Glenwood Mandarin Dual-Language Students Excel in State Contest
For the past 10 years, Mandarin dual-language (MDL) students at Glenwood Elementary School (GES) have delivered strong performances at the North Carolina Chinese Speech and Writing Contest. This year may have been the strongest yet, with first and second place GES finishes in both the Heritage and Non-heritage categories of the essay portion, and a certificate of achievement in the speech portion.
In the essay contest for upper elementary non-heritage speakers category, the students who placed are: Samuel Stompel, fourth grade, first place; and Troy Gordon, fifth grade, second place. In the heritage speakers category, the students who placed are: Angela Li, fifth grade, first place; Hanling Wang, second grade, second place; and Eric Sun, fifth grade, third place.
The writing portion of the contest required two rounds of participation. First, students produced an independently written essay on one of three topics: My Hobby, My Favorite Season, or What I Know about China. After students cleared the first round, they signed up for a designated timed two-hour writing session, with the prompt revealed at the start of the session. Although MDL students are not required to participate, upper grade students were strongly encouraged to enter.
Rory Huseman, a fifth grade student, participated in the speech contest, which is only for non-heritage speakers. There were 600 students participating in the first round, and he was selected to compete in the final round, winning a Certificate of Achievement.
Judy Ouyang, MDL fifth grade teacher, said, “Glenwood has been participating in the NC Chinese Speech and Writing Contest since 2009 and has the most winners (during that time). The contest is a great opportunity for students to showcase their Chinese language ability as well as connecting them with resources to provide global engagement. All students were encouraged to participate and benefited a lot from this opportunity.”
The competition is sponsored by the Charlotte Confucius Institute, one of 100 national chapters of a cultural outreach non-profit. The North Carolina chapter was originally located at North Carolina State University, but is now established at University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). As their website notes, “The non-profit Confucius Institutes operate with support from the host university and from a partner university in China. The Confucius Institutes also receive support from Hanban, the Office of Chinese Language Council International (CLCI), a Chinese Ministry of Education subsidiary. Throughout the United States and around the world, Confucius Institutes act as a bridge between people who want to connect with their counterparts in China. They operate not strictly as an academic entity, but in a broader community and cultural capacity.”