Junior high school speech contest
From Akita Wiki
Every year in September there is a junior high school city-wide speech contest (英語暗唱弁論大会; eigo anshō benron taikai) in most cities in Akita. Students, typically 3rd years, practice during summer vacation. The winners of the city speech contest go to the prefectural speech contest.
There are two types of speeches: speeches (弁論; benron) and recitations (暗唱; anshō). Speeches are speeches written by the students. Typically the student writes the speech in Japanese, the JTE translates it to English, and the ALT checks the speech. Recitations are speeches taken from English textbooks.
- The official rules are short, vague, and in Japanese. Ask your JTE to translate.
- Participants are junior high school students, typically 3rd year students.
- Speeches and recitations must be under 5 minutes.
- Students must not leave the podium during the speech.
- Students write their own speech, but the JTE and ALT can translate.
- Natural gestures are recommended.
- Things that make the speech more emotional can be powerful, but they can also be excessive. Things like yelling, stomping feet or hitting the podium may or may not be desirable, depending on your judges.
- Recitations should come from current or former MEXT-approved textbooks. Only the textbooks themselves are legal sources -- teachers manuals are not.
- For city speech contests, typically there are three judges: an ALT and two JTEs.
- The rules for the city contest and prefectural contest (for winners of the city contests) are the same.
- The textbook companies change speeches over time. Older books may have longer versions.
- Judges often like speeches where the topic is a personal issue or hardship. World peace is a difficult topic.
- Several years ago, judges in one city used the following point breakdown.
- Delivery: 20 points. Eye contact, facial expression, voice control, pauses, gestures.
- Accuracy: 20 points. Pronunciation, rhythm, intonation, skipping.
- Degree of recitation: 20 points.
- Speech. Note that speech topics are often found in authorized textbooks, though the speeches themselves aren't.
- Delivery: 25 points. Eye contact, facial expression, voice control, pauses, gestures.
- Accuracy: 25 points. Pronunciation, rhythm, intonation, skipping.
- Degree of recitation: 20 points.
- Content: 30 points. Grammar (10 points), interesting (15 points), originality (5 points).
- Use tongue twisters as a warm-up. Find a problematic sound, and pick a tongue twister that uses it.
- Practice yelling. Go outside and yell a tongue twister or the speech. Try alternating every sentence, where the student yells the first one, you yell the second one, and so on. This can help students open their mouth more.
- Give your student a notebook. Write notes in it, including examples or tongue twisters. Staple printed pages or photocopies in it.
- For teaching intonation, find a few easy example sentences. Practice them extensively. If you know how to write intonation, teach the student how, and go through the entire speech with them.
- Take a sentence from the speech and try reading it with different feelings. For instance, a happy reading, a sad reading, a boring reading, an excited reading, etc.
- There should be a very long pause after the title, if the student says the title, and before the final "Thank you." Students like to rush, so practice this extensively.
- Give the student an extra copy of the speech. Make sure it's large enough — use several pages if necessary. In a notebook, glue the speech to the left side. On the right side, ask the student to write a Japanese translation. Help the student translate any difficult portions.
Marking up the speech
Type the speech into a word processor (you can copy and paste from the text below). Make some notes on it. If you have time, do some of this with the students, so they can learn what it all means.
- Use a large font for important words. Typically, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
- Use small font for everything else.
- Mark the speech with a / for places to pause.
- Use a ∪ for combining words like food∪in, reads foo din. Other examples: an∪apple, come∪in, kick∪it, an∪orange, sit∪up, I hate∪it, pick∪it∪up, Shall∪I move∪it?
- Use ( ) around letters with no sound, like didn’(t) eat, reads didn eat. Other examples: ba(d) dog, a(t) ten, thic(k) carpet, bi(g) guy, ho(t) day, har(d) time, wi(th) that, look(s) sleepy, thi(s) shot, ta(me) monkey, I(n) nature.
Make a CD
- Record the speech on the computer and make a CD. Or, do it on a tape. Or, do it on a cellphone.
- Record the student and play it back (audio or video). Save a copy and listen to it in a few weeks to hear the improvement.
