China and Singapore share strong business ties. In order to facilitate effective communications between Singaporeans and their Chinese business partners, as well as to raise the Chinese language proficiency of the Singaporean workforce, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) started the Chinese Workplace Literacy Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training programmes. The focus of these programmes is placed on improving Business Chinese.
WDA also signed an agreement with The Office of Chinese Language Council International, China (Hanban) to develop and administer the Business Chinese Test (BCT) in Singapore. The BCT is taken before training for course placement purposes, and after training for assessment of proficiency achieved. In October 2006, Singapore became the first overseas test centre to administer BCT. Since then, BCT has become an important Chinese proficiency assessment in Singapore as more and more working adults are attending Business Chinese courses.
Confucius Institute, Nanyang Technological University (CI-NTU) is a WDA-appointed training centre. Over the years, CI-NTU spared no efforts in providing quality training in Business Chinese, especially in exploring better and more effective methods of teaching Chinese.
From their years of experience in providing quality training, CI-NTU has compiled its own training materials – Business Chinese Today. This is a set of Business Chinese curriculum developed based on the specific linguistics characteristics of Singapore. It covers listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, and caters to trainees of various proficiency levels. The curriculum is based on the BCT assessment content standards and caters to the practical needs of Singapore trainees, drawing its content largely from real-life, and business-related activities. It is a comprehensive and relevant study material for adult learners from all industries.