15 students enrolled in Chinese curriculum receive essay contest award

Austin Lee

Fifteen students received awards in the 15th annual National Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary School Essay Contest. 

Students answered two different questions depending on their level of education in Mandarin. Non-native speakers enrolled in either the Regular or Immersion category and entered the majority of essays, while native speakers submitted their essays in the Heritage Category. 

Students in the Regular and Immersion Categories wrote about how they imagined themselves 10 years from now, while those in the Heritage Category described one of their greatest accomplishments.

The essays were scored based on their comprehensibility, ideas and content, word choice and discourse, syntax and accuracy and presentation and characters. Because there was not a set number of awards for each category, the competition was meant to enhance students’ experiences of learning Chinese and writing for someone other than their teachers, Chinese teacher Kun Li said.

The Chinese program offered students an opportunity to enter the contest for the fourth year in a row. This year, all participants won either a Gold or Silver Award.

“I wrote an essay because it was an opportunity to use the Chinese I had learned from the past two years,” Gold Award recipient Mandy Shao ’21 said.

Clay Skaggs ’20 said he is thankful for the opportunities provided by the competition.

“The CLASS Essay Contest is a great way to use and practice our Chinese each year,” Skaggs said. “We are all very grateful to CLASS for providing this opportunity. Over the years, my classmates and I have all seen improvements in our CLASS awards, which attests to the effectiveness of the Chinese department.”

Matthew Lee ’21, who also received a Gold Award in the Regular Category, said writing his essay was a positive experience. 

“I like to write, and it was a fun experience writing in a different language without a lot of restrictions,” Lee said. “I was able to use a lot of what I learned in Chinese class in my essay. I incorporated lots of the new vocabulary and idioms that I learned this year into my essay, and I think it paid  off.”