|The Fall of Freddie the Leaf||New Horizon||2006||3||6||423|
|The Giving Tree||New Horizon||1971||3||8||623|
|Human Rights for All||New Crown||2005||3||4||321|
|I Have a Dream||New Crown||2003, 2005||3||4||263, 294|
|The Lotus Seed||One World||2005||3||4||384|
|Miss Evans on the Titanic||New Horizon||1990, 1981||3||4||315, 306|
|A Mother's Lullaby||New Horizon||2007||3||4||278|
|The Mountain that Loved a Bird||Sunshine||2005||3||4||356|
|October Sky||Total English||2005||3||5||514|
|A Red Ribbon||Sunshine||2005||3||4||313|
|The Spider's Thread||New Horizon||1987||3||5||479|
|Spirit in the Sky||Columbus 21||2005||3||4||375|
|Try to Be the Only One||New Horizon||2006||2||4||296|
|The Whale Rider||New Crown||2005||3||4||285|
|The Wisest Man in the World||Sunshine||?||3||5||415|
|After Twenty Years||Sunshine||3||4||409|
|The Altamira Cave||New Horizon||2||4||252|
|Around the World on the Erika||Sunshine||3||6||566|
|An Artist in the Arctic||New Horizon||3||6||422|
|At the Ball Park||New Horizon||3||4||405|
|Audrey Hepburn||One World||3||5||472|
|Benny's Flag||New Horizon||3||4||398|
|The Big Dipper||New Horizon||2||4||316|
|The Blind Girl and the Mountain||New Everyday English||3||4||338|
|Body Language||New Everyday English||3||4||256|
|A Camp on the High Prairie||Sunshine||3||4||304|
|Can Anyone Hear Me?||New Horizon||2||4||265|
|Changing the World||Columbus 21||3||6, 4||800, 473|
|Christmas Presents||New Horizon||2||4||321|
|Clara Barton and the Red Cross||New Horizon||3||5||503|
|Do It Yourself||New Everyday English||3||4||253|
|The Dog of Flanders||New Everyday English||3||8||594|
|A Doll with Blue Eyes||New Horizon||3||5||462|
|The Earth in Danger||New Horizon||3||5||340|
|The Emerald Lizard||New Horizon||2||4||280|
|Fight to the Last||Sunshine||3||6||479|
|The First American Teacher||New Everyday English||3||4||354|
|The First English Teacher in Japan||One World||3||5||494|
|The First Weather Station on Mt. Fuji||New Horizon||3||4||323|
|Fly Away Home||New Crown, Total English||3||4, 5||317, 554|
|A Football Game||New Horizon||3||4||356|
|From Mike's Diary||New Horizon||3||3||288|
|Hiroshima Story||New Everyday English||3||4||293|
|Holy Brothers||One World||3||6||612|
|Hope for the Future||Sunshine||3||3||269|
|I Am A Dog||New Crown||2||4||211|
|I'll Always Love You||New Horizon||2||6||323|
|Jimmy Valentine||New Crown||3||3||417|
|Judy's Diary||New Everyday English||3||4||266|
|Kiki's Delivery Service||New Everyday English||2||?||469|
|Language - Life of a People||New Crown||3||6||346|
|The Last Leaf||Sunshine||3||8||613|
|The Last Lesson||New Crown||3||6||481|
|The Last Message||New Horizon||3||5||443|
|A Letter from Mary||New Horizon||3||4||386|
|A Letter in a Bottle||New Horizon||3||5||581|
|A Lesson from Nature||New Horizon||3||4||287|
|The Little Prince||New Crown||2||5||348|
|Love is Action||Sunshine||3||5||391|
|Madame Curie||New Horizon||2||5||463|
|A Magic Box||New Horizon||2||4||337|
|Maria Talks about Her Life||Sunshine||2||4||344|
|Mike Goes to the Dance||New Horizon||3||4||385|
|A Miracle Happened in New York||Sunshine||2||4||304|
|A Moment of Peace||New Crown||3||4||382|
|Mother Teresa||Total English||2||4||352|
|A Mujina||New Prince English Course||2||4||281|
|Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers||Sunshine||3||4||329|
|On Your Graduation Day||One World||3||6||491|
|Once upon a Home upon a Home||Columbus 21||3||8||394|
|Pasteur||New Everyday English||3||4||251|
|Pete and the Orange Men||New Horizon||2||4||282|
|A Pot of Poison||New Crown||2||4||224|
|A Present for You||New Crown||3||5||415|
|Red Demon and Blue Demon||Total English||2||4||283|
|The Riddle of the Sphinx||New Everyday English||3||4||262|
|Rocket Boys||One World||3||4||564|
|Science and You||New Horizon||3||3||318|
|The Second Biggest Country||New Everyday English||3||4||252|
|Singapore, My Country||Sunshine||3||5||352|
|Something for Joey||Sunshine||3||6||416|
|Stevie Wonder - The Power of Music||Total English||3||4||284|
|Stone Soup||One World||2||5||340|
|A Story by Dazai Osamu||New Everyday English||3||5||514|
|The Story of Ivan||New Crown||2||6||415|
|The Story of the Alphabet||New Everyday English||3||4||236|
|A Strange Story||New Everyday English||3||4||390|
|Summer Diaries||New Everyday English||3||4||329|
|The Sun and the Moon||New Crown||2||4||247|
|The Tezuka Osamu Story||One World||2||5||383|
|A Thanksgiving Dinner||One World||3||4||435|
|Tom Has to Work on Saturday||New Horizon||2||4||340|
|Tom Sawyer Paints the Fence||Everyday English||2||5||409|
|A Trip to Southeast Asia||New Crown||3||4||244|
|Water from Fog||Columbus 21||2||4||263|
|Visas for 6,000 Lives||Columbus 21||3||4||424|
|The Wolf and the Fox||New Horizon||3||4||401|
|What Color is Love?||New Horizon||?||?||206|
|The White Horse||New Everyday English||3||6||442|
|Working in Papua New Guinea||Sunshine||3||5||336|
|Zorba's Three Promises||New Crown||3||4||318, 302|
Here are some recitations from teachers manuals. The rules forbid recitations that are only found in teachers manuals, because only the textbooks are permissible sources. But it is quite possible that the following recitations did at one point appear in a textbook. Please confirm with your JTE.
Here are some of the recent prefectural speech winners and runner-ups.
And here is a link to the speeches that made it all the way to the all Japan finals.