Encouraging BC youth to learn Chinese Mandarin
Grade 12 students from throughout the province gathered last week at the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver to receive a new award that celebrates those who learn a foreign language early in life.
The BC-China Award for Excellence in Chinese recognizes Grade 12 students from public and independent schools who achieved academic excellence in the study of Mandarin Chinese as a second language. Recipients must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents in BC schools who are learning Mandarin Chinese for the first time; those who received course credit attained through challenge or equivalency were not eligible.
Fifty students received the BC-China Award, each worth $500. The cost of the award was shared equally between the BC Ministry of Education and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.
The BC Council for International Education administered the award and selected the recipients.
The BC-China Award is one award in a series of International Education Scholarships initiated by the province to encourage two-way student and staff mobility, a priority under the BC International Education Strategy.
China is of particular interest to BC because it is the province’s second most important economic partner, behind only the United States. Chinese language skills will help BC students succeed in an increasingly global economy.
Liu Fei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver
“We have provided awards for university and doctoral students, but this is the first time awards have been presented for BC high school students. It is wonderful to see all the young faces here. With such a high volume of trade cooperation between BC and China, we need young talented people with language skills to back up these efforts…I am hoping with this event that more students will engage in Chinese language learning.”
Fendi Huynh, BC-China Award recipient
“My ultimate goal is to achieve diligent knowledge of the Chinese language and culture that will help me to better understand myself and the world around me.”
Bryce Balanuik, BC-China Award recipient
“I would advise other students hoping to learn Chinese to practice speaking. Too often, students are afraid to speak a new language in front of native speakers. I used to be self-conscious, but the more you practice learning with native speakers, the more you learn they want you to speak their language.”
For more information:
Chantal Moore, Manager, Communications