201809301The 20th Speech Contest was held for Japanese and non-Japanese living in Abiko city sponsored by AIRA and Abiko city.(N0.18-9)
1) Date: September 30, 2018 (Sun) 12:50-15:00
2) Place: Abiko Civic Plaza multi-purpose hall
3) Presenter: Nine persons, four in English and five in Japanese
4) Participants: Four Namiki elementary schoolchildren (6grade) and two AIRA foreign language lecturers (Kim Ji Num, Korean  lecturer and Xu Li , Chinese lecturer)
This event is to use English by those whose mother tongue is  Japanese while those whose mother tongue is non-Japanese have to speak Japanese.
 The contents of the speech is not specifically designated but each speaker’s own choices such as speaker’s idea and thought about the international relations, impression about the visited countries etc.
This time,as a first attempt, we conducted English Recitation Contest by the elementary school children.
This Recitation Contest is not subject to screening but for encouragement to promote English education at the elementary school age.
Because of the Typhoon No.24 coming close, the event was started  ten minutes earlier than the original schedule.
The chairman of ceremonies were Mr.Koji Ishihara and Ms.Le Thanh Huyen from Hanoi, Vietnam with the opening speech by AIRA’s President, Mr. Hesaki. Mr.Hesaki expressed his intention to increase the opportunities for English Recitation Contest in future taking it into mind that English education begins with the lower grades. 
1. Speech in English
  The followings are the contents of four presenters.
 Ms.Etsuyo Kawaguchi: Learned a difference of the meaning of the word “ordinary” between country to country and region to region based on her “Agricultural support  volunteer” activity.
 Ms.Risa Sugaya :” Music has  power” Regardless of nationality or country, the music always give happiness to the people which she noticed through her club activities .
 Ms.Shiena Taniguchi: “How great Abiko”. She wants to inform  in every possible situation more and more to all people about how wonderful Abiko is  based on her over two years of research and study.
 Ms.Yuri Nakajima: “Conversation in English”. She came to notice about the importance of English conversation ability based on her speech at APRSAAF-25 Water Rocket Convention in Singapore
2. Speech in Japanese (following five presenters)
 In continuation, the following 5 people announced in Japanese. 
 Ms.Zhang Chun Ling: doing very best to struggle to learn about Japanese language as a part of daily life since it is difficult to memorize Japanese.
  Ms.Yin Mei Juan: “Welcome, come back home”. She was impressed and felt very happy  when she heard it at the time of returning from China to Japan.
  Mr.Lu Ze Qing: “Became positive”. He became a positive person after he experienced community volunteer activities
  Ms.Seina Suzuki: “Promise with elder sister in Shanghai”  She grew up in Shanghai and learning in Japan. She is doing her very best to keep the promise with her sister in China.
  Ms.Nguyen Nhu Nga: Wants to be a bridge between Vietnam and Japan through the “nursing care service” now learning in Japan.
3 Recitation
201809302  To follow the above nine presentations,” the recitation contest” has been conducted by four Mamiki Elementary School children.
  This school is designated as a model school for English education by The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This time was the first attempt of the event to conduct “recitation contests” by the school children.
  Kanako Azuma: Happy memories of travel.
  Shota Ura:  About Soseke Natsume whose books he read over 20 during the summer holidays.
  Mutsumi Ooki: About Ieyasu Tokugawa who established  the Tokugawa Shogunate which lasted for many years in peace.
  Takuto Noguchi: Memory of the summer camping in Nikko
  Comments by Mr.Kisschaku and Mr.Pauman ; Quite good and both said  “very good English speakers “ and wonderful recitation.
4  Chat time.
2018093121 During the screening time by the examiners, we conducted so called interview chat time with the AIRA foreign language instructors with participants.
 Speakers: Mr.Kim Ji Mum from Seoul, ROK,Korean language instructor. Ms.Xu Li: from Dailian, China- Chinese language instructor.
 Interviewer:  Ms.Fumiko Kitajima- Vice President AIRA.
 Ms.Kitajima asked many questions about one’s home town, impression about Japan and Abiko, regarding any trouble and hardship to learn Japanese language, difference of the school system in Japan and home country, future plan etc. etc.
 Kim-san, talked about the smell of soy sauce- shoyu.  Xu-san  said the name of Abiko means “ my grandchild” with a bit surprise but easy to remember.  As for the Japanese language, Kim-san faced some difficulties of local dialect.
About school life, in both countries, no club activities exist and no school lunch system available like Japan where school lunch system is considered as a part of education.
 Kim san expressed his desire to run the whole distance at Teganuma-Eco Marathon.
 Xu san talked about her wish in future that she wants to travel in Japan to know more about Japanese as well as the culture, history, etc. Accodingly,she wants to contribute to make better interaction between China and Japan.

 Overcoming language and cultural barrier etc. by the two language instructors would give a lot of hints to the young people who may face the foreign cultures in the future.
5 Results of Screening
 In continuation, the awards ceremony was conducted including announcement of the results of screening.
   Commemorative gifts were handed over to each winner but certificate of commendation were given later due to the typhoon approach. 
 The winners’ names are listed below whilst the prize by the audience were presented to the speaker who was  selected by general audience.
  At the final stage, the overall evaluation and comments were made by Mr. Toshiharu Kurabe, superintendent of school of Abiko city.  He commented that each speakers’ messages were heart filled and expressed his heartfelt appreciation to four Namiki school children for their first recitation contests and also wished other school would join in the future taking this opportunity.
 The closing speech were given by Ms. Fumiko Kitajima,President of the 20th International Speech Contest Executive Committee.   As many as 85persons visited to join  the event in spite of  the Typhoon coming close.
Results of screening;
AIRA Presidental prize : Risa Sugaya,  3rd grade,Fusa JR high school  “ The Power of Music”
Abiko Mayor’s prize : Yin Mei Juan,Society member   “Okaerinasai (Welcome back)”
Abiko city Superintendent of Education prize : Shiena Taniguchi,3rd grade, Kujike JR high school “Finding Abiko”
Chuo Gakuin Univ. Presidental prize : YuriNakajima,3rdgrade,Edogawa Gakuen Toride JR high school “Participating    to  APRSAF-25 Water Rocket Convention”
Kawamura school Women’s College Presidental prize : Etsuyo Kawada, Society member, “ What the agricultural support  volunteer   taught me”
Audiences’ prize : Nguyen Nhu Nga, 1st grade,Edogawa Gakuen Otaka-no-mori  Professional School  “ I want to be a bride crossing between Japan  and Vietnam”

Screening members: 6 persons
 Y.Hesaki, AIRA President, T.Watanabe,Acting Abiko Mayor, T.Kurabe,Abiko city Superintendent of Education,H.Ichikawa,President of Chuo Gakuin Univ., William Kischuck ,Acting President of Kawamura School of Women’s college, John Bauman, English Instructor, Chuo Gakuin Univ.  
(Translated by Mr.Mitsuru Sato)
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