As Christmas was getting closer, a “Recitation Contest” was held at the University Concert Hall. All the students from the 10th and 11th graders participated.
A “recitation” is “to memorize a passage in English them in public”. This was taken on by 10th and 11th grade English classes for the purpose of improving English ability and training for presentations.
The competition was in its third year. The representatives of each grade made presentations, and the best students were selected and awarded prizes.
Students gathered in the auditorium and waited for the start of the contest. When the emcees appeared wearing Christmas costumes, the audience began to show their excitement.
The first half of the contest was the recitation by the 10th graders. Twelve students presented passages of famous stories that everyone knows, such as “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Harry Potter” and “A Christmas Carol”.
The students had practiced a lot for this day, and they acted out their stories to amuse the audience. While the judges, who are English teachers, were watching, the students delivered their recitations calmly and clearly despite being nervous..
The 11th graders took the stage in the second half of the event. They divided the story of the movie “A Miracle at 34th Street” into eleven parts. They presented their recitations one by one.
The students told the story with confidence and in well practiced English.
When one of the students drew a blank on his script he overcame his nerves and was able to calm down and he finished his speech. After this there was a big cheer from the audience to show its support.
The story became more and more clear as each student spoke and it concluded with the 11th speaker.
After the presentations, students watched the actual movie they spoke about learned the whole story. The students enjoyed the movie while making connections between what was on the screen and what they had just heard. When the screening was over, the audience applauded and a feeling of Christmas cheer spread over the crowd.
Finally, the English teachers who supported the students’ while they practiced their recitations made a judgment and announced the best speakers. The students who received awards on the stage were met with applause and smiled while the prizes were handed out.
“They prepared and practiced for the contest after school, at lunch time, and even at home. We want to give full marks to everyone for that wonderful effort. The fact that everyone made such an effort is more important than anything. Do not forget your passion and energy in the future.“ The teachers who made the judgment praised the students for their effort and dedication.
After the contest, the students who were awarded received certificates and shook hands with the teachers and chatted happily.
“My teacher helped me everyday, so my skills got better. I was very nervous at the beginning, but I slowly gaineded confidence in my own words as I talked, and I was able to talk well and enjoy the contest.”
“It was great opportunity to study pronunciation. I talked with the native teachers, listened to Western music, and read the script over and over again.”
“I learned many things from the foreign teachers, such as how to express myself, maintain eye contact, building my own confidence, etc. I do not usually think much about those types of things.”
The students were fulfilled by the fact that they got help but also accomplished a lot on their own.
The students gained “confidence” communicating in English at this recitation contest. In addition to not only improving their English ability, they realized how nice it felt to get recognition from their friends, to make an effort and to learn what they are capable of.
With the motivation in speaking English and the self-confidence they gained, they will continue to make forward steps to living a ‘global life’.