In the final speech competition, each contestant had three minutes to deliver a themed speech in Chinese to a panel of judges comprised of Confucius Institute faculty as well as Chinese teachers from different levels of schools throughout North Carolina. Additionally, contestants had the option to present a three-minute talent showcase. Approximately 200 people attended the event.
In addition, the Confucius Institute donated a total of more than $6,000 for Chinese reading materials to Glenwood, McDougle, My Chinese Treehouse, Ferndale Middle School in High Point, Mary 中文班 in Pinehurst, Northwood Elementary School in High Point and Enloe High School in Raleigh for referring more than five students to the competition.
While these students celebrate their hard work and success at the contest, many students are faced with potentially losing their Chinese language programs at school. At present, the Chinese program at Glenwood Elementary School in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is at risk of being shut down, following a recommendation from the school district. Parents and other supporters are fighting back by generating awareness about the merits of the dual-language curriculum. During the 2011-2012 school year, 128 Glenwood students were enrolled in the program, which produced four finalists in the North Carolina Chinese Speech Contest.
“We are very impressed by all of the Chinese learners who participated in the third annual Chinese Speech Contest,” said Anna Lamm, deputy director of the Confucius Institute. “It is very clear that these participants are passionate about learning more about the Chinese language and culture, and worked very hard to make it to the final round of the contest. We would like to congratulate not only the winners of the contest, but everyone who participated in the contest as well. They should all be very proud of themselves—we are very appreciative of their efforts.”
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ABOUT THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY:
The Confucius Institute at North Carolina State University was established in 2007 and was the first in the Southeast. The Institute is a cooperative project between NC State University, the Office of Chinese Language Council International and Nanjing Normal University in China. The Confucius Institute’s mission is to enhance intercultural understanding in the United States by sponsoring Chinese language and culture programs. NC State’s Confucius Institute promotes this mission through a range of educational and outreach activities for students, teachers, businesses and community members. The institute contributes to the expansion of Chinese language instruction at NC State and in North Carolina public schools, enriches cultural opportunities, and helps North Carolina businesses understand and compete on a global scale.
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