Author Topic: Speech Contest....again  (Read 4625 times)

Offline B-roni

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2013, 03:28:55 PM »
Yes anyone who applied for the greenbank contest should have gotten a packet with a little guidebook for sample questions and what to expect!! :lol: I will see if I can get a digital version to upload here.
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Offline Mister.J

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2013, 09:05:57 AM »
I've taken part in Greenbank three times (2004, 2005, 2006) although others probably have more experience.
Years ago, I got a handout which had sample questions in it. If I remember and find a copy, I'll bring it to pub quiz with me. Hopefully it'll still be the same format.
I went to Tokyo one year with a student of mine who was competing in a proper speech contest that she had to write herself and all (not just memorize and spit out).  That was pretty sweet.
This year, I didn't even realize the contest was today until another ALT asked if I was going ---my JTE has been secretly coaching the kids without me.  I know I won't always be invited to the actual contest because of scheduling and stuff, but come on...

That's moderately messed up.  Teacher must be a ninja though to get that by you.

Dude's kid(S) won though so he shouldnt feel all bad.   Like 3rd year first prize and 2nd year 2nd prize. 
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Offline lilypad

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2013, 02:07:19 PM »
Yes anyone who applied for the greenbank contest should have gotten a packet with a little guidebook for sample questions and what to expect!! :lol: I will see if I can get a digital version to upload here.

Yeah....that is probably on some JTEs desk, lost in their piles of paper, never to be seen again.  If you can find a digital copy, I would appreciate it. And/or if anyone has a physical copy they could copy and give to me at the pub quiz tomorrow, that works too!

I'm usually the sole teacher in charge of speech contest training and suspect it will be the same for this contest as well.  It surprises me that so many of you have JTEs that actually WANT to train your students!

Offline Croninokehige

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2013, 02:37:36 PM »
My JTE last year was a boss about Greenbank, she and the student started on that shit in like August. I wish I had been to one of the competitions before so I'd known better how to prepare her. I know the JTE and the same girl are now working on it again in hopes of her winning it this time, but I have no idea if Kevin (my successor) is helping them or not. He doesn't really seem keen on answering any emails I have sent him  :|

But yeah, point being, having a JTE who gives a damn about a speech contest is great.

Offline Professor Bonerpants

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2013, 04:49:14 PM »
I've taken part in Greenbank three times (2004, 2005, 2006) although others probably have more experience.
Years ago, I got a handout which had sample questions in it. If I remember and find a copy, I'll bring it to pub quiz with me. Hopefully it'll still be the same format.
I went to Tokyo one year with a student of mine who was competing in a proper speech contest that she had to write herself and all (not just memorize and spit out).  That was pretty sweet.
This year, I didn't even realize the contest was today until another ALT asked if I was going ---my JTE has been secretly coaching the kids without me.  I know I won't always be invited to the actual contest because of scheduling and stuff, but come on...
That's moderately messed up.  Teacher must be a ninja though to get that by you.
Dude's kid(S) won though so he shouldnt feel all bad.   Like 3rd year first prize and 2nd year 2nd prize.
Haha, yeah ---I guess it all worked out.  I probably would have just hurt their chances by getting them to pronounce things properly and confusing the Japanese judges.

Last year, I was shocked when they asked me to help coach the kids with only about a week left, this year I figured they would do the same.  But it kinda slipped my mind. 
I did however, feel a little guilty when I met kocho-sensei at the urinal and he congratulated me on the victory.  I told him the other teachers deserved all the credit which only made me seem modest...  ;)

Offline Jotham

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2013, 04:33:28 PM »
What are the dates for this years contests? I have students in the Tsuru, Yoshida round before the Ken finals. My students suck for passing on the info to me.
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Offline LozZz

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2013, 10:25:07 AM »
The JHS prefectural contest is on 11/19

Offline Jotham

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2013, 02:22:17 PM »
Is that for the second round or the first?
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Offline kelloggs

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2013, 04:08:22 PM »
Jotham, if you're talking about the junior high speech contest in our area, it's on November 8th (Friday) from 1-5 in Oshino. I was a judge last year and will be one this year, too, but I was never told if the winners go on to a prefectural contest or not.  :| This particular contest is called the ''South Tsuru Junior High School English Recitation Contest'' (aka 第26回南都留中学校英語音唱大会).
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Offline Jotham

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2013, 04:00:37 PM »
Jotham, if you're talking about the junior high speech contest in our area, it's on November 8th (Friday) from 1-5 in Oshino. I was a judge last year and will be one this year, too, but I was never told if the winners go on to a prefectural contest or not.  :| This particular contest is called the ''South Tsuru Junior High School English Recitation Contest'' (aka 第26回南都留中学校英語音唱大会).

That's what I'm talking about. Cheers!

