All Good Things End: The Last Two Days of Chinese Class

This past Sunday and Monday was a whirlwind of testing, speeches, and celebration among the Beginning Chinese Class as their 10 months of language study finally drew to a close. While thankful that our class load is slightly lighter, I know we’ll all miss the jokes, confusion, and general good humor that we have grown used to during this morning class. Below is a recap of our last few days together.

MIM Full time 2013 graduation

Our entire Beginning Chinese class with all the laoshi (teachers) at the Chinese Gardens in downtown Portland.

Sunday July 21 marked the loathsome summit known as standardized testing day. All of the Chinese language students in the MIM program took some form of the HSK, or Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, which is an internationally recognized Chinese proficiency test. Results from this test are often used as entrance examinations for foreign students entering Chinese universities, however, business professionals also recognize this as a confirmation of Chinese language skills.

There are six levels of the HSK ranging from simple listening and reading comprehension of a small vocabulary, to a three part test covering 5,000 vocabulary and conducted only in Hanzi. The beginning Chinese students took either levels one or two depending on their preference, but this year we did have an intermediate student take the level four examination.


MIM students (right to left) Matt Pettigrew, Thanapong Leangwechakarn, and Jimmy Rose contemplate potential answers to their HSK test.

The next day the beginning Chinese students took part in a Chinese Speech Contest in which each person spoke for 8-12 minutes in front of a panel of judges. We attempted to cover all the topics we learned in class from basic information, to discussing work, our Asia trip, the map of China, our friends and family, and finally what we wanted to do after graduation. At the conclusion of all the speeches, the judges panel composed of all the laoshi (teachers) except our main professor, calculated our scores and announced the winners for first, second and third place. Our third place tied winners were Matt Pettigrew and Joe Colistro, taking second place was Susan Forrester and Methinee Rattanaphaibuncharoen, and then finally at first place was Sageemas Nigarnkul. Each winner received a certificate along with a Chinese dictionary. However, the rest of the class was not left out as we all received prizes and bags from the Confucius Institute and had our pictures taken with Meiru Liu Laoshi.


Chinese Speech Contest Winner Sageemas Nigarnkul with Meiru Liu Laoshi.

With the speech contest and testing behind us, we all headed off to the Golden Horse (金马) Chinese restaurant for lunch and celebrated the finale of our Chinese study in the MIM program. As a last note, thank you to everyone who made this class enjoyable and to the laoshi who taught us much more than simply Chinese Language. I hope the next round of MIM students taking Chinese will have even more fun than we did. 谢谢.

Juli Tejadilla


  Juli Tejadilla is a full-time student in the Masters of International Management program. She previously graduated with two Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Studio Art from Linfield College. While her interest in international business began as an undergraduate student, she has been traveling around the world since she was nine months old. She hopes through the MIM program to learn key insights to conduct business internationally and to establish herself as a global citizen.


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Filed under Coursework, Juli's Entries, Language Study, MIM GENERAL, Student Life

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