5th Mandarin Speech Contest Held by University of Toronto’s Department of East Asian Studies
The Chinese Program currently has a total enrollment of 200 students in its six language classes. Dr. Rupprecht explained that the Chinese Program is very popular as a result of the huge population of ethnic Chinese in the greater Toronto area. Some students enroll in the Chinese Program to learn to better communicate with their Chinese-speaking friends.
The judges were Chengkie Cheng, Director of the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada, Professor Vincent T. Shen, from the Department of East Asian Studies, and Yurou Zhong, an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies. The contestants were divided into four groups, based on their level. They could speak about any subject for 2 to 3 minutes. The subjects presented this year included Motivations and the Courses for Learning Chinese; A Comparison of Asians and Westerners; It is Better to Travel Far than to Read Voluminously; and the Travel Experience in Taiwan. The contestants were awarded a score based on the content, the vocabulary used, and their mastery of tones, and grammar. An award ceremony concluded the contest. All the participants received a small prize - a Taiwan souvenir - and the best three speakers in each group received a cash prize: $80 for first place, $60 for second place, and $40 for third place.