Anitta Sibin and Leo Doherty qualified for the finals
Two pupils from a Derry college have qualified for the finals of a competition to find Britain's best Mandarin Chinese speakers.
Several students from Lumen Christi College travelled to Belfast recently for the regional heat of this year’s British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition, which is supported by the Confucius Institute at Ulster University.
Anitta Sibin qualified for the final in the beginners’ category and Leo Doherty got through to the finals in the intermediate category.
They have now been put forward for the grand finale in London next February, with the overall winner winning a fully-funded educational and cultural visit to China.
Last year, talented Derry pupil Eve Flood, from Thornhill College, went on to win the beginners’ category of the UK-wide final, winning a week in Beijing.
The competition aims to encourage interest in Mandarin Chinese language and China's culture, with Mandarin ranked as one of the most vital languages to the UK over the next twenty years.
This is the third year the competition has taken place in the North and saw entrants from both groups and individuals, with abilities ranging from beginner to advanced.
Speaking at the competition was Jonathan Stewart, director, British Council Northern Ireland.
“Congratulations to all of the pupils from Lumen Christi College who took to the stage today speaking in Mandarin.
“Like last year, the standards during today’s heat were very high and we hope again to see some of the students in London for the UK final. This competition allows pupils to demonstrate the hard work and effort they have put into learning Mandarin. It’s really important that more young people have the chance to learn languages such as Mandarin, which provides an important insight into different ways of thinking and living. Languages open up exciting study, travel and work opportunities in our increasingly interconnected world.”
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