Watching ‘Jeopardy!’ helped her learn English — and now she’s a contestant


Kristyna Ng stands in her home as the TV quiz show Jeopardy! plays on her TV. Her appearance will be broadcast the week of Feb. 10. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

After Kristyna Ng immigrated to Canada as an eight-year-old from China, her drive to learn English had her poring over dictionaries and encyclopedias.

She also watched hours of Jeopardy! 

Now, three decades later, she’s come face to face with her unwitting tutor. Not Merriam-Webster, but Alex Trebek.

It really is coming full circle,” Ng says. To be able to compete and represent Calgary, Alberta and Canada as a citizen — and to be on the same stage as Alex Trebek, a great Canadian — that is just something I could never imagine.”

Ng will join millions of viewers this week in watching her appearance on the famous game show. She can’t say how she did. The show’s producers are notoriously careful about leaks.

But what a journey.

Ng grew up in Victoria, B.C., after arriving from southern China in the late 1980s.

She knew little more than her A, B, Cs at first, but with the help of her elementary school teacher, Ng devoted herself to learning a new language and did so quickly. Television became a tool that helped sharpen her skills.



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