Sunday, March 22, 2009

High School Students to Test Chinese Language Skills

Students from five Indiana and Illinois high schools will match their proficiency in the Chinese language during a Valparaiso University-sponsored speech event on 29 March.

Valparaiso’s Chinese and Japanese Studies Program and the Confucius Institute are sponsoring the first Indiana-Illinois High School Chinese Speech Contest to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their skill speaking a language increasingly important to American businesses, said event organizer and Chinese professor Dr. Benjamin Ridgway.

Approximately 50 students will participate in the speech contest, with students coming from Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Naperville North High School, Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago, Northridge High School in Middlebury and Brownsburg (Ind.) High School.

Students with one or two years of high school Chinese will participate in small group dialogues on topics related to everyday life, while students with more than two years of Chinese language study will present individual speeches.

Each student’s performance will be evaluated by panel of Chinese language teachers and native Chinese speakers from the community: Jianyun Meng, director of Valparaiso’s Confucius Institute; Yueqin Wang, visiting Chinese instructor at the Confucius Institute and an assistant professor of English at Zhejiang University of Technology; and Ning Schultz, instructor of Chinese at Culver Academies.


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