Why's it called the South Tsuru... when it includes all of Tsuru, Yoshida, Kawaguchi, etc??
My student came second in the Tsuru one and then went on to come second again in the prefectural one.
Same student is trying again in third grade. I'll have classes from 4pm so won't be around to watch but just need to know how long i have to get her ready.
Thanks
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Offline Jotham

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2013, 10:02:57 PM »
OK so here's my rant (copy and pasted from a FB message I sent to Stephanie in Fujiyoshida (sorry Stephanie)):

Quote
I can't understand the standardisation of these marks. How can one judge give 20 marks lower than others? My student got 97, 92 and then 72! I'm really confused about the point system.
I know you're proud about your student and don't want to take it away from him but he sucked! His pronunciation was really weird. Maybe it's just my British ears but I couldn't understand him for a lot of the time even though I knew the speech off by heart. I'm trying not to be bitter but when one confident guy acts like a crowd (*clown) and impresses the one judge that scores 20 points lower on average than he'll be sure to win!
All I'm saying is that it's not a fair contest when there's not a standard judging system....sorry.

Although to us teachers this "speech" contest is a bit of a joke; using ridiculous passages with bad English, etc, the students give a shit. And the parents give a shit. And the schools give a bit of a shit. So coming from a juku's point of view, where we can get customers who want specific 'training' for the speech contest, I need to give a shit and make sure my student does a good job. So with regards to the judging of these competitions, I need to know where I stand on how I give advice to my student. Do I tell them to throw their hands around like a monkey? Because I'm sorry but this is how the winning student looked to me.
My student didn't do half as good as she should have (had a cold but not excusing her) but this guy IMO wasn't good.
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Offline LozZz

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2013, 08:36:46 AM »
That's the main issue I hear every year. Everybody knows the points criteria, but they have no idea how it will actually be judged. One year they'll praise the over the top gestures, the next year they'll penalize it.
Another problem is they don't judge the same way in the regional contests and the prefectural one.

I think all everyone wants is some consistency  (other than reading the same horrible speeches every year)

Offline Gman776

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2013, 08:41:17 AM »
OK so here's my rant (copy and pasted from a FB message I sent to Stephanie in Fujiyoshida (sorry Stephanie)):

Quote
I can't understand the standardisation of these marks. How can one judge give 20 marks lower than others? My student got 97, 92 and then 72! I'm really confused about the point system.
I know you're proud about your student and don't want to take it away from him but he sucked! His pronunciation was really weird. Maybe it's just my British ears but I couldn't understand him for a lot of the time even though I knew the speech off by heart. I'm trying not to be bitter but when one confident guy acts like a crowd (*clown) and impresses the one judge that scores 20 points lower on average than he'll be sure to win!
All I'm saying is that it's not a fair contest when there's not a standard judging system....sorry.

Although to us teachers this "speech" contest is a bit of a joke; using ridiculous passages with bad English, etc, the students give a shit. And the parents give a shit. And the schools give a bit of a shit. So coming from a juku's point of view, where we can get customers who want specific 'training' for the speech contest, I need to give a shit and make sure my student does a good job. So with regards to the judging of these competitions, I need to know where I stand on how I give advice to my student. Do I tell them to throw their hands around like a monkey? Because I'm sorry but this is how the winning student looked to me.
My student didn't do half as good as she should have (had a cold but not excusing her) but this guy IMO wasn't good.

I judged the recitation contest for middle school in my area this year and I know the judges discuss before hand and after the first speaker about how they will be judging the recitations and then also set guidelines for how what is/isn't allowed to be judged - gestures for example (not allowed to pay attention to them for judging our competition).  So there ARE some guidelines and there ARE some standards, but also, some judges may just simply refuse to follow them.  Also, there is a lot of disagreement on what constitutes a GOOD recitation/speech vs. a GREAT one so shit like that happens.  I know there was a LOT of discussion at our recitation contest this year and I disagreed pretty heavily with the opinions of the other two judges there as to who should take home first place.  But, the average wins out in the end...

Offline kelloggs

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2013, 09:13:31 AM »
OK so here's my rant (copy and pasted from a FB message I sent to Stephanie in Fujiyoshida (sorry Stephanie)):

Quote
I can't understand the standardisation of these marks. How can one judge give 20 marks lower than others? My student got 97, 92 and then 72! I'm really confused about the point system.
I know you're proud about your student and don't want to take it away from him but he sucked! His pronunciation was really weird. Maybe it's just my British ears but I couldn't understand him for a lot of the time even though I knew the speech off by heart. I'm trying not to be bitter but when one confident guy acts like a crowd (*clown) and impresses the one judge that scores 20 points lower on average than he'll be sure to win!
All I'm saying is that it's not a fair contest when there's not a standard judging system....sorry.

Although to us teachers this "speech" contest is a bit of a joke; using ridiculous passages with bad English, etc, the students give a shit. And the parents give a shit. And the schools give a bit of a shit. So coming from a juku's point of view, where we can get customers who want specific 'training' for the speech contest, I need to give a shit and make sure my student does a good job. So with regards to the judging of these competitions, I need to know where I stand on how I give advice to my student. Do I tell them to throw their hands around like a monkey? Because I'm sorry but this is how the winning student looked to me.
My student didn't do half as good as she should have (had a cold but not excusing her) but this guy IMO wasn't good.

