Two Monash Arts Chinese Studies students have won third prize at the Melbourne heats for the prestigious 17th Chinese Bridge Chinese Language Competition, a large-scale international contest for foreign college students, making this the twelfth win for Monash.
Students undertaking units from the School of Literatures, Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, Lauren Hamilton and Patrick Dempsey both presented Chinese conversation pieces and sang in Chinese for their musical performances, all which were highly praised by the judge panel and audience.
Along with first and second place winners, Ms Hamilton has been invited to watch the Grand Final competition in China, and will then travel around China to undertake a range of cultural activities.
“This is still such a fantastic opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it,” she said.
For her entry, Lauren Hamilton, who studies Chinese and International Business, spoke about her interesting experiences in China, followed by her Chinese rendition of the Moana theme song.
Ms Hamilton said learning the lyrics of the song in Chinese was somewhat easy as the translations across both versions were similar.
How far I’ll go is a really powerful and uplifting song. It’s about struggling with self-doubt and realizing that your potential is unlimited, and that even if people tell you otherwise, all that matters in the end is that you believe in yourself!” she said.
Having wanted to enter the competition since her studies in High School, Ms Hamilton said her Chinese teacher at Monash asked if she wanted to participate and agreed to enter this year due to a newfound sense of confidence.
“I pushed myself to say yes, partly because I wanted to improve my Chinese and show the world what I’d learnt, but also because I knew this experience would challenge me and allow me to grow as a person,” said Ms Hamilton, who also undertook an intensive Chinese language course offered by Monash to students learning Chinese.
“My teachers at Monash have all been super supportive of me learning Chinese and have given me a lot of guidance both career-wise and in terms of improving my language abilities.”
Patrick Dempsey, who studies Chinese Language and Education sang a well-known Chinese pop song, The Gentleman and also talked about Chinese customs. He said entering the competition was a great way to meet people from around the world and “get closer to China”.
Mr Dempsey also credits his Monash teachers for assisting him with preparing for the competition, saying the commitment and support he received had been outstanding.
“My prior Chinese studies had helped, but I would never had done as well as I did if it weren't for the teachers helping my development and growth,” he said.
Dr Hui Huang, who teaches Chinese as a second language at Monash said the last ten years has seen the continuous success of Monash participants in the Chinese Bridge competition, which is a clear manifestation of students’ own passion and commitment to Chinese learning.
“Such success is greatly attributed to the high-quality teaching and the curriculum of Chinese Studies Program (CSP) at Monash,” she said.
This includes the successful running of immersive language program through Chinese Intensive Language Program in China, as well as the study abroad program in Chinese-spoken areas, as all Monash candidates have participated in either or both.
“This incredible success is due to the sterling efforts of the teamwork in the Chinese Studies Program, the great support from the School of Literatures, Languages, Cultures and Linguistics and the Arts Faculty, especially the works of Hui Xu and Hailan Paulsen,” she said.
Hui Xu, also a lecturer in Chinese Studies said she is “very proud” of the students and the Chinese Studies team.
“I must thank all of my colleagues especially Gloria Davies, Hui Huang, Hailan Paulsen, Chun-ming Shan, Lijun Bi, Candy Wang and Zhiqun Chen for their recommendation, training and support for Lauren and Patrick,” she said.