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Teaching => Teaching => Junior High School => Topic started by: Jotham on October 03, 2013, 01:46:01 PM

Title: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 03, 2013, 01:46:01 PM
I can't find my copy of the sugihara story. Can someone upload a copy please.
In fact if someone has all the copies then to upload them somewhere would be great.

Thanks
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 07, 2013, 04:24:22 PM
Where's the love people!!?
 I really need a copy of sugihara story.  :cry:
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Mister.J on October 07, 2013, 05:28:10 PM
When I was a child, my family lived in a small country in Europe.  My father worked for the Japanese government.  We had a happy life.  Then, suddenly one morning in July 1940, everything changed.  I saw hundreds of people around our house.  ''Please help us!'' they cried.

They were Jews from Poland.  They were running away from the Nazis.  The Nazis were catching and killing a great number of Jews.  They wanted to get away to a safe place through Japan.  So they needed Japanese visas.  My father said to himself ''If the Nazis learn that I'm helping Jews, our familly will not be safe.  But If I don't、they will all die.''

The next day , my father sent a telegram to the Japanese government and asked, ''Can I give them visas?'' But the answer was ''no''.  More and more people were coming.  He sent a second telegram and then a third.  Each time the answer was ''no''.  He said, ''I don't want to go against my government, but who else can save them?  I am their only hope!''

At last, my father made up his mind.  He went outside and said ''I will give visas to all of you!'' At first the people were silent.  Then, everyone shouted with joy, ''Hooray! We are saved!''  From that day, he wrote visas every day for about a month.  He worked day and night.  He didn't even stop to eat.  When he handed over a visa, he looked into their eyes and said, ''Good Luck''

Finally the Nazis came.  Our family had to leave the country.  My father continued to write even at the train station.  When the train started to move, he said ''I'm sorry.  I can't write anymore''  People ran after us and shouted, ''Thank You Mr. Sugihara.  We will never forget you''

More than 6,000 lives were saved by his visas.  At the time, I didn't understand what my family was doing, or why it was important.  But I do now.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Mister.J on October 07, 2013, 05:46:18 PM
A comedy translation.

FAIR WARNING:  TEXT INCLUDES RUDE OBSCENE AND OFFENSIVE COMEDIC LANGUAGE.

Please dont take this seriously.  Its just a joke people. 








Yo when I was a young'n me and my peoples lived in a small country in Europe.  My pop worked for sum government job or sumthin.  Yo life was good son!

Yo then suddenly one morning I woke up  in july 1940 YO!! everythang CHYANGED.  Yo The Beatles Came!!

Them dudes came!  They were running away from fans.   The fans were scratching and clawing a great number of the beatles crew yo!  Them beatles dude wanted to get away through a safe place through our house!  My moms was like YO I GOT A KNIFE BITCH AND I AINT afraid to use it!

The next day my pops sent a text to the record label and asked. Yo can these dudes write a song about my daughter Jude please?  But the answer was ''no''  more and more fans were coming.  he sent a second text and then a third.  But by then ATT sent a text saying we went over our limit.  Thats when my sister Jude was like I TOLD YOU WE SHOULD HAVE GONE WITH T-MObile's unlimited plan.   She called his boyfriend who works with T-Mobile and was like HELP ME Obe One  You are my only hope!!

At last my father made up his mind.  He went outside and said.  YO I HEARD JUSTIN BIEBER is around the corner!!   At first the people were silent.  Then, everyone went BONKERS YO!  Them chickenheads be like AHHH OHH MY GOD! I GOT BIEBER FEVER!!   Them bitches ran like a motha! LET ME TELL YOuuuuU!

From that day on my family listened to that song Hey Jude by the beatles EVERYDAY like thing was on repeat.  We listened to that thing DAY AND NIGHT!   It was even playing when we were eating!  When I tried to go over and change the song, my father looked into my eyes and said ''GOOD LUCK KEEPING THAT HAND IF YOU CHANGE THAT SONG.''

Finally, after I changed my underwear...........our family eventually changed the song.   My father was surprised when he heard the song at the train station.   When the train started to move, he said I'm sorry you crapped your pants when I threatened you''  People heard me when I shouted ''I DID NOT CRAP IN MY PANTS DAD GAWD!!!!''

The song played atleast over 6,000 times.  At the time, I didn't really think the Beatles were a big deal.  But I do now.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 07, 2013, 10:33:05 PM
Firstly, thanks for the speech!

Secondly, hilarious! Did you write it?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Mister.J on October 08, 2013, 09:16:46 AM
I had to type it.  I cant upload files from the cloud server AKA THE BOE FOLDERS lol.

And the comedy one was just me being super bored while the kids practice their speech here in the english room.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 09, 2013, 02:03:50 PM
He said, ''I don't want to go against my government, but who else can save them?  I am their only hope!''


