On October 29, Johnson University Tennessee hosted the 3rd annual Middle-Eastern Tennessee Middle and High School Students Chinese Character Competition in Richardson Hall. This event began in 2014 and is currently sponsored by JUTN’s Confucius Classroom project. In the first two years, there was a Chinese character recognition contest only. This year, a speech contest was added. Forty-eight students in grades 8-12 from eight schools participated in the competition. There were over 70 people on campus, including Chinese instructors and parents.
Schools that participated:
The Baylor School, Chattanooga
The Episcopal School of Knoxville
Ensworth High School, Nashville
McCallie School, Chattanooga
Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville
Merrol Hyde Magnet School, Hendersonville
Martin Luther Jr. Magnet High School, Nashville
The King's Academy, Seymour
The Confucius Classroom gave cash awards to the winning teams, each of which consists of four members. President Weedman offered generous scholarships to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Below are the winning teams:
Hardin Valley Academy won 1st place.
Baylor School and Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School won 2nd place.
Merrol Hyde Magnet School and McCallie School won 3rd place.
The Confucius Classroom’s goals of organizing this event are to foster interest in Chinese language learning and to create a platform for the Chinese instructors in the local schools to collaborate as a team. “With the generous support of the administrators and the Admission Office staff of Johnson University, I believe we have achieved these goals,” said Duan Hua, director of international relations. The students enjoyed this collaborative and fun way of learning. The Chinese instructors and the parents are grateful to Johnson University for providing this opportunity to motivate their children.
Student feedback was positive, and many students felt a positive sense of accomplishment from this event. A high school boy from McCallie School said in his speech for the contest, "the reason why I chose to learn Chinese is that I heard Chinese is a very difficult language. I want to challenge myself. I believe I am smart enough to do it, and I did it."
Duan Hua expressed the purpose of the competition: “I feel it a great privilege and a joy to do something for the schools in this area to prepare the young generation for a globalizing world.”