JU offers high school students chance to improve Chinese skills

KNOXVILLE—The annual Chinese Character Recognition Contest was held at Johnson University Nov. 11.

High school students from all over East Tennessee came to compete for fun, and for cash prizes. JU awarded cash prizes for winning teams, and scholarships for the individuals on those teams.

President Weedman passed out certificates for scholarships to all the winners at the end of the competition.

President Gary Weedman came to the ending ceremony, and said this is one of the many Chinese oriented events that Johnson is proud to host each year.

“This is one facet, of our Chinese project, as we call it,” Weedman said. “This is the fourth year we’ve had this competition, and we have quite a few important schools from the Knoxville area—So, it’s a really good program.”

Xu Wei
This is the second time Xu Wei has brought students to compete.

Chinese teacher, Xu Wei, came with two of her students from The King’s Academy in Seymour to compete.

Wei said she brought her students to the competition because she feels that it helps them advance and learn more.

The display at the reception was covered with Chinese books, art and toys.

“I do think that this competition is encouraging more and more students to learn Chinese,” said Wei. “My students say they want to do this same competition in class, because it makes Chinese more fun. It helps them to feel more comfortable, and feel more confident.”

Gracie Shell and Kenzie Whaley
Gracie Shell (on the left) sits with her classmate Kenzie Whaley (on the right) waiting for the winners to be announced.

Kenzie Whaley and Gracie Shell, The two students Wei brought with her, said they were happy they came and enjoyed competing.

“The whole experience was pretty fun, like once in a lifetime,” Whaley said. “The chance to learn Chinese, and compete with others, it was great.”

Former JU president Dr. Eubanks and Wei share a quick hug during the awarding ceremonies.

Along with other schools in the area, Wei says she plans to return next year with more students to participate in the competition.

“I will encourage my students, more and more, to take part in this competition,” Wei said. “Because this competition encourages my students to learn through fun.”

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