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Top>Education>English Speech Contest for Four Affiliate Schools - Education in English and International Understanding at Chuo University's Affiliated Schools


Hideo Nakazawa

Hideo Nakazawa [Profile]

English Speech Contest for Four Affiliate Schools
- Education in English and International Understanding at Chuo University's Affiliated Schools

Yukio Saigusa, Et al.
Professor of 16th & 17th Century British Literature, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
Principal of Chuo University Junior and Senior High School at Koganei

English Speech Contest (Yukio Saigusa)

The 5th English Speech Contest for four Chuo University affiliate schools was held at Chuo University Suginami High School on January 14th. English speeches on a variety of issues were given by students selected from four affiliate high schools and two affiliate junior high schools. The contest began in the 2007 academic year in order to deepen interaction between three affiliate high schools which had no prior contact with each other. Schools take turns hosting the event. Chuo University Yokohama Yamate Junior and Senior High School joined the contest beginning in 2009, and representatives from each high school compete to win the Chuo University Chancellor's Prize by using English skills learned during daily study. Additionally, a junior high school division was established as an exhibition beginning in the 2010 academic year. A recitation is performed by students from Chuo University Junior High School at Koganei as well as Yokohama Yamate Junior High School.

Throughout their long history, the four Chuo University affiliate schools have shared the goal of cultivating core students at Chuo University. At the same time, they have established their own unique school atmosphere and have conducted individualistic education. The English Speech Contest is a valuable opportunity for mutual stimulus and improvement at these four schools. Chuo University seeks to cultivate students who take an international perspective while considering a variety of issues and who are highly motivated to convey their own opinions in English. In order to achieve this goal, it is vital to request understanding and cooperation from the university, and to further improve the meaning of events like the speech contest.

In the following four sections of this article, Yoshio Ikeno, Vice-Principal of Chuo University High School at Koganei, and Kentaro Yajima, Vice-principal of Chuo University Junior High School at Koganei, will introduce coverage from each school regarding English education, education to cultivate international understanding, and the English Speech Contest at the four affiliate schools.

Activities at the four affiliate schools (Yoshio Ikeno & Kentaro Yajima)

Yoshio Ikeno

Kentaro Yajima

Chuo University High School at Bunkyo

At Chuo University High School at Bunkyo all students are enrolled in an English course which has the goal of helping students pass level two of the EIKEN English language proficiency test. Currently, more than 90% of students achieve this goal by the time they graduate. The school also conducts a compulsory class entitled English Oral Communication. This class seeks to improve speaking and listening skills through small classes of about a dozen students who are taught by a native speaker. Japanese instructors teach classes which use a variety of methods to develop reading and writing skills. Utilizing previously acquired fundamental English skills, students are expected to understand high-level English texts and develop the ability to write logically in English.

Furthermore, beginning from their second year, students can choose elective courses in either Elementary Chinese or Elementary French as their second foreign language. In their third year, they can choose intermediate level classes of either language. This system is linked with foreign language education at university.

In terms of education to cultivate understanding towards foreign cultures, a short-term foreign study program in Australia is available for students who wish to study abroad during summer vacation. This program has created great results, with many participating students developing an even stronger interest in English and foreign culture.

The English Speech Contest deals with everything from familiar themes to social problems. High school students use English to express their daily feelings, thoughts and impressions which they wish to convey to others. The speech contest is a meaningful event which provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their own opinions, as well as to increase their ability to think logically and express themselves. Students participating in preliminary contests in each school work hard to refine the drafts of their speech. Teachers assist students in identifying incorrect expressions, weak reasoning and contradictions in the drafts. This process is extremely beneficial to students' study of English. In the future, we hope that more students will apply for this contest in order to improve both their English ability and their presentation skills.

Chuo University Suginami High School

Suginami High School focuses on multi-language education and education for cultivating international understanding. In addition to English, it is possible to study Chinese, German, French and Korean at the school. There is also an abundance of overseas exchange in order to give students a worldly view. A mutual visit with Chunsan High School in Korea is held every year. Mutual visits are also held with Unity College in Australia every other year. Additionally, in February after 3rd-year students have finalized their university plans, a comprehensive program prior to entering university is held at Oxford University. During this program, some students study specialized courses in English and exchange opinions with students enrolled in Oxford University. In all of these exchange programs, students participate in local classes. Students in the classes communicate using a mixture of Japanese, Korean and English. The programs are an opportunity for students to discover the appeal of intercultural communication and to recognize the role of English as a universal language.

In summary, the school uses a process in which students first recognize the significance of studying English and then develop the ability to study other subjects in English. This process is reflected in the results of the English Speech Contest. When selecting a theme for their speech, many students at our school choose environmental issues, discrimination, international cooperation and other social/global issues. At the school, the speech contest is an opportunity to use English to present knowledge which has been acquired through a process of English study. The school has won the Chancellor's Prize three times in the speech contest, an achievement which reflects the important role fulfilled by activities that cultivate international understanding.