Has this part changed since last year?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Croninokehige on October 09, 2013, 02:19:53 PM
Nah that shit is seared into my brain. That part was definitely in it last year.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: WadeB on October 09, 2013, 02:39:39 PM
Watch students' confusion when you ask how well Japan regarded him after WW2  :-o
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Professor Bonerpants on October 11, 2013, 09:44:39 AM
We all know that the recitation contest is rife with grammatical errors.  They have changed a few things over the years (like the spelling of Paul Rush), but it still has a long way to go.
Unfortunately, nobody really cares that much.

Anyhow, here's a version I made trying to bring attention to this, as well as fix a few historical inaccuracies  (obviously use the sanctioned shitty version though):

The First American Football in Japan
the Paul Rusch story

Do you know Paul Rusch?  We know he is the "Father of Kiyosato," but he is also the "Father of American football" in Japan.

Paul Rusch first came to Japan after the Great Kanto Earthquake.  He worked at a hospital helping injured people.  He wanted to help Japanese people more and have stronger friendships with them, so he started teaching in Kiyosato.  He always said to his students, "Do your best and it must be first class."

One day, he thought, "I want to introduce American football to Japan.  Young people will learn a lot about my culture."  No Japanese people had any football equipment, so he asked Americans to send some from the U.S.  Finally, they had the first football game in 1934.  He was very happy.

But in the late 1930's, Japan was at war.  Paul wanted the war to stop, so on December 7th, 1941, he spoke to some American people through the radio.  "The friendship between our countries is growing," he said.  “Let's stop the war!" 

But it was no use.  On the very next day, Japan went to war with the U.S.  Many of his students had to go to war and now Paul had to leave Japan too.  He was very sad.

The war ended in 1945.  Soon Paul came back to Japan and started to teach American football again.  It became more and more popular.

Now, every year, on January 3rd, there is a big football game in Tokyo.  The MVP of the game wins a trophy called the "Paul Rusch Cup."
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: LozZz on October 22, 2013, 05:03:08 PM
The script shits me to tears, but you know what it's like. They won't change it anytime soon (probably because that would admit to mistakes in the current one.)



I was just correcting some of my JHS 3rd grader's worksheets about their impressions of the Sugihara story.

"Mr. Sugihara was very cool. I think he had a very hard life...."

Really? After reading the story their main impression was HE had a tough life?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 23, 2013, 12:24:27 AM
Well....his hand must have hurt bad after writing all them visas. And he got chased out his home country the country he was staying in!
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 23, 2013, 12:27:16 AM
Also, I know it means shit but for the student do care a bit too much about it (or at least mine do). Can I ask whether students get judged on American or British pronunciation? Natural or correct? I.e battle or baddle?? Going to or gonna??
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Coleman on October 23, 2013, 12:55:01 AM
For the most part, judges are looking for American English.  This is what is used on the listening section of the college entrance exams, so this is what they usually lean towards.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Croninokehige on October 23, 2013, 04:02:01 AM
For the most part, judges are looking for American English.  This is what is used on the listening section of the college entrance exams, so this is what they usually lean towards.

That said, it depends on the judges. I was judge of the Tsuru competition the last 3 years and we had one or two girls in that time wh spoke with British accents due to living overseas or having parents who had lived there or something. Both scored very highly-- I certainly didn't take points off for British pronunciation as opposed to American, and I don't believe the other judges did...
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: B-roni on October 23, 2013, 11:28:56 AM
At the most recent speech contest(although not recitation) the judges mentioned they chose the winners based on how natural the speech sounded. They wanted to hear a story rather than a memorized essay. Although everyone's saying the same essay here I'm sure that little bit of info wouldn't hurt! btw anyone going to the contest??? I think I have to be there  :cry:
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Mister.J on October 23, 2013, 12:09:26 PM
I went last year and along with some other ALTs were surprised at one of the winners. 

The boy who won last year for 2nd years had a so so accent but good presentation.   Then the girls who had exceptional accents had mediocre presentations.  Some of us were baffled.  I know I made it clear I was surprised the boy won.

I dont know if I HAVE to go this year.  Honestly, Id rather not.  My kids have super high hopes of winning ANY prize and when I keep insisting that the competition is hard.  He kind of just shrugs it off. 
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Croninokehige on October 23, 2013, 02:50:04 PM
Dukie, speaking of speech contests are you doing Greenbank again this year? The same girl I had in the contest last year is trying it again this year and I'm hoping she crushes it, she's been working her ass off. Do you know when it is?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 23, 2013, 02:54:40 PM
They've said this year (but i also thought they said it last year??) that the presentation side of things should mean shit. No hand waving, grabbing their shirts to show their fake emotions, or any gestures of any kind.
How do we know who the judges are? Being in Eikaiwa I'm not in the loop.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Professor Bonerpants on October 23, 2013, 03:34:49 PM
I went last year and along with some other ALTs were surprised at one of the winners. 

