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College of Arts & Sciences
Confucius Institute

Benjamin Tyler from University of South Carolina Won the Third Place in the 18th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in Washington

The 18th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was held on April 13th. Benjamin Tyler Jackson, the winner of the preliminary Chinese Proficiency Competition in SC sponsored and hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina (CI at USC) participated in the competition and caught the third place.

As a first-year student at USC, Benjamin Tyler has been learning Chinese for less than a year. A chance of six-week Chinese learning experience in Xi'an in the summer of 2018 deeply impressed him and became the source of inspiration for his language display of the competition. He told the audience he was confused when he found the Chinese phrase "take a bus by sitting" taught by his Chinese teacher was completely different from the scene he encountered while taking a bus in Xi'an. On a busy Chinese bus people do not often take a bus by sitting”, but "by standing " and he thought “take a bus by standing” should be a proper Chinese phrase. He also said that because there were few foreigners on the bus, every time he took a bus, he would become the "focus" of many Chinese passengers which made him uncomfortable at first, but he gradually got used to this and began to chat with the passengers nearby. What a great chance for him to practice oral Chinese!

Tyler also found despite the crowdedness on the bus in China, people were in good order and giving up their seats for those in need. In his mind, Chinese and Americans have the same way to convey love and care for others, which motivated him to note down his experiences in Xi'an and tell them to his American friends when he came back. In the cultural exhibition period, Tyler performed a poetry-reading and with beautiful voice and vivid emotional interpretation for the pome “The Joy of a Snowflake “by Zhimo Xu, a famous Chinese poet, he won a burst of applauses from audience. In the end, the judges expressed their congratulations and high praises to Tyler, a beginner in Chinese, for his wonderful performance and enormous potential in Chinese learning.

Tyler has won the “South Carolina Chinese Star", the first prize of the university group with his wonderful performance at the 10th South Carolina "Palmetto Chinese Star" hosted by CI at USC in this February. He then seized every minute to prepare for the competition in Washington by consulting Chinese teachers from CI at USC to peruse the best in pronunciation and reading which finally secured him the third place in the pierce competition.

Participants from USC have won awards in Washington for two consecutive years, which is a good hint for USC Chinese teaching.