Confucius Institute Director Maggie Jiang
As we approach the festive season, we are feeling proud of how the University community and our Confucius Institute team have risen to the challenges of 2020. This semester our enrolments are still strong and we have received frequent requests for school incursions and cultural workshops.
We were delighted to welcome the majority of our students back to campus this semester, however we continue to provide online lessons to students who found that this method suits them better. We have also resumed face-to-face delivery of business Chinese language lessons to our Perth law firm clients.
As always, we continue to collaborate with other members of the UWA community. In October, we hosted work experience students as part of UWA's Learning Links partnership with Shenton College. In December we will once again take part in a rewarding partnership with the UWA Aspire program to give Year 9 students a taste of Chinese culture. We also continue to assist UWA with translation and support when needed.
Restrictions on global travel have seen many of our volunteer team return to China this year without replacements able to come to WA. In response, we are developing a local team of Chinese language teaching assistants so that we can continue our core work of supporting schools and community events while international borders remain closed.
The new WA Museum Boola Bardip opened this month and we are honoured to have contributed some Chinese cultural elements to help tell the multicultural story of our State. I am pleased to announce that we will also partner with the Museum next year to provide regular Chinese cultural workshops in the stunning new venue.
Maggie Ying Jiang
We were pleased to recommence our school incursion program after COVID-19 disruptions in the first Semester. It was also a nice opportunity for our team of young volunteers to see a little of regional WA. In September, we travelled to Dalyellup College in Bunbury and in November to South Coast Baptist College in Rockingham, introducing 250 students to traditional Chinese games, crafts and music. Next month we will continue our regional outreach by partnering with the UWA Aspire Program to give Year 9 students from remote WA the chance to learn the secrets of the diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) and Tai Chi. Additional excursions at Bateman Primary School and Lynwood senior High School will introduce another 350 students to Chinese games and crafts.
A core part of our work involves facilitating the HSK and YCT Chinese language proficiency tests.The HSK test approximates the English TOEFL and is an important means for foreign students to demonstrate their language ability for scholarship, academic and work purposes. The YCT test is aimed at encouraging primary and secondary school students to improve their language skills.This year 69 students took the HSK Test and 66 sat for YCT. Tests were hosted at UWA Claremont Campus as well as specially organised at Methodist Ladies' College and at Dalyellup College in Bunbury.We congratulate all students who took part and wish them success in their future Chinese studies.
September saw us take part in two community partnerships featuring music and myths. On 20 September, we collaborated with the Chung Wah Association to present International Guzheng Day - a celebration of the instrument sometimes known as the Chinese zither. The event showcased the skills of 68 guzheng musicians in an awe-inspiring performance for a very appreciative audience. On September 29 a much younger audience enjoyed a story telling session for children featuring the myths and legends of the Mid-Autumn Festival, presented in collaboration with the City of Perth Library.
WA's winning streak in the prestigious Chinese Bridge international language competition continued this November, with Perth Modern School Year 10 student Khush Shah finishing third in the world and first in the Oceania region. He out-competed 148 other students from more than 100 countries.In a normal year, Khush would have taken part in a series of live TV programs filmed in China; however the 2020 competition was entirely online. Our team provided intensive support to Khush during the gruelling contest - with more than one online session lasting until midnight.Students from UWA, Methodist Ladies' College and Rossmoyne Senior High School have excelled in this competition recently, taking out the Oceania division crown in three of the past four years.
We recently announced the results of our 2020 Confucius Institute Short Film Competition, which saw more than 75 WA students from ten schools showcasing their knowledge of Chinese language and culture in original short films. Their interpretations of the theme - 'Chinese Story' - showed a high degree of creativity and effort, utilising techniques such as shadow-puppetry, animation and claymation to tell their stories.Methodist Ladies' College (MLC), Rossmoyne Primary School and Oberthur Primary School took out the Primary School awards, while in the Secondary School Category, it was MLC, Melville Senior High School and Perth Modern School taking the honours with some very clever and entertaining works.