REaChing for the stars
Empowering English Language Learners
__Over the last couple of months, two of our fourth year global engineering students have been working hard on memorizing and polishing their English speeches for competition in a regional speech contest. The top two winners of this kosen specific contest are invited to compete nationally in February of 2012. Doreen Gaylord, a colleague and the usual solitary coach of speech contestants from our school, and I each took one student to work with over these two months. The content of the speeches showed the incredible growth that occurred over the students' year abroad in New Zealand.
Both of the students worked incredibly hard, practicing their speeches daily and sometimes multiple times in a day. Doreen and I worked with the students individually on pronunciation, and speech presence. We watched the students' confidence grow as they proved to themselves they were capable of giving an almost 7 minute long speech all in English!
This past weekend, Saturday, November 12th, Doreen, Juji-sensei, Ohara-sensei and myself accompanied Kaede Kikuda and Yusuka Michinaka to their first ever speech contest. The competition was tough, but these two displayed amazing calm and courage as they stood up in front of the audience and flawlessly delivered their speeches. We are so proud of them! Yusuke Michinaka came in 3rd place! His speech on "The First Penguin" had everyone's attention, and several people quoted from it throughout the day, including the judges who introduced themselves as "the first penguin," "the second penguin" and "the third penguin" when they gave their closing statements. Kaede had a tough spot being the first to speak, but she did so with such grace!
To students in New Zealand now, think about the possibility of being part of this competition, and what you would talk about. It's such a great experience and I'm sure that Kaede and Yusuke would agree with me!