From rare to less rare
By most standards, there aren’t a lot of Advanced Chinese students. In the past it was so rare that Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. 大山) made a career out of having excellent Chinese. These days, one encounters more and more people with advanced Chinese skills, but I’d say that’s because more people are studying Chinese.
According to the course enrollment numbers for the State of California, the percentage of advanced Chinese students has remained stable. Meanwhile, the number of students taking Chinese has more than doubled. Over the past 12 years, only 28.2% of students enrolled in advanced Chinese classes. That’s lower than we should hope for.
|Year||Advanced Enrollment %||Total Enrollment|
Outdated teaching methods that lead students to failure (see this post for a discussion on the pyschology of learning) surely deserve much of the blame. Additionally, not enough time is spent practicing basic listening and pronunciation skills productively. I think Lingomi’s Tingxie is product that will help with listening practice, and welcome you to try it out.
Here come more “advanced” students
I spent some time looking at the HSK Vocabulary lists (you can download a set here). Based on the vocabulary, it seems to have gotten easier. Before a top score (11) in the Advanced HSK. Apparently, even native Chinese speakers would have difficulty with it (the same way being an English speaker doesn’t mean you can pass the GMAT). Obviously, that was too hard, but it seems to have drifted too far to the other direction: it looks to easy. With this HSK test, more people will be able to declare they have advanced Mandarin Chinese. Unfortunately
Why do only 1/4 (or less, if my assumptions are correct) of Chinese learners reach an advanced level?