York University students shine at Chinese Bridge competition and student MC contest

York University students enrolled in Chinese studies continue to make an impression at the Chinese Bridge, a high-profile international Chinese language proficiency competition for university students.

This year, students Christopher Kelayna, Vera Kornilovsky and Amra Mujithaba placed first, second and third, respectively. Kornilovsky tied for second place and Mujithaba was one of three students to come in third place. It is unprecedented for students from one university to win the top three prizes in this competition.

From left: Alice Bo Dong, Christopher Kaleyna, Tasnuva Fameema, Amra Mujithaba, Vera Kornilovsky, Xiaoning Shi, Professor Jia Ma

Students competing were asked to deliver a self-written speech in Mandarin Chinese, and to give a performance of their choice in Mandarin Chinese.

In previous years, awards to York University students have been given to: You Jin (Jenny) Seo, who placed third in 2018; Lily McDermott, who placed second in 2014; Luc Pokorn, who was the American Continental Champion in 2013; and Stephanie Allport, who placed third and was selected to participate in the finals in Hunan, China, in 2011.

“Congratulations to York University students on their remarkable achievement in Chinese language competitions,” said Professor Jessica Tsui-yan Li, co-ordinator of the Chinese section. “Thanks to a great team of Chinese language instructors, including Karen Xiaoning Shi, Gang Pan, Alice Bo Dong, Shuying Tsau, Professor Jia Ma and Professor Xueqing Xu, who spent countless hours in making students engaged and successful in their studies. The Chinese section strives to provide profound training in Chinese language for students to participate in a variety of fields and professions in relation to Chinese communities locally and globally.”

The Chinese section at York University provides experiential education opportunities to students for deeper learning and personal and professional development. Another recent competition gave students Yawen Chen, Vera Kornilovsky, Qianyi Sheng and Si Yu the opportunity to be further engaged in the Chinese community in Toronto. The students participated in a student MC contest and were among the top 10 contestants selected by Xinflix Media to become anchors for its new bilingual program “On the road to studying abroad.” Beginning in November, these students will be interning at a news station and will report on issues regarding international student life in both English and Mandarin.

“The Chinese section offers a vigorous, cutting-edge program of Chinese studies in Chinese language, literature and culture,” said Li. “Advanced Chinese language proficiency plays a key role in the engagement of students in both local and global dialogues. An effective learning of Chinese language, however, requires the study of Chinese literature and culture. At the core of Chinese civilization is its rich heritage of poetry, essays, short stories, drama, novels and films, which embodies Chinese philosophy, sensibility and culture from the ancient time to the present. The Chinese section provides students with relevant and integrated programming and qualifications to nurture student success for graduates of York University.”