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Alfred University Confucius Institute hosts 'Chinese Bridge' competition
3/10/11

Alfred University is one of four sites in the Eastern United States where students will demonstrate their proficiency in the Chinese language, choosing those who will advance to national, and potentially international, competition.

The second annual “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition preliminary round is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 2 in the Olin Building on the Alfred University campus. The competition, hosted by the Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU), is open to non-Chinese students under the age of 30 from colleges and universities in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

First and second-year students are eligible for the junior level contest, and those who have taken Chinese language instruction for three years or more are eligible for the senior level competition.

Other sites for the preliminary competition are the New York Service Center for Chinese Study Fellows in New York City; Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; and Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Last year, 82 students from 32 colleges and universities entered the first regional “Chinese Bridge” competition. Twenty-four students advanced to the final round, with the top two students advancing to the international competition, vying for scholarships to study in China, offered by the Hanban (Chinese Language Council International). Two additional finalists were also invited to travel to China as spectators for the competition. All travel expenses were paid by the Hanban. This year’s international competition will be held in July.

Leon Chen of the New York Service Center for Chinese Study Fellows is organizing the regional competition. He explains the competition “aims to provide a well-established stage for American college students to show their talent in Chinese language and to learn Chinese culture.”

Wilfred Huang, professor of management and director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, said the regional competition will include a short speech – two minutes for those competing at the junior level and three minutes for those at the senior level -- to demonstrate their proficiency in speaking Chinese.

There is a talent portion of the competition during which contestants demonstrate their proficiency in Chinese arts and culture through performance – Chinese songs, dance, folk arts, playing musical instruments, calligraphy, painting, paper-cutting and Wushu (military arts), for example.

In the final round, contestants will demonstrate their knowledge of China by responding to questions about the country with extemporaneous answers.

Applications to participate in the regional competition are due by Sunday, March 20. They may be mailed to the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, 10 Park St., Alfred, NY 14802 or e-mailed to ciau@alfred.edu.