Well done to Dylan (below), who came back victorious after taking third place in the advanced category of the finals at the highly competitive national Mandarin Speaking Competition held by HSBC and the British Council on Wednesday 5 February. In addition to delivering a prepared speech alongside a presentation he only had one minute to plan, Dylan took the judges' impromptu questions in his stride, including a challenging one on how to bridge the educational divide between China's urban and rural areas. Dylan's achievement is particularly noteworthy as he is still only in the first year of his Sixth Form Mandarin Pre-U course.
Getting through to the finals was also a huge achievement for Mahiee, Sebastian, Cian, Edie, Rithika and Darragh. All elicited many a chuckle from the judges with their comedic performance about culture clashes in contemporary China.
Given the still-pervasive perception of Mandarin as a difficult language, the successes of these seven pupils should serve as inspiration.
- Mr Godber (Teacher of Mandarin)