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Superb Performance and Witty Words The Winner List of 2022 Foreign Students Chinese Public Speaking Competition Comes Out

     “2022 Foreign Students Chinese Public Speaking Competition” is organized by National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall of Ministry of Culture. Today (Nov. 8) the result of the judges’ heated discussion was announced. Mr. Pierce Johann Gissler Mc Donnell from the United States won the first place with the speech, “My View on Religious Beliefs in Taiwan.” After the competition, the award-giving ceremony was held to announce the winners from the first to the fourth place as well as the merit award winners and give them certificates of merit and rewards at the same time to encourage the foreign students’ hard work in Chinese learning.

     National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall has been established for 50 years. “Foreign Students Chinese Public Speaking Competition” has also become the most iconic event with the longest history, not only evolving with the hall but also witnessing the changes and development of the society of Taiwan. Through the speech competition, the foreign students in Taiwan will understand our local custom and culture better, be motivated to learn Chinese, and further expand the global view of cross-cultural communication. The audience can also think about diverse culture through listening and share and learn with the participants.

     At the beginning of the ceremony, Director-general of National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Wang Lan-sheng, encouraged the participants. He expressed his gratitude to everyone for participating in the competition with the special meaning when the pandemic eased around the world this year. When he entered the hall in the morning, he saw the students busy grooming themselves and practicing hard on the corridor. To ease the students’ nervousness, the hall ingeniously designed the spinner wheel game, arranged the signs of the participants’ national flags, and let the participants wear a sash to feel the atmosphere of elections in Taiwan. When all the participants gathered in National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, it was like a small meeting of international exchange that enhanced the interaction and exchange between different culture. He expected today’s competition to go smoothly and successfully.

     There are 54 foreign students from 18 universities and colleges participating in the competition this year. They come from 16 countries including Kyrgyz, Ukraine, Vietnam, Russia, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Thailand, Korea, Malawi, the Philippines, Myanmar, Poland, and Canada. The competition includes five topics, from which the participants can choose one to give a five-minute speech. Among them, “How to Break the Gender Stereotypes” is favored by most students. Through the speech in the form of a gratitude letter to his family, Angel Javier Martinez Acevedo from the United States expressed his gratitude to his family for supporting his non-traditional gender identity, speaking up bravely to become a unique person. Ms. Dy Marie Ysabel Lennor Reyes gave her speech in a princess costume, emphasizing that everyone should be himself or herself bravely and achieve great life. Besides, Pierce Johann Gissler Mc Donnell from the United States talked about his experience of joining the temple fair in Lugang in the speech of “My View on Religious Beliefs in Taiwan.” Through the speech enriched with the vivid postures of carrying the sedan chair, he expressed how he was touched by the diverse religious culture in Taiwan and the audience felt as if they were on the scene of the temple fair. As for “Things I Want to Do Most After the Lockdown is Lifted,” Oda Chiaki from Japan wanted to bring her grandmother who was unable to go out during the pandemic to get a haircut. The other topics are “What Can We Do to Face Criticism?” and “Can We Tell White Lies?” Many participants provided the insightful and splendid contents and cases to discuss the issues related to Taiwanese culture, gender equality, life philosophy, and post-pandemic era.

     When giving the awards, Director-general Wang Lan-sheng said he could see new ideas through the different speech topics. Every student performed well and had the opportunity to become a leader in the future. They would also become the good friends of National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall forever.

     The judge, Prof. Chen Yan-hao said all the participants went all out and had the outstanding performance in terms of internal structure, language expression, demeanor, and time control. Besides, the grade of each participant was very close. Due to the limited number of winners and rewards, the judges found it very difficult to make the final decisions.

     After the 7-hour tense competition evaluated carefully by the judges including Prof. Chen Yan-hao, Prof. Chen Li-yuan, and Prof. Tsai Ya-hsun, the winner list was announced: first place Pierce Johann Gissler Mc Donnell (US), second place Colby Clay Skaggs (US), third place Angel Javier Martinez Acevedo (US), fourth place Alexandra Leigh Berends (US); 6 merit award winners: Emma Lucille Schmidt (US), Michal Kubisiak (Poland), Rauful Ruaed Hossain (US), Joshua Marcel Sims Speyer (US), Pannaporn Kaewmark (Thailand), and Paulson Juliet Marais (US).