April 5th, 2014, Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) successfully hosted the 2014 Chinese Bridge – Chinese Proficiency Competition for Arkansas High School and College Students.
Eight contestants selected from UCA and five school districts in Arkansas participated in the contest. Merrick Fagan from the University of Central Arkansas won the first prize in the college students group. Grand Reed from the Cabot High School won the first prize in the high school students group. They will compete in the Chinese Bridge – Chinese Competition for students in the American Southern States to be held at Dallas on April 27th. From there they will have the chance to be recommended to participate in the final competition in China in July 2014.
The competition began at 2pm. Dr. Bailey, Chair of Department of the World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Dr. Jia Zhu from the same department, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, and Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI worked as judges. Dr. Zhuang gave an opening remark. The competition was divided into three parts: Chinese speech, Chinese cultural knowledge and Chinese Culture talent show. The topic of the speech is “Me and Chinese”, and contestants shared the reasons and experience of learning Chinese, expressing their interests in Chinese learning and love for Chinese culture. In the talent show round, contestants performed Chinese songs, Chinese calligraphy and painting, and played Chinese traditional instrument Guzheng. The wonderful talents won applauses from the audiences, who were from UCA, school districts, as well as local community. At the end of the competition, Chinese teachers and parents of the contestants joined the judges and contestants to take a group photo, recording this special experience.