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Confucius Institute at WKU hosts inaugural Chinese Bridge Competition

Confucius Institute at WKU hosts inaugural Chinese Bridge Competition

Sixty-five students showcased their knowledge of Chinese language and culture during the Confucius Institute at WKU’s inaugural Chinese Bridge Competition on March 25.

The competition consisted of three sections – speech, talent and testing. Participants included 31 middle school students, 19 high school students and 15 college students (from both the Chinese Flagship Program and the Chinese major/minor at WKU).

For the past couple of years, the Confucius Institute at WKU has focused on increasing the number of students and increasing the footprint of the program as a whole, according to Terrill Martin, managing director of CI at WKU. “With over 16,297 students enrolled in the CI at WKU program, it is important to ensure that there is not only exposure to the Chinese language and culture, but that the students are learning and retaining the language,” he said. “The only way to ensure proficiency is through assessment.”

That assessment is the Youth Chinese Test (YCT), an international standardized test directed at examining non-native primary and secondary school students’ ability to apply Chinese language in their studies and daily lives.

In 2014, according to Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, over 421,651 participated in the YCT/HSK/BCT assessments worldwide, including 15,601 students from the United States. Of that number, 2,732 were from the CI at WKU, with a passing rate of 12.10 percent.      

In 2015, 2,957 students took the YCT exam at the CI at WKU with a passing rate of 27.53 percent. In an effort to increase the passing rate, the CI at WKU increased its effort in professional development sessions for the teachers, and in April 2016, 3,215 students participated, which yielded a passing rate of 52.83 percent. In addition, in November 2016 the CI at WKU recruited an additional 1,100 students, which yielded a passing rate of 86 percent for YCT 1, and a 95 percent passing rate for YCT 2.

“Based on these results, it was now time to showcase these students who are dedicating themselves to the study of Chinese language and culture,” Martin said.

The inaugural Chinese Bridge Competition, held at the Augenstein Alumni Center, was a great success for WKU, the area school districts, the students and the Confucius Institute, he said.

The winners from the middle and high school contests will be invited to participate in the regional competition at Valparaiso University in late April.

Winners included the following:

  • Middle School Speech: first, Nicolette Bert, St. Francis Middle School in Goshen; second, Abigail Peevy, East Hardin Middle School; third, Ryan Newman, East Hardin Middle School
  • Middle School Talent: first, Nicolette Bert, St. Francis Middle School; second, Lily Carrigan and Melissa Broadfoot, East Hardin Middle School; third, Ghader W. Asal, Moss Middle School
  • High School Speech: first, Madelyn R. Matthews, Frederick Fraize High School; second, Otheniel Stockler, Barren County High School; third, Aubrey Render, Barren County High School.
  • High School Talent: first, Robert Fowler, Franklin-Simpson High School; second, Madelyn R. Matthews, Frederick Fraize High School; third, Zackary Ford, Barren County High School
  • College Speech: first, Erick Murrer, Modern Languages -- Chinese Major/Minor Program; second, Taylor Martin, Modern Languages -- Chinese Major/Minor Program; third, Aaron Stranger, Modern Languages -- Chinese Major/Minor Program
  • College Talent: first, Keeley Rather, Modern Languages -- Chinese Major/Minor Program; second, My Bui and Nhi Bui, Modern Languages -- Chinese Major/Minor Program; third, Courtney Tucker, Modern Languages -- Chinese Major/Minor Program
  • Testing competition: Participants with more than 85 percent received a plaque -- seven in middle school, three in high school and two in college. 

About the Confucius Institute: The CI at WKU is a conduit of all that is China. These partnerships are far reaching that will not only create or advance research for faculty/staff, but offer research and internship opportunities for WKU students. Anyone interested in partnering with us or interested in creating programs, contact Terrill Martin at (270) 745-2530.

Contact: Terrill Martin, (270) 745-2530

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 Last Modified 5/2/17