From battlefield to playground: Launching Chinese Writing Contest

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 14 June 2021. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

From battlefield to playground: Launching Chinese Writing Contest

There are many Chinese Writing Contests. But this is the ONLY one that comes with a strict character requirement. Only a maximum of 320 unique Chinese characters can be used, and only 19 of them are allowed to be used as special characters. This requirement effectively places students who have studied Chinese for ten years in a position similar to those who have learned for just one year. And that is a good thing.

For a variety of reasons, many students of Chinese, especially beginner students, don’t get to write much. Their writing exercise is frequently limited to putting the words into the right order or making a sentence with a given word. The focus of Chinese learning is often directed by the question “how many Chinese characters have you learned?” With that, students spend so much time either looking up new characters or memorising them. Consequently, students rarely experience any exuberant feelings. Learning Chinese is like fighting in a battlefield where progress is made with heavy sacrifices.

Not any more. With the launch of this first ever Chinese Writing Contest, I hope this will be changed completely and forever!

Learning Chinese should be fun. 

But, where is the fun coming from?

I think there are at least three levels of fun students absolutely enjoy.

The first level of fun comes from learning Chinese using interesting games or activities. This type of fun comes from outside stimulation.

The second level of fun comes from discovering new ideas or concepts while learning Chinese. This type of fun is a combination of external learning materials and an internally provoked mind. 

The third level of fun is when students write something interesting, something that reflects who they are. This is a creation process from within.

So, yes, learning Chinese is positively fun.

Therefore, to change the experience of learning Chinese, we must change the question. 

The question we should be asking is “how much Chinese reading and writing have you done?” With this question, the road to a fun, joyful and exciting learning experience is wide open. And every student is instantly turned into a creator.

Indeed, everyone is a creator when he or she is a child. As people grow up and grow old, they gradually lose sight of their creative side. Fortunately, for people who are learning Chinese, they have the opportunity to unleash their creativities once again, and to experience joy and pleasant surprises once again. Elements of Chinese languages are just like small pieces of Lego. Anything is possible and many things are achieved. It’s playing at a playground once more. 

This is the spirit of this Chinese Writing Contest, which opens to all students, to play around the Chinese characters, and to have fun.

The total number of unique Chinese characters available for use is limited to 320 characters. Only 19 of them are allowed to be used as special characters with multiple pronunciations.

Great prizes have lined up, including:

So, get ready.

Do some preparation.

It’s time to be creative.

#320ChineseCharactersChallenge 

#ChineseWritingContest

Check the character requirement and enter the contest here.

This contest closes on September 30th, 2021. 

About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and the author of two series of Chinese textbooks, Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series, which are highly relevant and very effective for non-Chinese speakers to learn Mandarin Chinese.


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April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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