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Students showcase language skills in Japanese speech contest

Page last published: 25 Sep 2013

Contestants and judges at the 44th NSW Japanese Speech Contest Over 40 students from various high schools and universities in Sydney competed in the 44th NSW Japanese Speech Contest held 31st  August at Macquarie University, where they demonstrated their skills in Japanese and speech writing.

The contestants were grouped into five divisions: High School Senior Division, Open Beginners, Open Division, Background Speaker  Division, and the High School Wakaba ("young buds sprouting") Division which  was opened this year. Each contestant gave a speech about his/her chosen topic and was judged based on presentation, content, and language.

The winners

The winners will progress to the National Contest which will  be held in Melbourne on 13th October.

List of winners

High School Wakaba Division 

  • 1st Prize     Jinny Minjoo Kim (Strathfield Girls High School)
  • 2nd Prize   Emily Kim (North Sydney Girls High School)
  • 3rd Prize    Yelin Chen (Strathfield Girls High School)

High School Senior Division

  • 1st Prize      Peggy Wei (North Sydney Girls High School)
  • 2nd Prize     Jennifer Kim (Strathfield Girls High School)
  • 3rd Prize      Jackie Kim (Strathfield Girls High School)

Special Prize (High School  Division)

  • Joshua Watts (Ballina High School)

Open Beginner Division

  • 1st Prize     May Zaomoe (University of Western Sydney)
  • 2nd Prize    Nga Chi Cheng (University of New South Wales)
  • 3rd Prize     Subei (Isabel) Guo (University of Sydney)

Open Division

  • 1st Prize     Alexander Hicks (University of Western Sydney)
  • 2nd Prize    Sally Chan (University of New South Wales)
  • 3rd Prize     Clarence Ma (University of New South Wales)

Background Division

  • 1st Prize     Johnathon Brown (University of Sydney)
  • 2nd Prize    Karin Nishimuta-Jang (North Sydney Girls High School)
  • 3rd Prize     Lisa Inglis (Macquarie University)

Special Prize (Open Division)

  • Ben Wilson (University of Technology Sydney)

Supporting the Australian-Japanese communities

The annual NSW Japanese Speech Contest is jointly run by the Macquarie  Japanese Studies Centre (MJS Centre), the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney, Japan  Foundation Sydney, NSW Department of Education and Training, and NSW university  representatives. It aims to encourage learners who are studying Japanese to present  their language skills in a challenging context.

MJS Centre promotes the standard of Japanese education by expanding  learning opportunities for teachers, prospective teachers, and students of the  Japanese language and culture.

MJS Centre Director Tomoko Koyama says, "The annual Japanese speech  contest promotes the awareness for learning Japanese language and culture in  the community. We endeavour to make the event vibrant and inclusive, embracing  original ideas expressed in the contestants' speeches and allowing students to  define what Japanese language and culture mean to them."

Australia Japan Society of NSW board director Teri Teramoto,  who was among the judges for the Open Division, says that not only is the  speech contest a good way to improve the skills of students, it also helps  strengthen the ties between the Australian and Japanese communities.

Japanese at Macquarie

Lisa Inglis is a Bachelor of International Studies student at Macquarie UniversittyOffered under the Bachelor of International Studies and Bachelor of  Arts , Japanese is one of the strongest languages at the university and receives large  number of enrolments every year.

This year's Background Speaker Division 3rd prize  winner, Lisa Inglis, is a Bachelor of International Studies student. Born to a  Japanese mother and an Australian father, Lisa learned Japanese when she was  young. But it was during her student exchange experience at Ritsumeikan University when her interest for the Japanese language and culture was  deepened. The university exchange program is part of Macquarie's Japanese Studies academic program.

Several Macquarie students who are studying Japanese as part of their courses volunteered during the contest, assisting in the logistics and  event coordination, while some Macquarie graduates who are now teaching  Japanese also attended the event to support their students.

MJS Centre acknowledges the volunteers, judges, prize sponsors, Macquarie University staff and lecturers, and members of partner associations for their support on the event.

*With  contributions from Isabella Chan (3rd year/Bachelor of Arts) and Adam Taylor  (2nd year/Bachelor of Arts)