With the strong development of Chinese economy and global influence, Chinese official language Mandarin as a language widely-used in China and surrounding countries in East Asia with thousands years of history has gradually stepped into the international stage.
The rapid development of Chinese language teaching and cultural exchange between China and South Africa has paved a bright future for Mandarin teaching to meet the needs in various fields such as education, business and culture in South Africa.
Under this background, the 15th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, the Preliminary Contest in South Africa was successfully organised and held by Confucius Institute at University of Johannesburg during 26-28th May, 2016.
In total, 25 contestants from the five Confucius Institutes in South Africa, including five DUT student Mandarin learners at the DUT Confucius Institute (CI), gathered at Apollo Hotel in Johannesburg to witness this marvelous annual event of Mandarin competition. The DUT CI team, led by the Dean Prof Graham Stewart and Co-Dean Prof Eddie Chaobo Fu, participated in this competition, as well as the following 2016 South African Chinese Language Teaching Workshop.
This competition, held on 27 May consisted of three parts: a writing test, themed speech and Chinese cultural talent shows. Nokuthula Hadebe, a student from the DUT Faculty of Arts and Design obtained a high score by a wonderful and good-pronounced speech which told a story about her dream of becoming a professional Chinese teacher in South Africa.
In the talent shows section, candidates from the CI at DUT showcased a series of performances including Chinese calligraphy, Hulusi (a kind of Chinese traditional flute), folk dancing, cross-talk and Chinese martial arts which left a favourable impression to the referees and audiences.
Finally, Hadebe won the Second Award (the third place) because of her extraordinary performance and also won a valuable opportunity of being invited to China to witness the Final Round of Chinese Bridge in Beijing. Jasmine Rae Beaudry, the candidate from the University of Stellenbosch’s CI, won first place.
“I came, I saw, I conquered”, said Hadebe. “This is a famous Latin phrase which might be cliché but explains my exact feelings. I had the honour of winning the coveted second prize at the 15th Chinese Bridge Competition hosted by UJCI and I cannot stop smiling. I am elated and over the moon. My peers and family members were overwhelmed with happiness and are extremely proud of me. This competition has grown me as a person and has greatly improved my spoken Mandarin and has ignited my passion for the Chinese culture. It is because of the hard work of our Mandarin teachers that we keep succeeding and learning more. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Chinese Bridge Competition organizers and the teachers who helped train us and never gave up on us. Thank you for your continued efforts and assistance in making sure that we understand the Chinese culture and language”, said Hadebe.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the DUT CI, Prof Graham Stewart and Prof Eddie Chaobo Fu attended the 2016 South Africa Chinese Language Teaching Workshop in Johannesburg hosted by Chinese Embassy in South Africa, Department of Basic Education of South Africa, the Gauteng Ministry of Education and CI at University of Johannesburg. In this meeting, issues such as the training of South Africa local Chinese teachers and the implementation of Chinese Language curriculum in the primary and middle schools in South Africa were discussed, which provided the direction for Chinese teaching in South Africa.
– Dr Eddie Chaobo Fu
Pictured: DUT’s Nokuthula Hadebe (first from left) pictured with other winners at the event.