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NZCLW Youth Ambassadors make their place in the world

24 Sept 2020

The Youth Ambassadors received recognition of their achievements at an event to celebrate NZ Chinese Language Week at Parliament on Tuesday evening.

The Youth Ambassadors for 2020 are:

Jake Doyle, ACG Parnell College in Auckland;

Natalie Goh, Glendowie College in Auckland;

Ngaru Omichi,Rotorua Boys' High School in Rotorua;

Lesieli Kotoa, Wellington East Girls’ College, in Wellington;

Luca Viscapi, Scots College in Wellington; and

Shogun Kwon, St Margaret's College, in Christchurch.

Chair of the NZCLW Trust Jo Coughlan says these extraordinary high school students have shown remarkable talent at learning a Chinese language, finishing in the top four places of the New Zealand Chinese Bridge Speech Competition.

NZCLW celebrates multilingualism in New Zealand and recognises the advantages of learning Chinese in our increasingly globalised community.

Now in its sixth year, the Kiwi-led initiative is being held across New Zealand between 20 - 26 September this year, and the theme is A Taste of New Zealand - celebrating the food and drink links between our Chinese and New Zealand cultures.

Part of the NZCLW Trust’s work is to advocate for more languages to be taught in our schools, Jo says.

"For us, we think Mandarin should be one of those languages, as it opens up global opportunities for our young people.

"Chinese is already the most widely introduced foreign language at our primary schools and the only foreign language, apart from Spanish, that is holding its own or growing in secondary schools.

"The most important thing about learning another language, any language, is that it helps you communicate. you can talk with other people in that language. They get to hear you and your thoughts in the language that they are most comfortable in, and that's a powerful feeling - to be recognised and spoken to in your own language."

NZCLW has resources designed to make it easier to practice helpful phrases provided by the trust through its website

There are helpful phrase guides and posters available to download from the NZCLW website, People can take part in the #5Phrases5Days challenge and post on social media using #NZCLW or #NZCLWDumplingDay hashtags.

Jo says the trust hopes to help more Kiwis ‘give Chinese a go’ by taking part in an event, taking the #5Phrases5Days challenge, or eating some dumplings.

A key part of the week will be Dumpling Day, September 26, a chance to celebrate the delicious little food parcels and highlight some of the great producers of dumplings in New Zealand - or indeed any good Chinese food made with great New Zealand products.

"While we aren’t able to travel between New Zealand and China at the moment, there is lots of shared history and culture - particularly food culture - to celebrate within New Zealand. We encourage the public and local business community to get involved, host an event, and help inspire New Zealanders to better understand and connect with our Chinese friends and partners."

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