13th September 2016

It’s All Japanese for Emily

Nagle College Year 12 student, Emily Buurman, took part in the Japanese Language Speech Contest Victoria and has come home with a second placing. This national language contest is conducted through the Japan Foundation Sydney in order to promote the teaching and learning of the Japanese language. Emily entered in the High School Senior Division, which is open to students in Year 11 and 12 who are learning Japanese as a second language.

Now in its 47th year, this prestigious contest was conducted at the Yasuko Hiraoka Hall, Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne on Sunday 11 September. Contestants were asked to deliver a speech, entirely in Japanese, on their chosen topic for a minimum duration of two and half minutes. Whilst notes were admissible, points were deducted for using these. Emily delivered her three minute memorized speech on the ‘disadvantages of living in a rural area’. The panel of judges was comprised of Professors of Languages from Melbourne University and RMIT, and a Japanese businesswoman. Judges were looking for presentation, coherence of content, originality, fluency, pronunciation, grammatical complexity and accuracy.

Emily competed against student from various high schools in Victoria. The contestants were not allowed to identify their current school and were not to wear their school uniform, ensuring an even playing field for the contestants. Emily was surprised and delighted to be announced as the second place getter, receiving a certificate and $200. “I hadn’t realized the first contestants were in a different category, the University Division, and I was really nervous because they were all so good,” said Emily. “It is very exciting to have gained a place in this contest. I now have a chance of representing Victoria in Sydney next month, which would be amazing.” The winner of each division of each state/territory contest will be invited to take part in the National Final to be held in Sydney on 8 October. Emily now has a nervous wait to see if she will be invited. The winner of the National Contest receives an all-expenses paid trip to Japan.

Emily, who has studied Japanese throughout her secondary schooling at Nagle College, was looking for career options post university when she came across the Japanese Language Speech Contest online.  Emily remarked, “I want to work in Japan teaching English, so when I saw this contest and realized I met the criteria, I saw that it a great opportunity for me to test my skills. And now that I’ve placed second in the state, maybe it will open other doors to me as a result.”

Nagle College congratulates Emily and wishes her well for her future studies.