CLS reach the podium at National Mandarin Speaking competition
On Wednesday 7 March, six Fourth and Fifth Form Mandarin students took part in the annual Mandarin Chinese Speaking competition finals, held at the British Museum. Shachar, Nassim, Philip, Roy, Sanjay and Isaac worked hard to rehearse a short drama based on their understanding of Chinese language and culture. They performed in front of three judges, teachers and contestants from other schools. As the results were announced, everyone was thrilled to have been awarded third place nationally—a great achievement for the first City group ever to enter.
The performance was both funny and engaging. The boys performed a narrative of two lonely hearts under pressure from their mothers to find a spouse. With the lines delivered entirely in Mandarin, and with the subtle use of wigs, dresses, props and stage direction, the short play was deservedly highly regarded. Standards from the fifteen other schools to enter were high, and CLS boys were impressed by the standard of Mandarin and the ingenuity that the other schools displayed in their own performances.
The competition is joint run by British Council and HSBC, and is a strong indicator of the growing recognition and importance of Mandarin education here in the UK. A panel of experts representing the Chinese Embassy, British Council and the Institute of Education answered questions from the contestant, one of the most important discoveries being the range of reasons to consider Mandarin a highly valuable language to learn. Students were reminded of the power of languages to shed light on foreign cultures and to put their own national identities into perspective. Panellists also discussed the growing importance of being able to speak to other members of our ‘global community’, and the enjoyment gained from learning about Chinese language and culture.
Not only a successful day for our students, the competition was also a great opportunity for them to discover the talents of their peers, the value of performance as a way to enjoy language learning, and even benefit from a special guided tour of the China area of the British Museum collection. Well done to all involved, and we look forward to entering more students next year!
The competition is a strong indicator of the growing recognition and importance of Mandarin education here in the UK.