China's Ministry of Education and the State Language Commission have jointly issued the country's first evaluation scale for English language ability.
The scale, called "China's Standards of English Language Ability," defines three categories of English language ability -- basic, intermediate and advanced -- with nine levels in total.
Experts carried out research and studies on over 1,500 schools in 28 provinces, collecting data from 160,000 students and teachers. After three years of work, the standards will take effect on June 1.
The 107-page document lists detailed criteria in grammar, pronunciation, listening, speaking, reading, writing, translating, interpreting and others.
"With a clearer evaluation system, students and teachers can better assess the learning results precisely and efficiently," said Yu Han, vice director of the National Education Examinations Authority (NEEA), a body affiliated with the Ministry of Education.
The NEEA is currently working on an English examination for higher education based on the evaluation system.