Student of the Baikal School of BRICS Successfully Performed at the Regional Stage of the Chinese Bridge Competition

Anna Makarova, a student of the Baikal School of BRICS of INRTU, took the third place at the regional qualifying stage of the Chinese Bridge – Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students. The event was held on 16 April in Ulan-Ude.

The contest for foreign students Chinese Bridge was initiated by the National People’s Congress of China and is part of the plan to familiarise the world with the Chinese language. Experts predict a successful future for the project, as interest in Chinese culture is growing every year.

In Russia, qualifying stages for students are held in seven consular districts. Eleven students from universities in the Republic of Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, the Transbaikal Region and the Republic of Tyva showed interest in the competition, and according to the experts, demonstrated a high level of Chinese language skills and creative potential.

Mr Li Hai, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Irkutsk, welcomed the participants of the competition at Baikal State University. Alexandra Ponomareva, Head of the territorial body of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in Ulan-Ude, noted that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and China, and 2024 - 2025 are declared the Years of Culture between Russia and China.

Svetlana Latysheva, the Head of the Department of Humanities of the Baikal School of BRICS, emphasised that this year the INRTU team took part in this prestigious international competition for the first time:

"Every year regional stages are held in all countries of the world, several participants from each country are selected for the final in China (usually five people from Russia make it to the final). This year INRTU was represented at the regional stage by student Anna Makarova. The participation of students of non-linguistic universities is a rarity at this competition.

Anna took the honourable third place. The student has a high level of English and Chinese languages, is a participant of numerous competitions in the profile of the program and coordinator of the student team for career guidance activities in the Baikal School of BRICS".

Anna herself considers participation in the competition an important event, as it is a great impetus for learning Chinese language and culture. During the regional stage, she discovered her potential and became confident that her knowledge of Chinese language will be useful in her future job.

According to Anna, the most difficult task was the impromptu performance. When performing this task, you have to answer questions from the general list, and it is impossible to prepare for this stage in advance.

“We started to receive strong language training from the first year. The most important thing is that we are taught by Russian teachers and native speakers.

We have been preparing for the Chinese Bridge competition for about a year. We spent a lot of time studying Chinese culture and history. In about two months, when the topics of the competition became clear, we began to prepare a monologue, a creative performance (a poem), and to perform training tasks on linguo-country studies.

I felt the constant support by teachers, so I did my best not to let anyone down and to achieve a good result".

Svetlana Khalmakshinova, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Humanities trained the future energy engineer for the competition. She won the Russian stage of the same contest and participated in the final stage in China when she was a student of the former Irkutsk State Linguistic University. Wang Hao, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Humanities (who works with talented Chinese language students of the Baikal School of BRICS), also participated in Anna's preparation.

Svetlana Latysheva also emphasised the great contribution of Bian Yufei, who works at INRTU on behalf of the Chinese Consulate:

"It is impossible to prepare for competition tasks of this level without a deep knowledge of Chinese culture, which Bian Yufei effectively explains to our students, helping them to master this complex language and deepen in its unique linguoculture. It took us a whole year to prepare for the competition, and we hope that our work will continue."

According to Svetlana Latysheva, INRTU has significantly expanded cooperation with China in technical and humanitarian programs in recent years. In 2023, two new linguistic programs were accredited, which are now attended approximately by 80 Russian students, most of whom have chosen Chinese as a second foreign language. Overall, more than 150 students study Chinese at the Baikal School of BRICS.

It should also be noted that at the regional stage of the contest Chinese Bridge in Ulan-Ude, first and second places were taken by representatives of Baikal State University and Transbaikal State University (Chita). The best creative performance was shown by a student from Tuva State University (Kyzyl), the best pronunciation was demonstrated by a student from Transbaikal State University. The participants from Irkutsk State University showed their skills in the nomination “Oratory” and won the prize of audience sympathy.

The winners of the first and second places will represent the team of the Irkutsk Consular District at the Russian National stage. Then the best of the best will form the Russian team, which will take part in the World Stage in China.