The Triwizard Tournament of Honorability

The Triwizard Tournament of Honorability

The Triwizard Tournament of Honorability is a contest that was taken from the Harry Potter book series that incorporates the Chinese language while creating a friendly competition to see who is "the best" at speaking Chinese at a given level of the class. This is becoming very popular since China is becoming a more powerful country in the economic sphere of life.

Source: [ Harry Potter Offical Site ] , [ NPR's View on Learning Chinese]

The Preamble

We the [Americans] , in order to be better [Chinese People] , establish this game, ensure domestic honor; provide for lots of [(Chinese) food] , promote Chinese customs and values, secure the blessings of honor, to ourselves and our family; to ordain, and establish this Triwizard Tournament of Honorability.


The Triwizard Tournament of Honorability (TTH) has been used in many different schools that teach Mandarin Chinese. One of the many teaching tools that are used to teach novice speakers is to make an Interactive Notebook (Interactive Notebook Strategy). The purpose of the Interactive Notebook Strategy is to provide students a place to take notes while also allowing them to create a commentary about the homework and classwork on the other side of the page in the notebook. The TTH uses this book as a way to encourage students to speak Mandarin Chinese outside of just the classroom. Students are expected to get people who are Chinese (Zhongguoren) or other people to sign their Interactive Notebook in hopes that the student will use Chinese to ask the person to sign the Interactive Notebook. []

Purpose and goal of the game

The primary purpose of the game is to bring honor to yourself and your family. This is accomplished by winning the tournament. In order to achieve victory, one has to get the most people to sign their Interactive Notebook (see below for further explanation).


To bring honor to one's family is very important because, as the Chinese prophet Xi Zhang said in the Xin Dynasty (9 AD - 24 AD), "A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." Scholars have deduced that the meaning of this proverb is that a bird stives to be honorable throughout its life. The song that the bird sings denotes the honor of the family in the context of traditional Chinese life. To replicate this "Song" as Xi Zhang explains, the tournament adopted the "Honorable Alert" and the "Righteous Shout" to show how honorable the said student is.


In the course of the tournament, it is possible that the rights guaranteed to the contestants are violated. When this happens, the violator has done dishonor to his or her family.


The TTH is played in many secondary schools across the United States and is also played in Australia. Queensland, Australia is currently thought to be the originator of the game. [ Palm Beach Currumbin State High School] (PBC High) is where the game started under the direction of Li Laoshi. He thought that he could make the Mandarin Chinese class at PBC more interesting and so he started the game in his second year of teaching. He then proceeded to market the game across Australia where it caught on in other schools with a pilot Mandarin Chinese Programs. After a few successful years of running the program, Li Laoshi marketed the game at a teachers conference in America. It was an instant success as many other secondary schools adopted the use of the Interactive Notebook as well as the Triwizard Tournament of Honorability (TTH).

Source: [ PBC High] , [ Greece Central School District Using the IN Strategy]

How does it work?

Realizing that many secondary school students liked the Harry Potter books, teachers have found that using a game based on the popular series made the students more interested in playing the game.
In the Harry Potter books, the Triwizard tournament was a competition between England's three biggest schools of Magic, Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. The primary purpose of this Tournament was to provide a setting for the three schools to compete in a friendly setting. The purpose for the Triwizard Tournament of Honorability is the same. It provides students with a setting to have a friendly competition while still fostering their knowledge of Chinese Language and Culture.

Rules of the game

#The student must use Mandarin Chinese to ask a person to sign the notebook.
#The student must have the person sign in a spot that does not inhibit the student's ability to learn (for example, not on a page that could be written on for notes).
#Only designated honorable people are allowed to sign the Interactive Notebook (see below for list of honorable people).
#At the end of a semester or any time that the teacher deems appropriate the teacher will collect the Interactive Notebooks and see who has the most signatures.
#The student with the most signatures wins the tournament.

Honorable Alert

When a student gets an especially honorable person to sign their Interactive Notebook, or just something generally honorable occurs, it is necessary and proper to shout "Honorable Alert!" while waving a finger in the air like a siren. This is done in an attempt to make the game more interesting as well as to inform the competitors if their notebook is signed.

Righteous Shout

If an event occurs in the course of the tournament that is worth merit, all the students will shout "RIGHTEOUS" accompanied by a fist pump. Both the Honorable Alert and the Righteous Shout are used to increase the comradery of the tournament. Because some teachers have found that the game can become boring after excessive use, it is recommended that the Honorable Alert and the Righteous Shout are introduced after the game is initially taught to the class.

How to keep score

The teacher will keep a tally of the signatures by student (see example below).

Honorable People

This is a list of people that educators in both Australia and the United States have deemed "Honorable":
#All tenured teachers
#School administrators
#Local celebrities
#National Celebrities

Source: [ Disney's Golden Apple(C)Honorable Teachers]

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