I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Speech Contest Smiles

Every year that I've been at Kusatsu, ECC club members practice hard for several weeks to give a short speech at the Friendship Recitation Cup Speech Contest, held at a Kokusai Joho High School nearby.
On Sunday, February 15th, 5 of my Kusatsu students entered a recitation speech contest.

1st Year, Class 1: Emiko Mizuno
1st Year, Class 5: Motonari Koike
2nd Year, Class 1: Yusuke Masuda
2nd Year, Class 3: Naoki Noine
2nd Year, Class 3: Kenji Naruko

The whole gang after the competition. Ueyama sensei teachest the ECC (English Conversation Club) with me, so she was also there last Sunday
This was the largest group of students we've ever sent to the contest, so our practice sessions after school leading up to the event were pretty busy to say the least. Everyone tried really hard and really improved their English intonation and pronunciation ability throughout that time. And on the day of the contest it paid off.

(left/bottom: Yusuke & right/top: Kenji)
Yusuke and Kenji both made it to the final round for the Experienced Category where Kenji came in a tie for 3rd and Yusuke won Grand Prize. This was actually Yusuke's second consecutive year placing first––he took home the Grand Prize in the Beginner's Category the previous year. I didn't have my camera back then, however, so I was lucky he did it again this year and I was able to take some photos.

I'm really proud of everyone, and especially happy for Yusuke and Kenji. Yusuke got a lot of attention--the newspaper reporter wanted to interview him and other girls from the contest were literally throwing their phone numbers at him afterward! I hope he soaked it all up because next week are Final Exams!


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