Courtside Language Lessons to Chinese Speech Contest

David Burnett put Madison on his back this Saturday at the 16th Annual Midwest regional chinese speech contest. He’s a first year student at UW-Madison in third year Chinese who had a drive to win on his home turf.

The speech contest had over 60 participants coming from over 15 different universities. Students competed according to speaking ability and heritage status. A trip to China was awarded to the top two speakers in the Non-heritage Advanced High group. Nine UW-Madison students competed in the contest.

The speaking competition required students to perform a memorized speech on the theme of “Dreams Enlighten the Future” that they had spent months preparing followed by a brief talent portion.

We managed to catch up with one of the students, David Burnett, a student in third year Chinese at Madison, to learn more about the contest and why he studies Chinese.

“Initially my teachers were like, David, your Chinese is pretty good you should do the speech contest,” said Burnett.

Burnett’s speech focused on nine months he spent abroad during his junior year in high school. After winning a scholarship to study in China, the Madison native found himself in an international school in China. He realized quickly that he could spend his entire time in China without actually being a part of Chinese culture and took his learning outside -to the basketball court. Read full story.