Skip To Main Content

Mandarin Immersion Students Earn Top Honors in 2022 Speech Competition

Sharing their knowledge and excitement about the Chinese language, 17 Redwood City School District (RCSD) students took part in the 46th annual Chinese Mandarin Speech Contest. The event, hosted by Chinese Language Teacher Association of California (CLTAC), draws hundreds of students from across the state of California who are eager to demonstrate their skills.

2022 Mandarin Immersion Speech Contestants

Students from Orion Alternative School and Kennedy Middle School prepared and practiced speeches to be presented in Mandarin, competing with peers from a total of 26 California schools.

“Events like this play a vital role in motivating students to perform and excel and offer a lot more rewards than just the winning prize,” said Liya Cao, Kennedy Middle School Mandarin Immersion teacher. “It also offers a chance for students to gain substantial experience, showcase skills, analyze and evaluate outcomes, and uncover personal aptitude.”

RCSD participants come from diverse backgrounds, with many learning Mandarin as a second or third language. 

“A confident student is likely to develop a can-do-attitude and this can-do, positive attitude will help them to succeed as adults,” said Cao. “The additional experience of winning this contest as a non-native Mandarin speaker helps students get motivated and it gives them the confidence to achieve even bigger goals.”

Student Winner Showing Her Certificate

This was the first CLTAC competition in which Kennedy Middle School’s students have had the opportunity to participate as the Mandarin Immersion Program is in its first year at the middle school.

“I’m so proud of all the students’ efforts in preparing for their speeches,” said Winnie Wong, who coaches the Mandarin Immersion students at Orion Alternative every year preparing them for the competition. “This is a wonderful and valuable learning experience for all of us!” 

Students from RCSD schools who placed in their grade divisions of the competition were: First-graders Clara Matthews (3rd Place) and Eliana Hantsbarger (Honorable Mention); second-graders Nia Seeberger (2nd Place) and Avery Lin (Honorable Mention); fourth-graders Ryan Seeberger (1st Place) and Emma Chui (2nd Place); and seventh-grader Yuki Ahmann (1st Place).

RCSD’s K-8 Mandarin Immersion program brings together both Mandarin- and English-speaking students and families for the opportunity of a promising future of being bilingual, biliterate, and academically enriched. The K-5 program is housed at Orion Alternative School and feeds into Kennedy Middle School for the 6-8 strand. Speech contest host, the CLTAC, was formed in 1964 with a goal of promoting the study and teaching of Chinese language and culture in California.

Note: Pictures courtesy of Orion Alternative parents and Kennedy Middle School teacher Liya Cao.