they have reached Intermediate high?

If I can go into a bar and have a conversation would that be good enough?

I guess look at the ACTFL site where they have detailed descriptions of their levels, and try to guess if you’ve made it there yet. The Intermediate level doesn’t really sound all that difficult if you’ve lived abroad, because you’ve had to talk to people. All the Novice levels don’t even expect full sentences, for heaven’s sake. So I say go for it!! You’ll probably score better than you expect!! :smiley:

As has been said before, actual linguistic competence in a language is kind of secondary to having the teaching credential. They’re much more concerned with whether you can answer theoretical questions about differentiation of instruction than with whether you can actually speak (read, write, whatever) Chinese!

Yes, but you need to pass the ACTFL oral and writing proficiency test for Mandarin to be eligible for alternative certification.

If you want to talk about linguistic competence being unimportant go talk to some Korean English professors.

My point is, though, look at the ACTFL descriptiosn for “intermediate” proficiency. Sounds a bit low compared to what I would imagine as a fluent speaker, let alone a teacher.

Any idea what score level they’re requiring? Where did you find that info for TX? Last I saw there were no requirements, as you said above. Thanks ~[/quote]
I sent an email to the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.
They said oral and writing proficiency test but didn’t state a required level. I didn’t ask about a level at the time because I hadn’t yet researched the ACTFL website. Have I missed something about a written test? It’s not listed on the website. I’ll try emailing ACTFL directly for clarification.

After searching again, I found that ACTFL does a Mandarin Oral Proficiency Interview and a Writing Proficiency Test through Language Testing International:
I’ll contact TxSBEC again to see which level they’re looking for.

Hmm … under the “TX teachers” application page, they state:

[quote]"The Texas Education Agency has set a passing proficiency rating for the OPI and the WPT for Vietnamese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.[/quote] but they fail to say WHAT the passing proficiency rating is. Immediately after this they link to the standards for OPI & WPT (Low, Intermediate, Advanced, etc/low, mid, high), but again don’t state what they consider “passing.” Frustrating… Well, Arizona doesn’t seem to require it at all, so maybe I’ll head that way instead :slight_smile:

Does anyone know how to take the ACTFL without a school?

It seems that you can only take the test with a proctor and you need to be in a university or high school.

Maybe I have miss read the website. I want to take it before applying to show that I am already qualified.

You don’t need to be IN any particular school. You just need to get a college professor or a K-12 administrator to proctor for you (The ACTFL proctor agreement specifies who is eligible). Use your connections (know anybody who is a student/teacher etc. in the US?) and your powers of persuasion.

I went to Florida in early February of this year to take the Chinese ACTFL. I am not affiliated to any school in the US, but my wife is studying at UF, so we asked one of her professors to proctor. After the exam, we gave her a generous gift certificate to thank her for giving up some of her time to listen to me jabbering away in Mandarin and watch me scrawling all manner of nonsense on the test booklet.

Florida requires at least an Advanced rating to be certified as a Chinese teacher. I suppose I was lucky, because I received OK ratings for a non-native speaker: OPI (Superior) and WPT (Advanced High). :neutral:

Now I need to get myself ready to use TPRS. I’ve been teaching in Taiwan for over 30 years (English, French and Russian). I firmly believe in the value of gobs of comprehensible input – that’s how I taught myself Russian and Chinese. It works.

I have used TPR to teach English to kids in Taiwan. I am now getting ready to go teach Chinese in Florida, so I am very eager to know more about TPRS methods for teaching Chinese. I am especially interested in the modifications Ironlady has made for teaching Chinese. If you read this message, is there any chance we could exchange ideas? I tried writing to you, but my message bounced back: “quota exceeded.” You must be very popular!

Ha! Actually it’s because I’m in the process of switching web hosts. I’ve got your mail and we’ve got a group started…we’ll be glad to add one more!

After further searching, there is a written portion for Chinese through ACTFL. I sent an email to the Texas State Board For Educator Certification, and was told I must “pass” the ACTFL oral proficiency and written tests to receive certification. They didn’t mention a specific level even after I asked.
In another issue, I noticed that the University of Melbourne is offering an online Masters in Applied Linguistics beginning Sept 1, 2009. Now I need to see if Texas or other states will recognize an online degree from a foreign university before putting my money into it.

This is a bit late, but starting around 2009, my mentor teachers have told me that in order to certify in Chinese in Texas (perhaps nationwide), I must reach an Advanced-Low in both the OPI and WPT.

Hope that helps.

On a side note, is there any way to prepare for the WPT? I’m so nervous =\ Like I know I’m capable of getting an Advanced Low (or at least what my teachers have told me) but not without a dictionary? =
Help ><

Read a lot.
Read all kinds of things.
And while you should still be reading in Chinese, keep some of this reading for the pure pleasure of reading Chinese or reading whatever it is you’re reading. Don’t succumb to test fever so much that your life becomes a race to memorize obscure words.

Extensive reading is one of the best ways to build your language skills, particularly in preparing for something like the WPT.

You can think about picking out articles from an encyclopedia, reading them first in English to get an idea what the main unknown words might be, then reading it in Chinese to pick those up.

Also, get used to (if you are not already) “top-down processing” – getting the main idea without necessarily knowing every single character you see. Yes, this can be risky, but if you’re in a testing situation, you really don’t have a choice.