Student wins Mandarin speech contest

Tue, Apr 10, 2018

This is the third year in a row, a KPU student has placed in the top three at the Chinese Bridge competition. 


KPU is three for three at an annual post-secondary Mandarin language contest.


Alex Tam, a third-year fine arts student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) took home third prize in the non-heritage category at the 2018 B.C. University Students "Chinese Bridge" Mandarin Speech Contest this spring.


Last year, KPU music student James Gonzalez placed third for his rendition of a Mongolian folk song, and in 2016 acupuncture student Andrew Yang won second prize in the singing contest.


“KPU has a history of students winning these provincial competitions and I am honoured to be the one, to represent for this year,” said Tam. “If public speaking wasn’t hard enough, speaking in a foreign language to a panel of judges across B.C. is another level of nerves.”


Open to post-secondary students who are non-native Chinese speakers, the Chinese Bridge contest aims to stimulate enthusiasm for Chinese learning and to enhance understanding of Chinese language and culture. Tam competed against 35 other contestants in his category from post-secondary institutions across the province.


Tam is currently taking a Mandarin course in the language and cultures department at KPU under the instruction of Dr. Yanfeng Qu.


“Alex represented KPU extremely well,” said Qu. “This is the third straight year we’ve had a student not only perform well, but win in these external competitions.”


Tam is of Chinese ancestry and chose to study Mandarin as a way to pay his respects to his ancestors.


“This is just the beginning of my journey to learn not only the language, but the ancient culture and centuries of tradition as well,” said Tam.