Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018
Location: BCIT Downtown Campus, 825-555 Seymour St., Vancouver BC
On Saturday, March 17, the annual “Chinese Bridge” Mandarin Speech Contest was held in downtown Vancouver at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). The speech contest was organized by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver and this annual event congregated university and college students all across the province of British Columbia. It promoted multiculturalism as the contestants all came from different cultural backgrounds and all strived to learn the Chinese language. Participating institutions include UBC, SFU, UVic, BCIT and many other universities and colleges.
The event tallied over 60 contestants competing for 13 prize titles and UBC triumphed over the other post-secondary institutions winning 7 of the awards.
Non-heritage Speakers (Elementary Level):
First Place: Ian MacCarthy (Instructor: Mingzhu Lu)
Second Place: Melissa Lo (Instructor: Mingzhu Lu)
Third Place: Jake Weston (Instructor: Bin Zheng)
Lyndon Clazie (Instructor: Mingzhu Lu)
Non-heritage Speakers (Intermediate Level):
First Place: Melissa Chan (Instructor: Yuchi Kuo)
Second Place: Mio Katagi (Instructor: Yuchi Kuo)
Non-heritage Speakers (Advanced Level)
First Place: Ryan Walker (Instructor: Xinxin Wu)
Elementry Level First Place Winner: Ian MacCarthy
Elementry Level Second Place Winner: Melissa Lo
Elementry Level Third Place Winner: Jake Weston
Elementry Level Third Place Winner: Lyndon Clazie
Intermediate Level First Place Winner: Melissa Chan
Intermediate Level Second Place Winner: Mio Katagi
Advanced Level First Place Winner: Ryan Walker
The speech topic chosen for this year’s competition is “Me and China”. Our UBC’s students from elementary, intermediate and advanced leveled Chinese courses shared their unique experiences with the Chinese culture and articulated wonderful stories of their encounters with Chinese people. Our student’s splendid performances were engaging for the audience and they all received great acclamation.
Advanced level first place winner, Ryan Walker, shared his struggles with his family’s disapproval of him learning Chinese and how he persevered through and continued his language journey. He impressively adapted many influential Chinese idioms and articulate advanced vocabulary into his speech making it very artistic and inspirational. Elementary level first place winner, Ian MacCarthy, shared his encounter with his neighbour, a Chinese immigrant. His primary impression of this lady was unpleasant, however, she showed her enthusiasm in adapting to the new environment and culture. She also helped Ian learn Chinese and took care of his family. Through this inspirational experience, Ian changed his view upon his neighbour and was encouraged to learn Chinese. Intermediate level first place winner, Melissa Chan, shared her family history and her struggles from the cultural differences. Melissa is a fourth-generation Chinese immigrant. She expresses that she wants to find the roots to her family and culture and that is the motivation for her to study Chinese.
As an additional acknowledgment, elementary level student VJ Bernales demonstrated an outstanding performance, sharing his reason for learning Chinese because of a Chinese girl he liked. The power of love and motivation resulted in an extraordinary improvement in his grades. Intermediate level student, Sue Son, competed fiercely in the contest and was slight of a point behind, but she delivered a memorable speech and received great praise.
UBC’s Chinese Language Program and our instructors gave tremendous support and encouragement to our fellow students. Dr. Xueshun Liu was in role as one of the honoured judge. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers that contributed their time and effort, sharing their own strengths and ability to help our students refine and polish their presentations. During the preparations for the speech contest, the Chinese program office building was packed with students and volunteers who were hardworking every day. The dedicated students were so focused that they stayed behind for hours to practice their fluency and accuracy. Hard work pays off, our UBC students with their excellent results in the competition is the best reward.
Family and friends alongside with teachers and volunteers came out to watch our UBC students, giving their full support. There were over 100 audiences present at the speech contest. The students learned and made impressive improvements day by day. Without the support and encouragement from their family and friends, they would not have done so well. We really appreciate all the support that was given to our UBC students. The entire event was remarkable and inspirational for students to continue their study of the Chinese language.