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American students shine at Chinese speech contest
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American students shine at Chinese speech contest

It must be a special Children's Day for the 20 students from eight elementary and middle schools in the U.S. Midwest, whose Chinese language skill and talent showcased at the Chinese Bridge competition amazed both their parents and native speakers.

The students gathered at the Chinese Consulate-General in Chicago and took turns to step onto the stage for the speech contest, introducing themselves, telling traditional Chinese stories, sharing interesting experiences from learning the language, reciting ancient Chinese poetry, and expressing their love for Chinese Kung Fu, calligraphy and music, all in Chinese.

Luke King-Schultz from Scenic Heights Elementary said that learning Chinese would enable him to communicate with more people and have more working opportunities, given that Chinese is the No. 1 speaking language in terms of the number of native speakers.

More importantly, learning the most difficult language in the world is a challenge for him. "I like the challenge," he said.

Elena Myhrom from Yinghua Academy has been learning Chinese for eight years. She admitted that it is very difficult, but this experience has brought her a lot of fun. Now, she feels cool when she can order food and communicate with waitstaff in Chinese at restaurants.

Seven-year-old Magnus Halmrast has taken a great liking for the Chinese characters and Tang Dynasty poetry. In his speech, he said: "Chinese is one of the most important languages. I want to learn Chinese well and travel to China with my parents to see the Palace Museum and the Great Wall."

The talent show allowed the young learners to further display their Chinese expertise through paper cutting, Kung Fu, and performances of Chinese music on the clarinet and viola. The students' pronunciation and intonation in Chinese were impressively native-like.

The young speakers left the stage to rounds of enthusiastic applause from their overjoyed parents and other audience.

Consul General Zhao Jian sent his holiday greetings to the children, expressing hope that Chinese and American youth can build a friendship bridge through the "Chinese Bridge."

Xinhualiu sha

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