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Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students 2015

The Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for secondary school students was held at Conway Hall in London on June  20th 2015, open to the public for the very first time.

The 18 finalists, who had been selected from 180 applicants from 20 different schools across the UK, all demonstrated great creativity, thoughtfulness and outstanding ability in Japanese in performing their speeches – not to mention extraordinary courage to present their ideas in a foreign language to an audience of 180 people!

Between each of the three categories of speeches, the audience had the opportunity to watch presentations from schools that had taken part in the Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15, including Greenford High School, Hockerill Anglo-European College, Holbrook Primary School, Newstead Wood School and Wycliffe College. Their presentations not only showcased their fantastic websites, but also the work they had been doing with Japanese and Japan within their school.

Due to the extremely high level of Japanese and the thought-provoking content of the speeches delivered by all finalists, the judges had extremely difficult decisions to make when choosing the final winners of the 2015 Nihongo Cup. In the end, Grace Oliver (Key Stage 4 and 5 Post-GCSE), Oliver Binns (Key Stage 4 and 5 Pre-GCSE) and heo Nze (Key Stage 3) were awarded first prize in each of their categories.

Many congratulations and a big thank-you to everyone who came together to make the day such a success. The full results of the contest are as follows:

Key Stage 4 and 5 Post-GCSE Category
Grace Oliver (Queenswood School, Year 12)
Speech title: “Japanese Music”
2nd Prize:  Chad Beaman (International Community School, Year 13)
Speech title: “Aikido”
3rd Prize:  Rachel McVeigh (Newstead Wood School, Year 12)
Speech title: 「Japan and Confucianism」

Other finalists:
Yu Yeen Fung (St Helen’s School)
Jane Liu (Wycliffe College)
Christina Vivian (Greenford High School)

Key Stage 4 and 5 Pre-GCSE Category
Oliver Binns (Aylesbury Grammar School, Year 11)
Speech title:  “How I imagined Japan to be like”
2nd Prize:  Krishan Emmanuel (Harrow School, Year 11)
Speech title: “My Experience at Mount Koya”
3rd Prize: Ho Ting Lok (Whitgift School, Year 12)
Speech title: “Promise of Gunpla”

Other finalists:
Dominic Hilyer (Campion School)
Taranpreet Kalra (Greenford High School)
Yuhua Feng (Wolfreton School & Sixth Form College)

Key Stage 3 Category (Speech theme: “My Favourite Person”)
Theo Nze (Aylesbury Grammar School, Year 8)
2nd Prize: Japji Gaba (Greenford High School, Year 9)
3rd Prize: Gabby Sherwood (Oxford High School, Year 9)

Other finalists: 
Anna Hayward (Queen Mary’s High School)
Luke Bassett (King Edward VII School)
Dan Bui (Dartford Grammar School)

Photos from the contest can be viewed on Facebook here.

The event was organised by the Japanese Language Committee of the Association for Language Learning, in association with the Japan Foundation London.

We are very grateful to Japan Centre, JOBA, JP Books, LinguaLift, Oxford Brookes University, Ricoh UK and Toshiba of Europe Limited donating prizes, to the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Sumisho Computer Systems for their generous sponsorship, and to the Embassy of Japan for their support.