New Trier Chinese Language Students win awards in National Chinese Essay Contest

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).

Senior James McColl and junior Rachel Truong received the Golden Apple Award; senior Monica Yoo and sophomore Abbey Konosky received the Silver Apple Award; and sophomore Aimee Hong, junior Mimi Newcomb, sophomore Andrew Gill and junior Mia Sedgwick received an Honorable Mention.

"For eight years now, my Chinese teachers have been working tirelessly to teach me about the Chinese language and expose me to China's beautiful culture," McColl said. "Competitions like the National Chinese Essay Competition have proven to be the perfect way to apply all the knowledge I've learned from them. It's always rewarding to see this hard work paying off, and it's inspired me to continue pursuing Chinese throughout my life.

Hundreds of 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

This year, the CLASS 2019 Essay Contest topic was "A Special Gift" for non-native speakers and immersion speakers, and "Impact of Social Media" for heritage learners. Essay scores were based on comprehensibility, ideas and content, word choice and discourse, syntax and accuracy and presentation and characters.