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Students to compete in Chinese speech contest this weekend

| Friday, April 10, 2015

Students of the Chinese program will demonstrate their aptitude in the language by competing in the eighth annual Chinese Speech Contest in Hesburgh Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday.

Freshman Ailsa Xing and junior Zachary Sturm will serve as emcees for this contest. Associate professor Yongping Zhu, who is a chair in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, will provide the introductory remarks to start off the contest.

Approximately 20 students who were recommended by their language instructors will have the chance to present on a variety of topics. These topics range from the student’s experiences in learning Chinese and the benefits of learning Chinese to topics including arts and addressing race.

The contestants will be competing within their level of language proficiency, with the exception of fourth- and fifth-year Chinese students, who will compete with students from both levels.

Associate professional specialist Chengxu Yin spearheaded the event along with various other instructors.

“Our primary goal in organizing this event is to enhance the study of Chinese at Notre Dame and to foster a sense of community among our language students,” Yin said.

She said the large number of students in the Chinese language classes inhibits interaction between students of different levels of instruction.

“The speech contest provides an excellent opportunity for students to get to know each other better,” Yin said, “[It also] allows students at lower levels to be inspired by the achievements of those at higher levels.”

In attendance will not only be Chinese language students and the language instructors, but also faculty in the Chinese language program who are not involved in facilitating language acquisition.

“The contest will also provide an opportunity for [all of] our faculty to assess the learning outcome of our students, especially in the area of pronunciation and intonation,” Yin said.

Yin said students worked with their instructors to flesh out their speeches and rehearsed them their own time. She emphasized many hours of work went into preparations for the contest.

Specific speech titles include “Evolution Of Chinese Music,” “China Allowed Me To Accept My Skin Color” and “Under the Dome,” among others.

Along with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Office for Undergraduate Studies of the College of Arts and Letters, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures will also be sponsoring this annual event.

The winners of each category will have the chance to compete in the U.S. Midwest “Chinese Bridge” Speech Contest, which will be hosted by Notre Dame on April 18. The winners will compete against contestants from more than 10 different Midwestern universities and colleges.

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About Wei Lin

Wei Lin currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. He served as the Photo Editor on the 2014-2015 Editorial Board. He is a senior Accountancy, Economics, and Chinese triple major living in Knott Hall. He hails from the borough of Queens in New York City.

Contact Wei