Nine Harvard-Westlake (HW) students studying Chinese won awards through the National Chinese Essay Contest held by Chinese Language Association of the Secondary-Elementary Schools in February.
Students were separated into sections: heritage and non-heritage based on their knowledge of the language. Heritage speakers come from chinese speaking families. Non-hertiage speakers are chinese learrnes. Last year, ten essays from the middle school were submitted to the contest. Heritage speakers wrote about their proudest achievement while non-heritage speakers wrote about what they would be like in ten years
In total, HW students won five gold and four silver awards. Joie Zhang ‘22, Cherry Li ‘22, Sarina Smolev ‘22, Siji Smolev ‘22 and Joy Ho ‘22 were the five gold winners while the four silver winners are: Konnie Duan ‘23, Violet Barron ‘22, Elise Chen ‘22 and Kathryn Lin ‘22. The students who won the awards demonstrated advanced Chinese writing skills in comprehension, creativity and more.
According to Chinese teacher Chen Chen, the award is uplifting for students to receive.
“The contest is a stage for our students to [demonstrate] their language skills and see where their [skills] are compared to students from other schools. I feel that [this award] is an encouragement for the students who have been working so hard in the Chinese program,” Chen said.
Students expressed joyful feelings and thoughts about winning the award and its impact towards their abilities.
“Winning this award made me feel more confident in my Chinese abilities. It also validated my hard work,” gold award winner Siji Smolev ’22 said.
“I was really happy about winning this award because my hard work paid off. It was really nice competing in this national competition since it was interesting to see how our school’s work compared with others,” silver award winner and Spectrum staffer Konnie Duan ’23 said.