2020 Chinese Speech Competition and Character-bee Online Registration Form
Organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
In order to stimulate enthusiasm and interest for learning Chinese and to provide learners of Chinese in the state of Nebraska an opportunity to use the language, the Confucius Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will hold a Chinese Speech Competition and Character-bee for middle and high school students. This year to practice social distancing and keep the competition 100% coronavirus-free, the competitions will be held remotely online. There will be two separate competitions. In addition to the regular speech competition this year, we will also hold a character-bee, which challenges students to write and recognize Chinese characters.
Contestant speeches should be recorded and submitted by 11:59 PM on Friday, April 17.
The Character Bee portion will be held live online on Monday, April 20 at 3:00 PM.
If you are interested, please read the rules below to see if you are eligible, how to register, and the rules of the contests.
Contestants must be:
1) Non-heritage learners of Chinese in middle or high school in the state of Nebraska;
2) People who were born in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan who speak Mandarin at home or as a native language are not eligible to participate in the formal competition (See the note below) except ethnically Chinese children adopted by non-Chinese speaking families and/or who did not grow up speaking the language.
Registration and Submission:
Registration for the competition is until April 16, 2020. Registration is done online. The registration form is at the bottom of this webpage. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to all contestants with instructions on how to submit speech recordings on Flipgrid as well as the character bee.
For a list of possible characters that will be used in the character-bee, please download this list here. (Will be updated March 20, 2020)
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Liz Khalil.
Competition Rules and Guidelines
All contestants will be divided into rankings based on their Chinese level and will participate in two competitive segments: the speech competition and the character-bee. These competitions will be judged and awarded separately. Contestants will be judged separately according to their ranking level. This year the speech competition will be submitted as a recording on Flipgrid by 11:59 PM Friday, April 17. The Character Bee will be held live online through zoom at 3:00 PM on Monday, April 20.
In the speech competition segment, students will be required to deliver a speech in Mandarin Chinese. Each contestant will present a 3-5 minutes prepared speech of 200 words or more. Contestants may read from a prepared speech, but additional points will be awarded to contestants who are able to recite their speech without reading-off the paper. Contestants may edit the video to incorporate visual aids, but the speaker must be visible throughout the video and it must be a single continuous recording of the speech. Scores will be tabulated by a panel of judges based on the content, delivery, and fluency of contestants' speeches. The topic of contestants' speech will be according to their Chinese level ranking group (listed below). A contestant's level is according to how many years they have studied Chinese (ie. Level 1 would be for the first year of learning Chinese or in OPS Chinese 1/2 class)
Chinese I: 我最好的朋友。 Introduce your best friend.
Chinese II: 学习汉语为什么有意思？Explain why you think learning Chinese is interesting.
Chinese III:介绍一位你喜欢的中国人物。 Introduce a famous Chinese person you like.
The character-bee will test contestants' recognition and ability to write Chinese characters. The character-bee will be held live online through zoom at 3 PM on Monday, April 20. Contestants will be judged in three separate competition ranks based on Chinese level. We will establish a schedule for each level to compete separately. A zoom meeting ID will be sent to contestants a few days prior to the competition by e-mail along with the competition schedule. Contestants will require a webcam, a small whiteboard or a couple of dozen sheets of plain white paper, and a dark-colored marker that will be easily visible on camera. Contestants will be asked to answer the prompt by writing their answers on the whiteboard/paper clearly, contestants will have 20 seconds to complete their answer, and then when called upon, to hold their answer up to the camera for the judges.
Contestants will be judged in three separate competition ranks based on their Chinese level. The Character-bee will have two components: recognition and writing. The winner will be determined by the combined score from the recognition and writing portions of the competition. In the event of a tie, the tied contestants will go into a sudden death round in the character writing portion.
In the character recognition portion of the character-bee, students will be shown a Chinese character. Contestants must correctly identify its equivalent English meaning(s). Each correct answer gains one point and will continue for 10 characters. In the event of a tie, the round will continue until there is a clear winner. Contestants will be judged in three separate competition ranks based on Chinese level. Judges will be the ultimate arbiter of all answers. Contestants will have 20 seconds to answer questions. Contesting judges’ decisions will lead to disqualification.
Contestants are shown by judge this character:
Contestants will have to correctly identify in English as:
NOTE: All characters will be given in simplified characters.
In the character writing portion of the character-bee, contestants will be read a Chinese character and its equivalent meaning in English. Contestants may ask for an example of it used in a sentence or compound-word. Students will then have to write the character on a white-board. Characters will increase with complexity each round. Incorrect strokes or marks will be considered incorrect. Contestant continues until one contestant remains in a round. Each correct answer gains one point and will continue for 10 characters. In the event of a tie, the round will continue until there is a clear winner. Contestants will be judged in three separate competition ranks based on Chinese level. Judges will be the ultimate arbiter of all answers. Contesting judges’ decisions will lead to disqualification.
Judges will say to contestants:
qían meaning “money”
Contestants will have to write on the whiteboard:
“钱” or “錢”
NOTE: Answers may be given in simplified or traditional characters.
In the interest of fairness, contestants will be divided into 3 groups according to their skill level and background in Chinese for both the regular and character-bee competitions.
A. Chinese I (First year of Chinese study in either High School or Middle School)
B. Chinese II (Second year of Chinese study in High School)
C. Chinese III and above (Third year or greater studying Chinese in High school or first year in college studying Chinese or greater).
NOTE: If the number of registered contestants in a rank is less than three, that rank will be combined with another ranking.
Scores will be given by 3-5 judges who are Chinese language instructors and/or native Chinese speakers. Contestants will be judged on the following categories: pronunciation, grammar, fluency, the relevance of content, and presentation. The results of the speech competition will be given at the character bee and e-mailed to contestants on April 21.
All contestants will be awarded a certificate and a souvenir. All ranking winners will be awarded a coupon for waiving one HSK exam fee held this fall or next spring. The top three contestants in the speech competition will receive a certificate, gift cards, and a souvenir. The top three contestants of the character bee will receive a certificate and souvenir.
Due to the coronavirus, the Confucius Institute does not currently have access to its office, so awards will be mailed out once life returns to normal.
1st Place Prize - $100 gift card + souvenir + certificate
2nd Place Prizes - $60 gift card + souvenir + certificate
3rd Place Prizes - $30 gift card + souvenir + certificate
1st Place Prize - major souvenir + certificate
2nd Place Prizes - souvenir + certificate
3rd Place Prizes - souvenir + certificate
Registration: April 16, 2020