The boy who won last year for 2nd years had a so so accent but good presentation.   Then the girls who had exceptional accents had mediocre presentations.  Some of us were baffled.  I know I made it clear I was surprised the boy won.
They always say that gestures are not gonna help, but when it comes down to it, they do.
Also, no matter how awesome your kid is, you have to remember that some of the judges are Japanese and see things very differently when it comes to scoring...

And as for kids feeling over confident before they get there, it's easy to understand why ---for them, just memorizing the script is quite a feat, but they don't realize that it is the lowest level that everyone there should be at.  The best thing you can do is show them a video of some good speeches from last year to give them better perspective and strike fear into their hearts (a bit)...
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: aMandarinAlmond on October 23, 2013, 04:32:59 PM
They've said this year (but i also thought they said it last year??) that the presentation side of things should mean shit. No hand waving, grabbing their shirts to show their fake emotions, or any gestures of any kind.
How do we know who the judges are? Being in Eikaiwa I'm not in the loop.

Perhaps so, but with the "speeches" written more like oral stories (especially with Sugihara written in first-person), it seems like it would be weird for the students to recite it like a robot. That's a flaw in the speeches, but the students can't help that. Just help them make sure the "presentations" fit the content.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: B-roni on October 23, 2013, 04:44:12 PM
Dukie, speaking of speech contests are you doing Greenbank again this year? The same girl I had in the contest last year is trying it again this year and I'm hoping she crushes it, she's been working her ass off. Do you know when it is?

Yes I'll be hosting/mc again this year, it'll be on 11/20.

Everybody,  If any of your students are thinking about it please do it. This contest rocks and is a really good challenge for the students! ^-^
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Coleman on October 24, 2013, 12:18:37 AM
I went last year and along with some other ALTs were surprised at one of the winners. 

The boy who won last year for 2nd years had a so so accent but good presentation.   Then the girls who had exceptional accents had mediocre presentations.  Some of us were baffled.  I know I made it clear I was surprised the boy won.
They always say that gestures are not gonna help, but when it comes down to it, they do.
Also, no matter how awesome your kid is, you have to remember that some of the judges are Japanese and see things very differently when it comes to scoring...

And as for kids feeling over confident before they get there, it's easy to understand why ---for them, just memorizing the script is quite a feat, but they don't realize that it is the lowest level that everyone there should be at.  The best thing you can do is show them a video of some good speeches from last year to give them better perspective and strike fear into their hearts (a bit)...

I judged more than a few of these damn things, and I never agreed with the winners.  Usually, the best English gets 3rd or 4th and the kids that squeal and grimace and jump around get 1st and 2nd.  No way around this as there is 2-3 J judges, depending on the contest, and usually only one native speaker.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Gman776 on October 24, 2013, 09:45:23 AM
Anybody else judging the middle school speech contest in fuefukushi on Tuesday.  I'll be there judging, and I think Jody is supposed to be there.  I need to get a ride to somewhere near a station :/
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: LozZz on October 24, 2013, 09:57:57 AM
My JHS 1st and 3rd grade kids took out the Kyonan area comp, so it looks like I'll be at the prefectural one. Who else is going?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: lilypad on October 24, 2013, 10:47:45 AM
Dukie, speaking of speech contests are you doing Greenbank again this year? The same girl I had in the contest last year is trying it again this year and I'm hoping she crushes it, she's been working her ass off. Do you know when it is?

Yes I'll be hosting/mc again this year, it'll be on 11/20.

Everybody,  If any of your students are thinking about it please do it. This contest rocks and is a really good challenge for the students! ^-^

I have a student who will compete!  Except I've only ever head about Greenbank for the first time this year and have no clue how to help her.  I know that she has to give a 1min speech about her hometown and then do an interview.   Any tips/hints for me so that I can help her out?  Is there a list of commonly used interview questions available?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: fred on October 24, 2013, 11:33:23 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Professor Bonerpants on October 24, 2013, 12:18:01 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...
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Gman776 on October 24, 2013, 01:50:54 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Pnut on October 24, 2013, 02:34:50 PM
My JTEs have been no-so-secretly (I hope) coaching the students without me.  I made some videos for the kids to practice with and keep offering to help, but I haven't been asked to do anything else.  Seriously guys, I know it's coming up next week...use me?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: B-roni 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Mister.J 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. 
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: lilypad 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!
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Croninokehige 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Professor Bonerpants 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...  ;)
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: LozZz on October 29, 2013, 10:25:07 AM
The JHS prefectural contest is on 11/19
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham on October 29, 2013, 02:22:17 PM
Is that for the second round or the first?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: kelloggs 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).
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham 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
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: LozZz 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)
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Gman776 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...
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: kelloggs 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.
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham 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:
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Croninokehige 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?
Title: Re: Speech Contest....again
Post by: Jotham 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.