AGHS student wins Annual Chinese Proficiency Competition

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Antigua and Barbuda – The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Antigua and Barbuda hosted the highly anticipated 3rd Chinese Proficiency Competition for Secondary School Students in Antigua and Barbuda on June 15th, 2023. This event, held at the Embassy, brought together 11 talented students from three institutions: Sir Novelle Richards Secondary School, the Antigua Girls High School, and Glanvilles Secondary School. 

With Ms Arlene Weste, Chairman of the Board of Confucius Institute of Antigua and Barbuda and Director of Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education, as well as over 70 esteemed guests in attendance, the competition served as a symbol of the strong diplomatic relationship between China and Antigua and Barbuda, which has flourished for 40 years. 

Distinguished speakers at the event included H.E. Mme. Zhang Yanling, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Antigua and Barbuda, Mrs Listine Bradshaw, the Principal of Sir Novelle Richards Academy, the first institution in Antigua and Barbuda to introduce a Mandarin program, and Ms Shanise Looby, teacher of Glanvilles Secondary School. 

Ambassador Zhang encapsulated the progress made during the three sessions of Chinese Proficiency Competitions which have seen, among others, more contestants signing up for the Competition and wider participation in terms of judges and audience. Her remarks also echoed the mission of the Global Civilization Initiative which was proposed by China last March and reiterated the Embassy’s unwavering commitment to fostering educational and cultural exchange between China and Antigua and Barbuda. 

The remarks delivered by Mrs Bradshaw emphasized the role of the Competition as a platform where local secondary school students can showcase their level of knowledge in the learning of the mandarin language and their appreciation for the Chinese culture and highlighted that learning mandarin would help bridge the communication gap between the two countries. Ms Looby briefed the audience on the mandarin program that GSS has been carrying out.

The contestants showcased their exceptional talents and linguistic abilities, leaving the audience captivated throughout the event. Each contestant delivered a compelling speech entirely in Mandarin, providing a glimpse into their personalities expressed through another language. The students also displayed their diverse talents, with participants dancing, singing Chinese songs, playing musical instruments, reciting literature and poetry, and even presenting live paintings before a panel of judges, comprising individuals of Chinese ethnicity as well as Antiguan and Barbudan nationals proficient in Chinese literacy. Following these performances, engaging dialogues in Mandarin and a quiz on Chinese history and culture highlighted the students’ language proficiency and cultural understanding. 

The event didn’t stop there, however – the entire audience also actively participated in calligraphy writing exercises and a lively game of charades, fostering interest in the language, culture, and the competition’s proceedings. Mrs Diamond Joseph, Local Director of Confucius Institute of Antigua and Barbuda spoke highly of the contestants’ hard work and excellent performance as she delivered a vote of thanks speech.  
This immersive and enjoyable experience left a lasting impression on all attendees, inspiring a passion for Mandarin among Antigua and Barbuda’s youth and fostering cultural exchange. Alycia Alie, from AGHS, won the top place of this year’s Competition. 

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