Why Speak Chinese Contest Winner Announced

NEW YORK, July 25, 2017 – The Center for Global Education at Asia Society's China Learning Initiatives announced the winner of its inaugural Why Speak Chinese social media contest today: Liam Costomiris, a rising senior at the University School of Milwaukee in Wisconsin. Liam's video received more than 19,000 likes on social media, and next he'll be traveling to China with a friend to explore the country and put his Chinese to good use.

The Why Speak Chinese contest was announced during the 2016 National Chinese Language Conference and launched in March 2017. To compete in the contest, China Learning Initiatives asked students to explain why they were learning Chinese by submitting short videos on social media using the #WhySpeakChinese hashtag.

China Learning Initiatives Director Jeff Wang explained the premise behind the contest: "One of the issues we've encountered most often when working with students is the myth that Chinese is 'too hard' or even 'impossible.' We know this isn't true, but hearing adults and authority figures say Chinese isn't too difficult is nowhere near as powerful as hearing it from their peers around the country. So, we ran this contest to see what current students are thinking about their Chinese learning journeys and to serve as inspiration for students who haven't yet started learning Chinese."

In just three months, 72 students submitted videos to the contest, yielding thousands of video views around the world. The video submissions can be viewed on the Why Speak Chinese website, and the winning video, along with a selection of staff favorite videos, can be viewed on China Learning Initiatives' website.

China Learning Initiatives plans to hold the Why Speak Chinese contest annually in the future. To learn more about the contest, contact Rob de Picciotto: rdepicciotto@asiasociety.org.

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