Students win awards in Putonghua Contest

Grace Ho


On 27 March, CityU students excelled once again in the 6th Intervarsity Putonghua Recitation Contest (IPRC) . Fifty-six students from CityU took part in this year’s IPRC. Thirty-eight of them won prizes including awards of "Excellent", "Runner-up", and "Champion".


Glancing at the display case in the Language Studies Division (LS), you

notice that most of the trophies displayed there are from Putonghua Contests. LS student, Hui Sin Nam, won the championship in the individual poem recitation. CityU's Hope Team which consisted of 14 members won the championship in the poem recitation group. The Maple Team with 15 members won the runner-up award in the essay recitation group.


Ms Y L Chuen, LS Lecturer (Chinese

team) and coach of the CityU teams said, “I would like to see my students more exposed to mandarin and, importantly, to Chinese culture, as I feel that Hong Kong students are very weak in this aspect. When I asked my students to enter this contest, I was hoping that a stronger interest in the subject would be generated through competing with students from other universities in Putonghua.” She felt that the students grew more confident in their Putonghua skills as an added benefit of their participation in the IPRC. “They've become more optimistic after experiencing this. Participating in this contest and winning awards is beneficial for their future study and work.” she added.


Many of the students considered the contest as a good opportunity to practice and improve their Putonghua skills. “It was my first time to compete in such a big intervarsity contest,” recalled Sizto Wai, a Hope Team member. “ I will compete in this contest again next year. It was a precious opportunity for me to learn from my peers. I have made good friends thanks to this contest.”


Yan yan, Maple Team leader said she has always liked Putonghua. “Ms Chuen is really good at recitation and I learn a lot from her. It has been a very happy experience for me because I improved my Putonghua intonation and pronunciation. As we recited the poem together, I learned how to work in a team and cooperate. Our team was large and everyone was busy with homework. Even so, every time we needed to rehearse, almost everyone showed up on time.”


Wong Ping Fan, from the Hope team said, “We were very nervous at the beginning and made a few mistakes. But as we went on, we were more and more relaxed. Once we relaxed, we felt natural and free to perform. Although it has been hard work, I found much happiness and a feeling of satisfaction in the process.” 


The teams faced many difficulties during the contest. Most of the students lacked experience in competing in such a large-scale contest. The essays and poems were very long and thus challenging to recite. A lack of emotional expression has also been a major problem for the teams. “If you put enough effort in during the practice stage and if you can relax and feel natural during the performance, you will succeed ” said Yan yan. “That’s the most important lesson we learned from this year’s competition.”


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