Page takes first place at Chinese Bridge speaking contest

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Foxcroft Academy junior Landon Page was awarded first place in his division at the 12th annual Chinese Bridge speaking contest in Boston on April 6. Page, who was placed in the beginning category because he has studied Chinese for fewer than two years, was one of 24 competitors chosen from a pool of approximately 50 applicants hailing from 18 different states across the nation. He was the only student from Maine to participate in the contest and was one of six to compete in the beginning category.

lo-pagestudents-dcX-po-16Photo courtesy of Foxcroft Academy

TOP SPEAKER — Foxcroft Academy junior Landon Page  came in first in his division at the Chinese Bridge speaking contest in Boston earlier in the month. Page demonstrated his abilities by delivering an entire speech in Chinese during a school-wide assembly on April 8. Along the way he prepared for the contest with native Chinese speakers as many of Foxcroft Academy’s students from China provided feedback on Page’s speaking and asked him questions in Chinese.

    The Chinese Bridge began in 2002 as a contest for foreign high school students to demonstrate their mastery of the Chinese language. It is promoted by an official organization known as Chinese National Hanban and was established as a plan to introduce the Chinese language to the outside world. Over the past 11 years, more than 600 contestants from more than 50 countries have participated. Local champions have an opportunity to compete in a televised international contest in China in October, which is something that Page and his Chinese instructor at Foxcroft Academy Robert Canning, are currently looking into. Page would need to prepare a performance related to Chinese culture in order to attend the international contest.
    When Canning made his class aware of the Chinese Bridge contest earlier this year, Page was the only student who decided to apply. “He worked very hard from the start and in the past few weeks was often here until after 5 p.m. practicing,” said Canning, who has taught Chinese and ESL at Foxcroft Academy for five and a half years after spending more than 15 years in Taiwan as an ESL teacher.


    Many of FA’s Chinese students rallied around Page and helped him prepare for the contest. “A number of international students helped Landon by giving commentary on his speaking and asking him questions in Chinese,” said Canning. “Part of the competition is responding to Chinese questions asked by the judges after the speech, so Landon’s opportunity to work with native speakers benefited him tremendously.”
    All of Page’s hard work paid off, and Canning was particularly impressed with his pupil’s performance. “Landon may have been placed in the ‘beginning’ category,” he said. “But he spoke as well as many of the intermediate and even some of the advanced competitors. FA was the only school in Maine to attend the competition this year, so this is a real honor for both Landon and his school.”
    At a school-wide assembly April 8, Page, without the use of any notes whatsoever, again recited his entire speech in Chinese It was not difficult for the audience to see why he emerged victorious in Boston.

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