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Non-Native Speaker Mandarin Immersion Students Showcase Language Skills in National Chinese Competition


Redwood City School District (RCSD) Mandarin Immersion students flexed their knowledge of the Mandarin language by demonstrating fluency and confidence in the Chinese Bridge Competition U.S. Final Round. Representing Orion Alternative school and RCSD, three students were named by the judges as demonstrating exceptional skill:

National 3rd place - Saoirse Rafferty 罗羽宸 - 2nd Grade
Saoirse wrote the Chinese song “Protect the Earth”


Honorable Mention - Emma Chui 崔安安 - 4th Grade 
“Rice Field” singing and dancing performances


Honorable Mention - Tessa Lin 林绚雅 - 2nd Grade 
Tessa chorepgraphed the dance for her song performance “U Know What's Up” from the Disney Pixar movie “Turning Red.”

The student honorees applied what they have studied in RCSD’s Mandarin Immersion Program by participating in the national contest hosted by the Chinese Consulate of San Francisco this June, exhibiting their linguistic and cultural talent. 

The Chinese Bridge Competition is the highest level of the Mandarin contest hosted by the Chinese Consulate for non-native speaking students across the United States, and has been referred to as “the Olympiad of Chinese Language Learners.”

Just 12 students take part in the final round of the competition which showcases students’ Mandarin language abilities. 

The Chinese Bridge Contest includes a speech, a Q&A session with judges, and a talent performance. The Orion students submitted singing and dancing videos highlighting their Mandarin language and culture knowhow.  

Chinese Bridge competitions for middle school, high school, and college-level have been running for 20 years, while the contest at the elementary level is in its second year for ages under 14 who are non-Mandarin native speakers.

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.