||Language is essential for communication and thought transmission. The Chinese language arts curriculum plays an important role in passing on our cultural heritages. Since all knowledge bases builds on the foundation laid by the language arts curriculum, the fulfillment of a successful language arts curriculum helps move all other aspects forward. The Chinese Language Arts Competition, starting in 1946, is a government-funded competition of the longest standing. The goals of the National Chinese Language Arts Competition are to motivate our students to learn the fundamentals of reading and writing and to improve Chinese language arts instruction.
The Chinese Language Arts Competition has different levels of contests, from local to county to national, in five categories: calligraphy, speaking, reciting, essay writing, and word recognition. The local contests take place in September each year, and winners from the county contests are furthered trained to attend the National final. The National Chinese Language Arts Competition, hosted by the Department of Education in November, is highly competitive. Among the five categories, Chinese calligraphy is considerate of the ultimate form of Chinese art because of the complicated techniques and expressions it conveyed.
My observations showed that students imitating the styles of ancient calligraphers tend to win more often. In order to investigate if there are any patterns in winning the calligraphy awards, I focused on the award winning calligraphy works from 1991 to 2016. In Chapter One, I examined the evolution of calligraphy from Chin to the standard script (kaishu) in Tang Dynasty, analyzed the calligraphy winners from the National Chinese Language Arts Competition and the related rules, and inspected the differences between major calligraphy scripts and styles. Chapter Two surveyed the existing literature on calligraphy instruction and time-sliced the various skills used by calligraphers as well as the scripts and composition in their works. In Chapter Three, I focused on the history and development of the Chinese Language Arts Competition, which includes the competition rules, standards, requirements, and judge comments. I used quantitative methods to analyze the winners’ works. Results were discussed in Chapter Four, highlighting the characteristics of the winners’ works and comments from the judges. In my conclusion, Chapter Five, I proposed suggestions and ideas to apply to future calligraphy instruction and competition.
My sincerely thanks to Professors Cheng-Tsong Tsui, Ming-Chun Luo and Jia- Rong Liu for giving insightful comments to my draft and manuscript.
And finally I express gratitude to many fine associates who provide assistance. Cheng-Tong Li, Ya-Ling Lu, Yi-Zhen Su, De-Yi Gao, Man-Yu Liu, Yu-Ling Chen, Hui-Jun Chen, Yi-Fen Zhong, Tian-Xiang Li, Qiong-Ying Jian, Lan-Ting Huang and Hui-Jung Huang.