The Ministry of Education has scrapped its long-time regulation that allowed only Chinese citizens to be certified as Chinese language teachers.
The Ministry of Education recently amended its Methods for Assessment of Teaching Abilities with Chinese as Foreign Language. Under the new rules, all people, regardless of their nationality, are eligible for certification if they meet the professional requirements.
The certifications are divided into three categories. For primary qualification, applicants must pass fundamental knowledge examinations on Chinese language and culture and putonghua (standard spoken Chinese).
The intermediate grades will be tested in modern Chinese language, methodology for teaching Chinese as a foreign language and fundamental knowledge of Chinese culture.
Top-tier certifications require examinations in modern and classical Chinese, linguistics and methodology for teaching Chinese as a foreign language and Chinese culture.
As of the end of 2003, 3,690 people had obtained Chinese language teaching certificates.
(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2004)