Year 10 pupil Angel Parker came runner up in the Beginner's Category of the HSBC / British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2012 for demonstrating outstanding speaking skills in a language she has only been learning for 10 months.
Angel ,who is from an English background, had only studied Mandarin for ten months when she took part in The National Chinese Speaking Competition in London in December. She competed in the Beginners Section against contestants from schools across the UK, most of whom had been studying the language for about two years. As a total beginner, she was given one of two places to go through to the Finals of the competition, which took place at the British Museum in February.
Angel took up Mandarin because she would love to visit China and communicate properly, and hopes to take her studies to at least A level. The competition was very challenging, requiring candidates to write and recite a speech in Chinese, answer two questions from the judges and translate two sentences. Of the final, Angel said "It was really nerve wracking and I thought at one point I had gone wrong. However, luckily the result went my way and I was told by the judges that I had very good pronounciation for someone who hasn't learned the language for that long. It was very rewarding!"
The competition is organised by the British Council to support and promote the teaching of Chinese as a modern foreign language in UK schools. The judging panel includes the Chair of the Edexcel Board of Examiners for the Chinese GCSE, Chinese academics and representatives of HSBC and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China.