Describe a time when you won a prize.
You should say:
When it happened
What prize it was
Why you wanted to win that prize
And explain how you felt about that experience
The time I remember really clearly when I won a prize was when I was in school in a singing contest. It was an annual event, I think before Spring Festival… There was a big end-of-year stage performance at school, and in teams or individually, we were encouraged to join a singing or music competition. I decided to do a solo, because I’m really into singing and I’m really good at it. I had singing lessons since I was a kid and I’m a huge fan of performing cover versions of songs and going to KTV and really trying to sing better and better, and more challenging things. I decided that I would sing a song by Adele, called Chasing Pavements, which I find a little bit difficult, actually. I practiced intensely for at least a month, at home and also during rehearsals with a microphone and the proper sound equipment that we would use in the contest. When the big day came I was obviously really, really nervous. I dressed in a shiny metallic long dress and did my hair in wavy sort of curls and wore a silver necklace, so I felt really elegant as I got up on stage, and I think this helped me feel more confident. I thought I sang particularly well on this occasion and I felt really empowered singing in from of hundreds of people and seeing their faces of admiration as I hit some of the high notes spot on. I did make a couple of mistakes, which I was disappointed about, but in the end when the judges all gave their results, I came first!! Yes, I won first prize! I was amazed. I knew I had performed pretty well, but I didn’t think I was the best or that I’d win first prize. I was so proud of myself, and after the show I went for a meal with my parents and a couple of my friends to celebrate. Oh, I forgot to say what the first prize was!! I was presented, on stage, by the judges, with a large gold trophy in the shape of a musical note, and an android tablet. That was first prize. I was really pleased with that, but to be honest, I was more pleased with coming first and achieving such a great thing, than the actual prize gift for the achievement, if that makes sense.
1. What kind of prizes do children often win nowadays?
I’m not totally sure really. I think it depends on the kind of competition. I think most prizes are quite modest, like trophies for sporting or musical achievements, and perhaps things that are useful for studies like pens and books and electronics. Depending on the school and the area, the prizes can be quite expensive, or quite simple. I think children today are becoming far too spoilt and they are getting increasingly demanding, expecting really expensive prizes and gifts and I think this isn’t really a good trend. So, I imagine there is some pressure for prizes to be more fancy than they were in the past. This seems to be what’s happening these days in other spheres of life anyway – like big company galas and events like this, the prizes can be anything from the latest mobile phone to even a car!! I think the whole culture of prizes and rewards is a little bit unpleasant really, and since I was a kid things have become far too materialistic.
2. Are these prizes good for them?
I think, as I was saying before, prizes that are useful and practical are good for them, and prizes such as trophies are motivating too. But I think prizes that are just expensive items for the sake of it, or fancy brands, and things like this, simply encourage a culture of consumerism and materialism. I worry today that too many people in my country, especially younger people and children, put too much emphasis on brands and fancy gifts and expensive things, and not enough attention is given to modest forms of encouragement and moral values. So, I think that some prizes are not good for them and force a kind of competition that I do not think is healthy.
3. Why do we need to give children prizes?
Prizes can be motivating and encouraging so I think that if done in the right way, giving children prizes can reward effort and success and motivate children to try to do better in their studies, sporting activities, musical pursuits or other activities. There should always be a culture of healthy competition in life, and the values of being a good loser should be encouraged as much as those of being a good winner! Children should not have too many prizes too often, but on special occasions or when they have achieved something really worthwhile through personal dedication and effort, then children should be rewarded with prizes and this can be motivating and encouraging.