Students showcase language skills in Japanese speech contest
Page last published: 25 Sep 2013
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 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)
- 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)
- 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
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)