Eight Chinese language students from New Trier High School were awarded for their contributions to the National Chinese Essay Contest, hosted by the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS).
Sophomore Ray Li and junior Yetong Li received the Golden Apple Award; sophomore Connor Lee, senior Esther Lee, sophomore James McColl, senior Amia Ross, and junior Natalie Ringel received the Silver Apple Award; and junior Carly Lewin received an Honorable Mention.
"The contest gives students an idea of where they stand among other students in the country," Chinese language faculty member Sarah Chao said. "It also asks students to synthesize what they have learned to express their own mind."
Over 300 students from around the U.S. competed in beginner, intermediate, or advanced divisions among three categories based on their language experience. Categories included students who are non-native speakers of Chinese in a regular foreign language program, students who are heritage learners and students who have been in an immersion program regardless of first language background.
The New Trier Chinese language program participates in the National CLASS Essay Contest annually and also participates in speech contests every spring. This year, students began preparing for the essay contest in September and were required to draft and write essays about the fun of learning Chinese without any assistance or editing from a teacher or parent.
"Our students are so hard-working and passionate about Chinese that they expand their experiences to outside of the school," Chao said.
Essay scores were based on comprehensibility, ideas and content, word choice and discourse, syntax and accuracy and presentation and characters.