The Children’s Chinese Competency Certification (hereafter CCCC) is a Chinese language test that allows children between the ages of 7 -12 years old to become officially certified in their Chinese language development. This test is catered towards children who are non-native speakers, especially those with an interest in Taiwan or traditional Mandarin.
Why should I consider the CCCC for my child?
The CCCC should be considered for all children and families who are interested in learning the Chinese language because of its usefulness. Parents will also have an objective measurement of their child’s progress in learning one of the world’s most difficult languages.
The certification can also serve as a reference for teachers if they end up transferring to another school. Additionally, schools may require verification that a certain proficiency has been met before a child may enroll in the next courses for the Chinese language. It can also be used to provide documentation for possible scholarships for programs related to Chinese language.
Your child will also have an internationally registered and recognized certification that will aid them if they do end up traveling or moving to another school – not just in another city but even another country!
What are the requirements for taking the CCCC?
There are no major requirements except that your child should be studying the Chinese language. In these current times of COVID, it is a relief to know that there aren’t required classes to prepare for the CCCC. There are, however, resources to help guide your child’s learning if you do choose to teach and learn at home. Those will be found in the Learning Resources section that can be found at the end of this page.
What are the different levels for the CCCC?
There are three levels for the CCCC. These levels are further broken down into types of understanding: listening and reading.
Level I. Sprouting
This level is for beginners of the language who have a general vocabulary that holds about 400 words. For this level, children are typically able to read basic words and understand simple sentences with visual guides.
However, they are not expected to understand verbal information at a normal speed. Children who are at the Sprouting stage often listen to slowed down or overemphasized words and phrases.
This translates to about 150 study hours.
Level II. Seedling
This is the intermediate level of the language for children who have a general vocabulary of about 700 words. The areas of conversation are more diverse. They include but are not limited to: family life, food, school life and transportation.
Their listening skills should be able to pick up short conversations about the above topics. They should be able to pick out the main ideas.
Reading wise, they should be able to identify basic information such as names, places and times and have a grasp on the material they are reading with some aid from visuals.
This translates to about 300 study hours.
Level III. Blossoming
This is the advanced level of the language for those who have a general vocabulary of about 1100 words. Much like the Seedling level, they should be able to understand basic phrases in both reading and listening. The main difference between the Seedling level and the Blossoming level is that the children should be more confident in participating in peer conversations with little help or concerns.
This translates to about 450 study hours.
How Long is the Test?
The length of the test depends on what level your child is testing in. Here is the general breakdown:
Sprouting: 40 Questions over 40 minutes
Seedling: 50 questions over 50 minutes
Blossoming: 60 questions over 60 minutes
How are they scored?
As mentioned, the CCCC is scored by analyzing Reading Comprehension and Listening Comprehension. The type of comprehension being evaluated will be determined by the level that the child is in. They are broken down into the following sections:
Sentence Comprehension – Multiple Choice (Spouting)
Picture Descriptions – True/False (Sprouting)
Picture Descriptions – Multiple Choice (Sprouting and Seedling)
Matching (Sprouting and Seedling)
Authentic Material – Multiple Choice (Seedling and Blossoming)
Paragraph Comprehension – Multiple choice and True/False (Seedling, Blossoming)
Speech Comprehension – Multiple Choice (All Levels)
Picture Description – Multiple Choice (Sprouting and Seedling)
Matching (Sprouting and Seedling)
Dialogue Comprehension – Multiple Choice ( Blossoming)
Monologue Comprehension – Multiple Choice (Seedling and Blossoming)
With all of these components in mind, there is a certain score that must be achieved in each level in order to receive the certification. Each exam has a total of 200 points.
Sprouting Passing Score: 101
Seedling Passing Score: 116
Blossoming Passing Score: 118
Where do I start?
In the era of COVID-19 and beyond – sign ups are almost exclusively online. Currently for the year 2021 most CCCC exams have been cancelled and will regularly continue in 2022. In the meantime, below are a couple places you may visit to keep an eye on when CCCC testing will resume.
The cost of tests range from between $20 and $40. However, please check with the provider of the test to be sure.
Although testing may not be currently available – that doesn’t mean that we can’t study! There are books, videos and other resources available to help prepare you and your child for testing when it does resume.
HAUYU! Books 1 -12 are a great resource for references and studying. They can be found online for purchase at: https://huayu.knsh.com.tw/Order3.asp
Free Online Chinese Study Group for Kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCaOQ-8rftQ
Little Chinese Learners: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCywtp1ehctyZRNY0axQ9QTg
Practice and References:
This site provides lists of words for each level and can be used as a guide to help navigate studying: https://www.tw.org/tocfl/
Quizlet provides ways to study vocabulary through flashcards and games: https://quizlet.com/subject/meizhou-huayu-chinese/