UW-Madison Students Win Prizes in Chinese

DATE: April 4, 2007
CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison, (608) 262-5590

Madison, WI — UW-Madison students took top honors last month at the third Midwest Chinese Speech Contest, sponsored at Northwestern University by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago.

According to Hongming Zhang, associate professor of Chinese Language and Linguistics and coordinator of the UW-Madison’s Chinese Language Program, UW-Madison sent a six-member team that competed against 66 contestants from 21 universities in the Midwest.

“Our school had the highest prize rate and was the school which brought home the most first-place prizes,” Zhang says. According to Zhang, UW-Madison students competed in four different levels of proficiency and won three first place awards, one second place award, and two third place awards. As part of the competition, students had to give a three-minute talk in Chinese. “The contest this year had the largest number of participants and was the most competitive one in its history,” Zhang says.

This is not the first time UW-Madison’s students of Chinese have won laurels. Last May, UW-Madison students took first and second place medals in first, second, and fourth year levels of Chinese at the third Wisconsin Chinese Language and Culture Symposium, held on the UW-Madison campus. In 2005, five students received top honors at the First HBA (Harvard-Beijing Academy) Chinese Speech Contest in China, and gold medals at the Midwest Chinese Speech Contest in Chicago.

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 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.