JOHANNES Faller, 16, has proven his fluency in languages by winning both the German and Chinese sections in a recent speaking competition.
The Year 11 student joined eight other students from St Paul's School in Bald Hills at the competition, which was organised by the Sunshine Coast branch of the Modern Language Teachers' Association of Queensland (MLTAQ).
Johannes was born in Germany and, with a German-born father and Australian-born mother, learnt words in both German and English from an early age and spoke both in the home until he was about 10.
Johannes studied Chinese at St Paul's in Years 7-9 and plans to study Year 12 German through distance education next year.
"Germany was my home country and I'm proud of that heritage but I find China and the Chinese language interesting,” he said.
"It's a complex language with tones and characters on top of the actual words themselves. It's challenging.”
The MLTAQ competition involved students preparing a speech and presenting it in front of a panel of judges.
Johannes competed in the Senior Open category for German and the Year 11 category for Chinese.
He said he received help with his Chinese speech from language teachers at the school and some of his peers who speak the language fluently.
"I was pretty blown away to win both competitions,” Johannes said.
"I didn't expect it. It was a good experience to further my learning beyond the class room.”
Johannes said he started studying Chinese because he was initially planning to live in China, but is now considering doing a university bridging program so he can study physics in Germany.
Other Chinese Language results from St Paul's School included:
Year 7: Millie Skinner 1st; Stella O'Malley and Senna Stewart highly commended.
Year 8: Lily Brennan 1st; Caitlyn Turner highly commended.
Year 9: Kyffin Williams 1st.
Middle Open: Patricia Dalton-Morgan highly commended.
Year 10: Ella Evans 1st.
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