CIVU’s 3rd Valparaiso University Great Lakes High School Chinese Speech Contest

The afternoon of April 10, 2011, witnessed the CIVU’s 3rd Valparaiso University Great Lakes High School Chinese Speech Contest. More than 70 students, teachers, school leaders, and parents from nine schools of Illinois and Indiana attended this event. These schools were Rochester High School, Benito Juarez Community Academy, Naperville North High School, Illinois Math & Science Academy, Culver Academies, Northridge High School, Washington Township High School, Clay High School, and New Prairie Middle School.

The event was officially kicked off by President Mark A. Heckler of VU, who greatly commended the contributions the CIVU has made in teaching the Chinese language and culture and in germinating students’ interest in learning this language in area schools. He also shared his experience of working in China Agricultural University and encouraged the students to work harder for a better mastery of the Chinese language so they can be cultural ambassadors between the two countries in the future.

The contest was divided into two levels: Situational Dialogue and Individual Speech. Whereas Level 1 contestants demonstrated their language skills and knowledge on topics such as classroom study, dormitory life, taking a bus or train, travelling, and so on, Level 2 contestants showcased their feats speaking on My Experience of Learning Chinese in America.

The event was intermitted with music performance by the CIVU’s Chinese Music Ensemble, by its Chinese language teacher Ms. Ming Liang’s singing, and by MACS student Mr. Aaron Whitmer’s recital of a Chinese poem.

The competition also drew the attention of VU leaders. Provost Mark Schwehn, when awarding the prize winners, commented: “Although I didn’t understand a word of the language you all spoke, I was sitting at the back listening to your wonderful performances, greatly impressed by your skills in using this different language.”

Mr. Jim Holifield, Principal of New Prairie Middle School, who brought his students over for an observation, commented: “This program is a great opportunity to showcase the Chinese language programs in our area. This is our first participation but it will not be our last!”

Maybe Washington Township High School student Jordon Hurson’s comment speaks for all the participants: “I feel this is a very good educational event. It helps students learn ways to put your Chinese vocabulary all together. Learning Chinese is very complicated but also fun, so this contest was very fun to participate in.”


Winners List

Level 1


Adriana Soto, Rocio Santana, Israel Munoz (Benito Juarez Community Academy)


Heidi Warning, Natalie Runkle (Illinois Math & Science Academy)


Hayley Hartz, Mercedes Buell, Willy Brown (Rochester High School)

Lois Prough, Kevin A. Cockburn, Sky Brilliandt,  Monica LuangAsa, Mikaela Pieri, Marina Todd (Northridge High School)

Level 2


Hyun Jin Song (Illinois Math & Science Academy)

Hana Park (Naperville North High School)


Sharon Duval (Illinois Math & Science Academy)


Noe Ochoa (Benito Juarez Community Academy)

Grady Hearne Hofstetter (Culver Military Academy)



Emma He (Naperville North High School)


Ke An Hui (Benito Juarez Community Academy)

 (Text by LIU Jiangang, Photo by Geng Di, CIVU)

2011 Chinese Speech Contest