Students bag prizes at Chinese Competition

16 May 2012 - 10:49

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Nervous contestants pictured here with SLL's Prof Qianlong Wu

The preliminary contest of the 11th Chinese Language Proficiency Competition was held at Boland College in Stellenbosch, on 5th May 2012. UCT students walked away with almost half of the total competition prizes.

23 participants, drawn from the Universities of Stellenbosch, Rhodes, Cape Town and South Africa (UNISA) respectively took part in The South African leg of the competition. All of the participants are currently enrolled for Chinese language courses, supported by the Confucius Institute at their respective institutions. The UCT delegation consisted of eight students, some of whom commenced Chinese language study in February 2012. Distinguished guests included: Mr. Tong Defa, deputy Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Cape Town, Mr. Wei Yanggen, first secretary of Education at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria, Prof. Doug Rawlings, Acting Vice-Rector at the University of Stellenbosch, and Mr. Jeppie from the South African Ministry of Education.

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Second Prize winner, Rachel Anderson impressed the judges and audience with her language skills

After 3 hours of proficiency assessments, a total of nine prizes were awarded. UCT's Rachel Anderson received second prize, qualifying her to attend the final of the Chinese Bridge Competition in Changsha, Hunan in July. Birte Toussaint, a UCT Engineering graduate, won third prize: a one-year Confucius Institute Scholarship. First year language students Tracy Semmelink and Hana Petersen each won the 'Best Talent Show' awards respectively.

"This success is quite momentous considering the fact that UCT, with the help of the Confucius Institute, only launched Chinese courses in 2011. Our students impressed the audience and the judges with their vocal, dancing, and painting abilities. The words of the songs were uttered correctly, in tune and with the right rhythm. It sounded exactly like traditional music performed by Chinese singers. No wonder the MC joked that the Chinese culture is Karaoke" said Prof. Qianlong Wu, Deputy Director, UCT Confucius Institute.

Judging from the pace of progress (in 2011 UCT walked away with two, third prizes), it is possible that UCT students will be representing South Africa in the Final of the Chinese Bridge Competition in 2013. "To ensure that this progress is maintained, the Confucius Institute is committed to offering credit bearing courses through the UCT School of Languages & Literatures and will strive to raise the quality of teaching to a much higher level. It will also offer some Confucius Institute courses to the public. Within a short time, we hope that UCT will be the center for Chinese in Western Cape" said Prof. Qianlong Wu.

Chinese Languages courses are currently offered through the Faculty of Humanities' School of Languages & Literatures department. For more information on these and other available courses, please visit the Faculty of Humanities website.

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