Zhang Leyi from ELFA Chinese Preschool @ Hougang came in third place in the 15th YMCA Mandarin Speaking Award. Leyi beat more than 190 children to claim third place at the event that was held virtually on 27 May. Zhang Leyi participated in the category for five and six-year-old preschoolers, which were introduced to the competition for the first time. She has made her school, family, and herself proud by winning a certificate and trophy. The speech she delivered at the contest allowed Leyi to showcase the self-confidence she had gained at ELFA.
The annual event was opened by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development. The Mandarin Speaking event attracted a total of 371 participants from the preschool, lower primary and higher primary school categories.
This year’s competition saw 195 preschool participants in the new category, surpassing those in the other categories combined. This could be a sign that parents of young children believe in the importance of building their Mandarin competency from young.
Endorsed by the Ministry of Education & Promote Mandarin Council, the Award aims to sharpen children’s language skills and build confidence through competitive public speaking.
The topic this year was related to the number was “15”, commemorating the efforts and achievements of the past fifteen years. It allowed the young contestants to use their imagination and creativity to explore and speak about their dreams for the future.
Minister Sun, in her speech, said the Chinese must not forget our mother tongue.
“Cultivating a new generation of Chinese people to master their native language will also promote the relationship between the younger generation and the elders in the community,” she said.