One World, One Family: Cardiff University student takes third place in prestigious Chinese proficiency competition UK regional final
13 July 2021
In June this year, PhD student Ross Goldstone, who has studied Chinese with Cardiff Confucius Institute since 2018, won third prize and ‘most popular contestant’ at the UK-wide Chinese Bridge contest.
Chinese Bridge is an annual competition organised by the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (formerly Hanban). It is a highly competitive contest, and as an independent Mandarin learner, Ross was up against stiff competition from students majoring in Chinese at universities such as SOAS, Leeds and Manchester.
Dr Catherine Chabert, Executive Director of Cardiff Confucius Institute said: “The fact that our candidate won several awards at this prestigious and competitive language contest is testimony to the quality of our language provision and of our teaching staff.” Ross is the third award winner from Cardiff University. In 2020, Celia Bourhis won the ‘Most Creative’ award and in 2018, Marc Darrell was presented with the 'Enthusiastic Participation’ prize.
Ross first became interested in learning Mandarin after visiting Beijing in 2017 as part of a Cardiff University Erasmus + exchange, meeting his fiancée whilst there, then wanting to communicate with her parents better. Since then, Ross has progressively improved his language skills attending courses alongside his PhD studies. In February 2021, through Cardiff Confucius Institute, he was awarded a scholarship at Xiamen University, and finished the online semester-long Chinese language programme just before the competition.
Tutored by Cardiff Confucius Institute teachers Ling and Fan, Ross spent over two months preparing for the competition. The event is split into five parts, including a talk on the theme ‘One World, One Family’, a knowledge quiz about China, a three-minute artistic performance, a two-minute self-made video and an impromptu speech.
Ross decided to take part after seeing last year’s event. “I thought it would give me a milestone with the language and really didn’t expect to do well. Just taking part in the competition would have been an accomplishment!” he said.
As well as third prize and his ‘most popular contestant’ award, Ross was also presented with the title ‘2021 Ambassador of Chinese Culture and Tourism Promotions in the UK’.