Streamwood High School freshman Kelly Byrne and sophomore Anthony Waight brought home medals after competing in the sixth Midwest Chinese Speech Contest held March 22.
The competition is hosted by the Midwest Chinese Teachers Alliance and sponsored by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.
Byrne won the Silver medal and Waight won the Gold Medal in their categories which were based on years of Chinese language study.
"This is the first time we participated in the contest and we won," said Lina Li, Streamwood High Mandarin Chinese teacher. "This exciting accomplishment will help inspire our students to stay committed and focused on learning Chinese."
The contest was open to students enrolled in a Chinese program at the K-12 level and taught by an MCTA member. The theme of the event was "Chinese and Me," and students were tasked with developing individual speech titles based on the value of learning languages and the impact it has had on their lives, according to the contest description.
"My hard work paid off," said student Kelly Byrne.
"No matter what you do, if you put heart and effort into it, you can achieve success," added student Anthony Waight.
Speeches were delivered in Mandarin Chinese without the use of notes or any printed materials. Students were scored on pronunciation and tones, delivery, fluency and content.
"U-46 is one of few districts across the state to offer students the option of taking Mandarin, which they take as part of the World Languages & International Studies Academy at Streamwood High School," said Superintendent José M. Torres. "We are pleased to see students taking advantage of the opportunity to learn Mandarin which is extremely prevalent in today's business world; and we're pleased to see the students excel at it."
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