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英語スピーチコンテストを終えて 2016

相変わらず聞く者を惹き付けてやまないMr. Burgessの軽妙な司会進行のもと、今年度もKIHSスピーチコンテストが行われました。

審査員の多くが外国人教員

本校の英語スピーチコンテストは、外国人教員も多数指導に加わるインターナショナルスクールならではのコンテストで、今年度は8名の外国人教員が審査員を務めました。日本人英語科教員も審査員を務め、会場にはアットフォームな雰囲気の中にも本選独特の緊張感が漂っていました。

例年より早い実施日

今年度のコンテスト開催日は、例年よりもやや早まって1月29日となりました。
そのため、出場した14名の参加者はレベル代表選出から本選まであまり日がなく、限られた準備期間の中、最大限の努力を以てコンテストに臨みました。

コンテスト当日までの準備

1~3年生までの全校生徒が、後期中間試験終了後、12月初旬から当日に至るまで冬休み期間も含めて、このコンテストに向けて準備を進めていきました。
各レベルの担当教員による指導の下、何度も原稿を推敲し、授業内で発表しあうという経験は、代表に選ばれなかった生徒にとっても間違いなく貴重な学習となっています。
出場者数に限りがあり、残念ながら選出は出来なかったものの、全校生徒の前で披露して欲しいと思われたスピーチも1つや2つではありません。
そのような中から選ばれた代表者の発表は、いずれも素晴らしいものでした。

コンテスト本番では

コンテンツはもちろんのこと、アイコンタクトやジェスチャーなど、聴衆にいかに訴えかけるかを工夫して、例年以上に質の高い発表が行われました。
中には緊張でこわばる発表者もありましたが、友人を応援するオーディエンスの視線は暖かく、KIHSならではのホーミーな空気を、教員として大変嬉しく感じました。
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最終的に、生徒の投票得点とネイティブ教員、日本人教員計12名の審査員による投票得点を基に協議を重ね、1~3位のスピーチを選びましたが、案の定、絞りきることが難しく、急遽3位入賞者を2名に増やすこととなりました。
それでもなお、他にも賞を与えたいスピーチがあり、コンテストが回を重ねる毎に、私たち審査員の悩みは深まるばかりです…
英語科主任 興野 美穂

優勝した榎本安純のスピーチ

以下は今回優勝した2年生榎本安純のスピーチ原稿です。

スピーチのタイトル: Customary differences

Customary differences
How many times do you say, “I’m sorry” in a day? In Japan, we use this word very often, when we make a little mistake, even when we are not to blame, and also we use it when thanking someone, too. However, when we Japanese are seen in point of view of foreigners, this habit seems to be very weird. Foreign people often think it strange that Japanese use the word all the time, because they don’t use it so often.
In this way, your habit or custom in this country may seem strange and thoughtless in the world. Since you are studying English in this school, you had better know the differences between our “customs” to make it easier to understand each other.
First, let’s talk about body language. For example, you often make a peace sign reversely and take pictures. This pose is popular in Japan because if you put it around your chin, your face looks smaller. But in foreign countries such as England or Australia, this pose has very insulting meaning. If you do this in front of people in these countries, they would be surprised or shocked. Another example is this. You put your open palm beside your face
as a meaning of “stop!” But in Greece, this means, “you are stupid.”
Are you surprised? Body language can help communicating, but also disturb it.
These cultural differences are shown not only in body languages but also in food manners. Slurping noodles is only accepted in Japan, and many other countries think it vulgar. English people especially hate it. When you eat noodles with foreign people, you’d better eat silently. There are more examples. When you eat hot soup, you often blow on the soup and make it cooler and easier to eat. But this blowing is bad behavior. Foreign people usually wait for a few minutes or use the back of their spoon and cool it.
Furthermore, in China or Korea, you should not eat all of your meal. When you eat it all, this means, “It’s not enough for me. I want to eat more. Your service is not good.” So you should leave some food to show the meal you had was great and thank the restaurant for its hospitality.
I have explained some examples of taboos in other countries. You may have thought them strange or couldn’t understand why they are bad. But our country, Japan, also has behaviors that seem to be bad but other countries think them natural. For example, you should be quiet in public places such as on the train or the bus and you shouldn’t eat or drink in such places. Of course you know it is bad manners, but it is natural in foreign countries. Speaking about public places, it’s better for you to give your seats to the elderly, the pregnant, or someone who looks sick. This custom is very different from other countries’, and acclaimed by those countries. Also, Japanese people don’t like getting so emotional. So, many people in Japan don’t shout or use offensive language in a loud voice. In Japan, people think they should not stand out. This rule connects to the Japanese silence in public places, too. For foreign people, Japanese habits are strange and novel, but they think them magnificent habits. One American person who knew the Japanese taboos said, “These Japanese habits show how Japanese people are vigilant for their surroundings and other people.” And another American person said, “The more I know about Japan, the more I love the small country. These habits are all reasonable. ”
From these things, Japanese habits seem strange to people in other countries, and we have the same feeling toward foreign customs, too. But our customs are one of the most important things that we have to save. Our differences of habits are made by differences of cultures. You should treasure your culture, and your habits as well. Every country in the world has its own culture and own rules and people follow them unknowingly. This is the reason why when you see someone with bad behavior, you feel disgusted.
In this school, you study English and how to communicate with each other in foreign countries in foreign languages. You may be studying English because you want to work abroad or live in other countries someday.
However, language is not the only way to communicate with people abroad.
Your behavior may be more important rather than languages in term of communicating because it’s easier to judge people’s characters by checking how they behave than how they speak. So, if you want to go to other countries, the first thing you have to do is to know about the countries’ culture, and habits. And the next thing you have to do is to try to follow them when you are in these countries. If you want to get along with someone abroad, your manner plays a very important role.
As the proverb says, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
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