Adelaide Uni hosts Chinese speaking competition
Thursday, 9 July 2009
High school students from around Australia will attend university tomorrow (Friday 10 July) - to compete in a national Chinese speaking competition.
The students are vying for a place in the international finals in China later this year.
Around 18 students - all non-native Chinese-speaking high school students from SA, WA, Qld and ACT - will take part in the regional preliminary finals of the competition, being hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide.
The competition is the 2nd Hanyu Qiao ("Chinese Bridge") Chinese Proficiency Competition.
"This competition aims to motivate and encourage students to continue pursuing their studies of Chinese language and culture, by giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their Chinese proficiency, their general knowledge about China, and their talents in Chinese arts - and have some fun at the same time," says the Deputy and Acting Director of the Confucius Institute, Dr Ning Zhang.
"The competition program includes speech, music, food and other cultural activities. It gives students an opportunity to entertain and to share their knowledge of Chinese culture and language.
"Australia is developing a much stronger interest in Chinese culture and language," Dr Zhang says. "Mandarin is one of nine key non-indigenous languages offered in South Australia's public education system, and more than 5900 students are estimated to be learning Chinese language and culture across our state's government schools. The Chinese language curricula are also extensively provided in the independent and Catholic school systems."
Competing students have been nominated by their teachers and/or their state-based Chinese language teachers' associations.
The top three place winners in the national competition will be invited to compete in the international semi-finals and finals to be held in Chongqing, China in October.
The regional preliminary finals will be held in the Eclipse Room, Union House at the University's North Terrace Campus from 1.00pm-4.30pm Friday 10 July.
This weekend, the Confucius Institute is also hosting the National Chinese Language Teachers' Conference.
"The conference gives Chinese teachers from around Australia the chance to share information about innovative teaching practices. We're very pleased to be hosting this event, as it helps to show the Confucius Institute's role in promoting the teaching of Chinese culture and language at school level," Dr Zhang says.
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