Nine Nottingham students and alumni from across the University demonstrated their Mandarin skills at the 14th “China and Me” Speech Competition on Saturday 12th November at the Si Yuan Centre. After holding the event online for the past two years because of Covid, it was great to welcome contestants back to our premises to showcase their language talent in person in front of a lively audience!
The contest was divided into two groups: intermediate and advanced levels. Candidates were asked to give a three-minute speech with the option of adding a talent show-style performance. The advanced level was more competitive. Contestants were judged not only on their speech and performance, but also their answers to questions from judges following their speeches.
The contestants touched on a wide range of topics for their presentations, covering Chinese culture and customs, the experience of learning Mandarin and travelling and living in China. They also showcased some impressive talent, including playing the Chinese pop song “Yi Jian Mei” on saxophone, folk song “Jasmine Flowers” on harmonica, classic Chinese dance “Farewell My Homeland”, singing and Chinese calligraphy. The event was attended by over 40 students, staff and local residents who shared their enthusiasm and support with warm rounds of applause for each performance.
Results of the competition are as below:
First prize winner: Jennie Heaney, Benedict Kiswanto
Second prize winner: Anna Stanley, Adam Collins
Third prize winner: Kitty Bailey, Patricia Nagy
We would like to thank everyone involved for their support and participation. We would also like to say a big thank you to our special guest Jason Feehily, Head of the University’s Trusted Research, who gave an encouraging opening speech on behalf of the University, and our judges NCI co-director Fangfang Xie, NCI Senior Mandarin teacher, Dr Songbo Yan, two Mandarin teachers from the School of Cultures, Languages and Areas Studies Dr Lan Lo and Dr Naixia Wang.
Special thanks should also go to all of the volunteer helpers on the MA course in TCSOL, who provided one-to-one language support to our contestants prior to the competition and also came to support them in person at the event.
“Like Kitty (one of the contestants) said in her speech, friendship is a great motivator for learning a foreign language. Our event today is not just a speech contest. It’s an opportunity and a platform created by NCI for Chinese-speaking and English-speaking students to build friendship and to connect...” said NCI Co-director Fangfang Xie in her closing remarks at the award ceremony, adding “this is exactly what we are here for – to enhance cultural understanding and forge friendships across borders!”
Posted on Monday 14th November 2022