TWU students place second and third in province-wide Mandarin speech competition

Competing against 60 students from nine BC universities, second-year students Benjamin Birkenstock and Deborah Kim won second and third place in a province-wide Mandarin speech competition.

“It’s really encouraging to see the great achievement of these students,” said Na Wu, Ph.D., Mandarin Professor in the Department of Modern Languages. “I really appreciate their hard work and excellent performance.”

Birkenstock, Intercultural Religious Studies major, and Kim, Applied Linguistics major, showcased their accurate pronunciation, natural intonation, proper grammar and syntax, and excellent wording. Birkenstock left his audience laughing with a humorous and powerful speech on bridging Chinese and western cultures while Kim gave a heartwarming speech on her dream of helping orphans.

The Chinese Bridge speech contest, held annually in Vancouver since 2002, is a large-scale international competition organized by Hanban—a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. This annual event has attracted and sponsored nearly one thousand college and university students from over 100 countries to participate in its semi-finals and finals in China. The BC speech contest held on March 17, 2012, was one of Canada’s preliminary rounds.

The students were rewarded with $150 for second place and $100 for third place. This is the first time that TWU’s Chinese language students have participated the event.

The Department of Modern Languages at TWU provides students opportunities to learn a variety of languages. Students can choose from a major in Modern Languages; minors and concentrations in Spanish, French language and literature, and French language; and courses in German, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.

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