Two Students Receive 2021 Pennsylvania High School Chinese Speech Award
Sophomore Daniel Torres and junior Madeleine Wren received the 2021 Pennsylvania High School Chinese Speech Award, and their teacher, Jing Zhou, received the Excellent Mentor Award. This event is organized by the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Western Pennsylvania.
The students, each of whom has a varying level of experience with the language, learned about the contest through Senior School Mandarin teacher Mrs. Zhou who supported them through the application process. To participate in the competition, they were asked to submit speech videos that were approximately three minutes or less depending on the category and were judged by professors from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
“I truly enjoyed watching the videos and seeing those talented high school students in action. They have done an excellent job making connections between the language and culture and/or their personal lives Their speech is concrete, informative, and interesting in content, and the manner of delivery is also outstanding. It’s obvious that they have done excellent preparations and take pride in carrying out this project,” Dr. Yi Xu, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, said. “I want to thank the students who have participated and the teachers who have nurtured them.”
In Daniel’s speech, “My favorite city - San Juan,” he introduced the beautiful capital city of Puerto Rico, his mother’s hometown. He also won the Best Video Award. In Maddie’s speech, she introduced Sewickley Academy’s track team, which she has been part of for three years. Both students have demonstrated high skills in using the Mandarin Chinese language.