Jotham, I don't mean to be rude, but you really need to settle down with this speech contest ranting. I'm sorry you can't accept the judges' decision and that you're convinced that Stephanie's student was acting ''like a monkey'', but I chose the student who I thought performed the best and I'm sticking to it. Before the other judges and I even got onto the stage, we were specifically told by the people in charge of the contest that big gestures were ダメ. The category on our judging sheets with the biggest point allotment was 'English', and all of the judges agreed that Stephanie's student had the best pronunciation, pacing, and intonation. I personally didn't like when any of the students used gestures, but the winning student did so well in every other category that I awarded him high marks. I'm sorry you disagree, but the decision was ours and we took the contest seriously.

I'm sure that most teachers want their student to get first place, but come on, your kid got third. That's still a huge accomplishment in my book. I practiced really hard with my two girls for the high school speech contest last year and they both got third. Was I a little disappointed that they didn't get first? Maybe, but I didn't track down the judges and the winning student's coach and question their judgment or skill. I was damn proud of my kids last year and I'm gonna support my students this year whether they get a prize or not. If they walk away empty handed, I'm not going to attack the judges because of it. It'll be done and there will be nothing we can do about it. I'm encouraging you to get over it and try again next year. Move on, please.
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Offline Jotham

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2013, 11:50:08 AM »
OK. I apologise for being rude about the guy. He did a good job but just wasn't as good as a handful of other students (and his attitude in Japanese terms, was kind of rude), in my opinion. But that's the point. It's my opinion.
I'm not the kind of guy that just move's on from something that bothers me. As LozZz says, it happens every year. If we can do something about it that helps next years judges then wouldn't that be better? If we can get some example videos of what we as a community are going to give good marks to and not, then wouldn't that be a good thing? When there's such a big differentiation between judges scores then obviously there's something amiss. Different years, different judges, japanese staff saying different things are good/bad. But if we can say that we'll ignore the differences each year and stick to our rules, wouldn't that be a good thing? I'm only a miserly juku teacher so can't do a thing about the system but it seems I care about ti more than others so it gets pretty frustrating.
As for my student, she was second place in her first year (Tsuru contest), second place in the 1st round of the prefecture contest (minami Tsuru) and second place in the second round last year. So she's a good student. She's puts in a lot of work. Always memorizes the whole thing without a big problem. Looks at every single word to make sure she's saying it right. Doesn't mean she puts in perfect speech but she's good. For her third place is OK but she definitely believes she could/should have got better.
If a student is trying the contest for the first time and doesn't know what to expect then to memorize the speech is a really good achievement but this student was better than that. If that makes me sound self-righteous or anything, sorry.   :oops:
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Offline Croninokehige

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2013, 02:24:41 PM »
I get what you're saying, but how exactly do you propose quantifying and standardizing something so incredibly subjective as reciting a speech? If you take out the easy "points-off" moments for the judges, like forgotten lines, mispronounced words, stilted cadence, or whatever, it becomes much more difficult to call one speech better than another. but it becomes obnoxiously difficult when you're asked to assign point values to every one of those categories. Especially with the earliest ones. How do you decide whether a girl did a 7 or an 8 on pronunciation without anything else to compare to? What about if one student comes along and "wrecks the curve" so to speak? It's incredibly subjective to begin with, and then on top of that, my opinion of good cadence or intonation could be different from yours. What if I think a student does well by slowing down a speech and clearly enunciating, but you think he needs to speak more quickly? Our scores for him would end up being totally different. Same for a lot of the other subjective categories (everything besides memorization, eye contact and projection essentially). Et cetera, ad nauseam. Then throw a non-native English speaker into the mix who is trying to judge a language that he probably isn't all that comfortable with speaking either. It's just not a situation where you can demand the kind of specific detail and accountability that you're asking for. I'm sure that Kelly and the other judges did their best but at the end of the day, a lot of kids are going to go home disappointed.

I know you want the best for your students and it's a really good sign of how much you care about them that you're annoyed by how the contest played out. I've been there, and even more, I was there as a judge-- more than once I disagreed, pretty strongly, with how the others were scoring and we talked about it in the judges room. But ultimately, unless you have a concrete way in which you can standardize all recitation contests, your frustration won't do anything besides upset the people you complain to, since it feels like an attack on either their judgment or their students, yknow?

Offline Jotham

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Re: Speech Contest....again
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2013, 02:51:06 PM »
I'm sorry guys. It's really not meant to be aimed at the judges. It's more at the contest itself. Re-reading my comments I've come across way too strongly and I'm sorry. Just frustrated.. :oops:

With regards to the actual pronunciation of the speech, I agree that it's subjective. But I think the delivery side of things should be scored way lower. If the delivery was only worth 20 points, I think a lot of teachers wouldn't be teaching their students; "At this point put one finger in the air, and then at this point put your hand on your chin like you're the thinking-man".  Which brings me to; why do some teachers do this when it obviously robotic, confusing the students, and some judges get told that there are no points for gestures??

Anyway, sorry the the attack.
Wouldn't it be nice, to get on with my neighbours!