Learning Experience of Chinese by Anna Bullard from Western Australia

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Western Australia [Time]    2018-11-01 18:22:34 

On October 24th, local time, some white-haired students were concentrating on the videos of Anna Bullard, a secondary school student from Western Australia who participated in the 11th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in 2018, in a Chinese adult class at the Confucius Institute at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Bunbury, a small coastal city in Western Australia. “Oh, how long has she learned Chinese? So wonderful Chinese she said! They are so excellent, we really need to keep on learning.” said Beth, a-63-year old student, after watching the video.

At night on the same day in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, Anna Bullard who just returned from China for the competition, was introducing her experiences and gains in China to her parents with excitement.

Experiencing a local secondary school in Yunnan

As a grade ten student in Rossmoyne Senior High School, Anna Bullard did not visit China for the first time. In April this year, Anna Bullard, together with other 19 secondary school students of Western Australia, participated in a study tour to Hangzhou for secondary school students in Western Australia co-organized by the International College of Zhejiang University and the Confucius Institute at UWA. But each visit to China would refresh her knowledge of Chinese culture and history. “I assume that I must have known much about Chinese culture and history, but only after my arrival in China do I realize that I know just a tiny part.” said Anna.

With clear articulation, proper rising and falling intonation and accumulation of knowledge of Chinese culture, Anna Bullard was chosen as the delegate of global competitors by the organizing committee on the opening ceremony of the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students to deliver a speech. At last, she and her team member Callum Hogden won the first place of Oceania, successfully winning the ticket for the top 5 in the world.

Rehearsal for the final performance

Anna and her teammate winning global Top 5

Anna's way to learn Chinese is not smooth. “Chinese characters are so complicated and I find it very hard to master the intonation. I once thought of giving up, but each time I would take a deep breath and told myself not to be afraid. Every time I answer myself whether I will give up, my answer is no, never! I love Chinese and Chinese culture.” said she.

According to Bee Kheng Yip, Anna's Chinese teacher, Anna's affection for Chinese has been recognized by her teachers and classmates. Once she did not feel well and her parents asked a sick leave for her, but she suddenly remembered that she had a Chinese class and told her parents that she felt much better and did not want to or even could not miss it and then returned school to take the class.

Oberthur Primary School, where Anna received her primary school education, is a demonstration school of Chinese teaching selected by the Department of Education of Western Australia. She started to learn Chinese since grade three. What surprises Anna's teachers is her great mastery of the four tones and intonation of Chinese at such a young age, which lays a foundation for her excellent performances in several cross-state and national speech contests. In grade five and six, Anna participated in the Chinese Speech Contest for Secondary and Primary School Students of Western Australia hosted by Chinese Teacher Association of Western Australia and won the first prize in her grade. Upon her graduation, Anna won the only Excellence Award of Chinese learning of grade six.

Anna winning the first prize for a speech contest

Out of love for Chinese and Chinese culture, Anna started to learn Chinese folk dance since grade four and performed in the Chinese Consulate in Perth, the Confucius Institute at UWA and Perth Concert Hall with her dancing mates. In her spare time, she likes watching Chinese TV series online and always discusses about some Chinese TV series and Chinese stars with her Chinese assistant teacher and some volunteer teachers at the Confucius Institute at UWA.

Performance of dancing group at Chinese Consulate General

Besides, under the influence of Anna, her younger brothers and sisters also gain a lot in learning Chinese.

After the competition, Anna Bullard, who came back to her school, already defined her dream to study in China, learn more about Chinese language and Chinese culture, and to make more friends from Chinese or even from the world. “Learning Chinese is not easy, but what I learn is more than the difficulty I met.” said Anna firmly with smile.

Story by Pan Yan, Lin Zhonghan