Urswick pupil wins second prize in national Mandarin speaking competition

Matilde Gomes

Matilde Gomes - Credit: Archant

An ambitious 13-year old who only started learning Mandarin a year ago came second in a national competition – but has vowed to take first place next year.

Matilde Gomes, a pupil at Urswick School in Paragon Road beat off competition from 76 other schools to reach the final.

She had to give a two minute presentation, answer questions and translate sentences from English to the Chinese dialect.

Matilde said: “It was nice to see that all schools - public and private - could compete together. I did much better than I expected and was so close to finishing first.

“It’s made me realise my talent for speaking Mandarin and I will be carrying on the language in the future. I will also be back next year to win first place.”

The school has recently introduced teaching Mandarin Chinese to a group of its most able students, who also have the chance to study either Spanish or French.

Head teacher Richard Brown said “The Chinese economy is expanding rapidly and only a small number of non-Chinese children in English school are being taught Mandarin.

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“The ability to speak Mandarin will be a great asset to our children in the future. They are also learning to speak and write in a language that is so different to ours.”

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