Speech Contest

On Tuesday two of my junior high school students participated in the 52nd English Recitation Oratorical Contest. In the oratorical category, students present a speech they wrote. Many students presented speeches about not giving up and succeeding in their dreams (gambate!). In the recitation category, students recite a short story. There were stories featuring Buddha, Stevie Wonder, E.T., and Hellen Keller, among others. Sayaka (left) placed first in the oratorical category, which means she will go on to the prefectural speech contest in November. Shiori (right) placed fourth in the oratorical category. I was so proud of both of them. These girls worked super hard for the last couple of weeks. They met with all three of us English teachers, the Japanese English teachers, and some other Americans.

Although Shiori did very well in the competition, she cried after it was over. I tried to console her by telling her congratulations and that I was proud of her, but nothing I said could help her feel better. I think she felt like she let her teachers down because she didn't take the other prefectural spot. Based on what I have heard from Nick and Rachel, Japanese students can be fiercely competitive, and they often take an academic shortcoming as a very personal loss.

I was invited to go to the speech contest so I would see how the speech students are judged and what the competition involves, because next fall I will be coaching at least one student for the same competition. Whoopee. No seriously. I am excited about it, because I can work one-on-one with a student and get to know her more personally. Plus, the Japanese teachers can be very hard on their students, especially for a contest like this. They push the students to their breaking point, making them practice long hours after school ends, even when they sometimes have an hour commute home. If I am a coach for a speech student it may be possible for me to alleviate some of that stress-- show the student the brighter side of speech, maybe. Just maybe.
written by Ruthie @ 8:11 AM  
1 thoughts:
  • At 9/20/2006 11:10 PM, Blogger aubrey said…

    I check your blog like three times a day. It's like my routine when I check my email...I have a little "Ruthie" icon on my favorites list. It's like Christmas when you update it. Allows me some quality procrastination time.

    Dr. Svanoe used the word "crapshoot" in rehearsal the other day. Just thought you should know.


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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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