JHS English Speech Competition
Every year in Tokushima City, over 20 junior high school students gather to compete in the cities English Speech Competition. Today is the big event, where two of my students will give a 5 minute memorizedspeech in English for a crowd of teachers, students, and judges. This nerving experience takes months of practice. The process usually begins before the summer where two students are selected from each school, followed by the students themselves writing the first draft of their speech. After which, the ALT will make many revisions with the assistance of the Japanese Teacher of English (JTE). As in all speeches, the topic is extremely important. The most successful students are able to combine a good topic with their own personal experiences, while ultimately conveying a compelling message to the audience. Having worked with the students many times in preparation and having the speech near memorized also, the presentation can be nerving for an ALT just to watch. A city winner is selected along with other runner-ups who will then compete at a later date in a prefectural competition. The winner of the prefectural competition will then go on to compete at a more prestigious national competition.