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Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students 2016

The ideal school, Japanese food and Japanese literature were some of the topics explored in the outstanding speeches given by the finalists of the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students 2016, which was held on 18th June at Conway Hall in London.

The 18 finalists, who had been selected from 147 applicants from 20 different schools across the UK, all demonstrated great creativity, thoughtfulness and incredible ability in Japanese in performing their speeches – not to mention extraordinary courage to present their ideas in a foreign language to an audience of over 100 people!

Between each of the three categories of speeches, the audience had the opportunity to watch a performance of a Japanese story featuring music and song by some very talented school students, and have a go at “radio taisō” exercises!

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, Shanara Atukorala of Greenford High School came first in the Key Stage 4 and 5 Post-GCSE for her review of the Japanese story “Ooi, Detekooi ,” winning the top prize of a trip to Japan courtesy of JOBA’s Japanese Speech Awards! In the pre-GCSE category, Taranpreet Kalra (also from Greenford High School) won first prize for her speech about racial discrimination, while Krishanth Dilrukshan came first in the Key Stage 3 category.

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
Shanara Atukorala (Greenford High School, Year 13) Speech title: “Ooi, Detekooi  Review”
2nd Prize:  Amy Watson (Wolfreton School and Sixth form College, Year 12) Speech title: “Literature and Women”
3rd Prize:  Alex Wang (Eton College, Year 12) Speech title:  “Nattō”

Cameron Thater (Aquinas College, Year 13)  Speech title:  “The Importance of Language”
Hei Tung Cheng   (Wolverhampton Girls' High School , Year 12) Speech title:  “Proverbs”
Joy Chu (Wycliffe College , Year 13) Speech title: “Hidden Secrets in Films”

Key Stage 4 and 5 Pre-GCSE Category
Taranpreet Kalra (Greenford High School, Year 11 )  Speech title:  “Is There Racial Discrimination?”
2nd Prize:  Joseph Wang (Eton College, Year 11) Speech title: “The Differences in Societies Between Japan and the West”
3rd Prize: Joseph Barber (Whitgift School, Year 10) Speech title: “Japanese Packed Lunch”

Tahsin Ali (Tile Hill Wood School, Year 10)  Speech title: “My Country and Religion”
Anastaseia Talalakina (St Helen’s School, Year 11)  Speech title: “My Exchange School”
Da-Young Kim (St Helen’s School,  Year 11) Speech title: “My Favourite Video Game”

Key Stage 3 Category (Speech theme: “My Ideal School”)
Krishanth Dilrukshan (Dartford Grammar School, Year 9)
2nd Prize: Alex Quinlan (Campion School, Year 9)
3rd Prize: Oliver Tolson Boxall (Aylesbury Grammar School, Year 8)

Maryam Jaama (Greenford High School , Year 9)
Theo Hall (Hockerill Anglo-European College, Year 9)  
Olivia Boutell (Hockerill Anglo-European College, Year 8)

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.

More photos from the contest can be viewed on our Facebook page here.

You can download the event programme with details of all the speeches and judges below.

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