DATE: May 1, 2006
CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Director of Communications, Division of International Studies. (608) 262-5590, firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison, WI – UW-Madison students took top honors last month at the third Wisconsin Chinese Language and Culture Symposium. The symposium, held on the UW-Madison campus, brought several hundred students, teachers and fans of Chinese together for the day-long competition.
UW-Madison students took first and second place medals in first, second and fourth year levels of Chinese. First place awards went to Tiffany Iliadis, Nathan Bice and Matt Beyer.
Seventy nine contestants from 11 schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools as well as college participated in the symposium. Directors of Chinese language programs at Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Minnesota, Columbia University and Washington University served as judges. The Chinese consul general in Chicago, Cuiying Xu, also attended the symposium. “The support was impressive,” said Kelly Rux, a UW-Madison student majoring in Chinese.
Student contestants gave speeches in Chinese on topics ranging from Christianity in China to the political relationship between China and Taiwan.
According to Yea-Fen Chen, co-president of the Wisconsin Association of Chinese Language Teaching, it was “inspiring to see such a range of ages in people studying Chinese.” Chinese language study has been growing in popularity across the U.S.
This is not the first time UW-Madison students have won laurels in Chinese. Last summer five students received top honors at the First HBA (Harvard-Beijing Academy) Chinese Speech Contest in China. Earlier in 2005 students also won gold medals at the Midwest Chinese Speech Contest in Chicago, hosted by the Consulate General of China in Chicago and Northwestern University. Each contestant was required to deliver a three minute speech in the language.
UW-Madison’s Chinese language program is considered to be one of the best in the U.S., with faculty providing expertise in a wide range of fields, including Chinese language pedagogy, Chinese linguistics, Chinese thought, and Chinese literature. UW-Madison is recognized internationally for the breadth of its language offerings, with the capacity to teach over 60 languages.