Hong Kong students won top awards at the China Daily “21st Century New Oriental Cup” National High School English Speaking Competition last weekend in Hangzhou.
Gloria Leung, 15, from Island School, won the 2nd runner-up prize in the Grand Final of the Senior Division, which is for students in Forms Four to Six. She also received a special Critical Thinking Award.
Gloria is the youngest student to win prizes in the Senior Division. She is also the first representive from Hong Kong since 2015 to win awards at this level of the competition.
The competition tests students on their English-speaking ability through a series of prepared and impromptu speeches, as well as in a question-and-answer session.
A total of 500,000 secondary school students from 48 Chinese provinces entered the competition, including four Hong Kong students who had competed in the recent Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Standard Chartered English Speaking Contest Grand Finals. From that group, semi-finalists were selected to compete, with only 12 of them being selected for the Grand Finals in each division.
Harry Ching, 17, from La Salle College, didn’t get to the Grand Finals, but he did receive a Second Honour award in the senior division. This means he ranked between 13th and 15th place inclusive.
In the Junior Division for students between Form One and Three, Keith Kwok Pak-hei, 14, from Diocesan Boys’ School, was awarded a 1st honour prize, which ranked him between fourth and 12th place in the division’s Grand Final. Chantal Lee Ching, 14, from Ying Wa Girls’ School, also got a 2nd honour award in this division, which put her between 13th and 32nd place.