With Chinese language skills being hot property among youths, it is unsurprising that many top scholars come to the Middle Kingdom in search of linguistic enlightenment.
In the past, there have been many competitions held which pit Chinese language students against each other and this year was no different. On Sunday, the Chinese Speech Contest of US Colleges’ Summer Programs in China 2016 was held in the Yingjie Exchange Center in Peking University.
Like last year, the participants were from a selection of American universities, which included Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Wisconsin. Students had already been staying in China for two months so this contest allowed them to consolidate their education and show off their progress. Two groups were made: one for the ethnically Chinese and one for others. These were in turn split into beginner, intermediate, and high level classes.
The competition started off with an opening ceremony, MCed by a professor from the hosting university, Columbia. Soon after, students departed and headed to their respective classrooms for the actual contest. At the end, everyone returned to the main hall for the award ceremony and closing words.
The topic for this year was the influence and impression China has had on them. In total seven champions were chosen, with their topics ranging from being white (a classic amongst foreign students studying Chinese) to traditional Chinese attire and from materialism to philosophical differences between cultures. And of course there was the slight matter of school pride. Every time a winner was announced, the corresponding classmates would erupt in cheer. But unfortunately, not everyone can be a champion. Those with the biggest smiles where students from Harvard, Princeton, and Wisconsin.
And of course TWOC had to play a part. In addition to providing the prizes, we also gave out words of encouragement and advice.
If you want to learn more about how to give presentations and speeches in Chinese, you can check out our video here.