Chuo University Junior and Senior High School at Koganei

In response to globalization, the Chuo University Junior and Senior High School at Koganei emphasizes English education and education to cultivate international understanding. The school has implemented programs such as a 3-week language training and home-stay program in Bournemouth, England, as well as a mutual exchange program held every other year with Scotch College in Adelaide, Australia. Furthermore, we are planning to conduct exchanges with junior high schools and high schools in China beginning in the next academic year. Moreover, since the 2011 academic year, we have employed foreign teachers who fulfill an important role in expression-based English education at the junior high school level.

[Junior High School] In addition to instruction such as reading English textbooks out loud, recitation from memory and making a speech in English, the school is experimenting with independent study methods such as having students read a variety of English books and listen to the NHK program Kiso Eigo (Fundamental English) every day at their homes. Also, the program Project in English was started at the same time that the junior high school was founded. In this program, classes are held in which students receive instruction from native speakers in order to complete individual and group projects. The project themes are Getting to Know Chuo University Junior High School for 1st-year students and Getting to Know Local Society for 2nd-year students. This project is continued for five years until the 2nd-year of high school and seeks to instill students with the ability to give English presentations regarding material which they have personally investigated. These kinds of daily activities form the basis for participation in recitations during the English Speech Contest, which is the perfect opportunity for students to give an actual presentation in English.

[High School] Comprehensive English Class tends to focus mainly on reading comprehension and grammar. Because of this, the school also conducts classes which focus on sound, form and meaning. For example, students take tests in reading out loud and are required to give oral translations of basic sample sentences. Furthermore, speeches, skit writing, discussions, debates and other types of practical instruction are provided during the three years of high school. This is one pillar that supports education seeking to develop English expressive ability through writing. In the Essay Writing course, students select socially conscious and debatable themes such as environmental issues, politics and culture. Ultimately, students produce persuasive essays. In order to develop this ability, the school provides methodical instruction in English writing during the 1st and 2nd years. This instruction focuses on writing units ranging from sentences to paragraphs.

At this year's English Speech Contest, a 1st-year student from the school was awarded the Judges Special Prize in the Content/Structure Division. We believe that this achievement was the result of practical instruction which seeks to develop comprehensive content and structure in addition to expression.

Chuo University Yokohama Yamate Junior and Senior High School

Yokohama Yamate has just begun its journey as an affiliate school of Chuo University. Currently, this school is working to revise its curriculum in a variety of areas including English education. The school participated in the exhibition division of the English Speech Contest beginning in 2009 and as an official participant beginning in the 2011 academic year.

[Junior High School] Reading out loud is positioned as an important part of normal classes. While keeping grammatical explanations to the absolute minimum, teachers ensure that students understand the meaning of English. Reading out loud is then performed repeatedly to create a natural familiarity with English. Such instruction represents the practical application of the Reading Out Loud Method that is recommended by Mr. Masao Kunihiro, a pioneer in simultaneous interpretation. Additionally, tasks and activities for all four areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing are incorporated into every class through a flow of input→intake→output.

Class presentations, school-wide presentations and the English Speech Contest provide an opportunity to verify abilities acquired by students through such programs.

[High School] The school focuses on instruction in reading out loud in classes. Since English study tends to become more input oriented in higher grades, this approach is taken to ensure a more output-oriented methodology. Based on an understanding of sample English texts, students practice shadowing and repeating. As texts become longer, it is difficult to allocate sufficient time for such activities. Even so, by focusing on such methods during classes, students are instilled with study habits which encourage conscious reading out loud even while studying at home. The success of instruction in reading out loud can be steadily observed in class presentations which take forms such as role playing, recitation and speeches.

This type of instructional flow is also used to prepare students for participation in the English Speech Contest. Students are required to write a speech draft during summer vacation. Speeches are given during autumn classes and a class representative is selected. Afterwards, a school-wide contest is held to select final representatives, with winning students participating in the English Speech Contest. A student representing our school won the Chancellor's Prize at this year's contest. We will use this honor as motivation for improving the English ability of all students at our school in the future.

Towards "Beyond All Chuo" (Yukio Saigusa)

The four affiliate schools seek to instill students with the fundamental abilities required to perform in a global society. The schools also hope that students will improve their skills at university and become professionals who are capable of contributing to society. In order to achieve these goals, each school has implemented unique activities and policies in English (foreign language) education and education for cultivating international understanding. Furthermore, by organically linking activities with similar activities at the university level, it is clear that students experience increased motivation and improved results. Therefore, it is imperative that Chuo University and the four affiliate schools make an even greater effort for increased sharing of information and new forms of cooperation. Every year after the conclusion of the English Speech Contest, I participate in a party that is attended by full-time foreign Chuo University instructors (four were present last year), students who participated in the speech contest, and faculty from the junior high schools and high schools. At that time, as a faculty member who is also associated with the university, I strongly feel the need to review the types of incentives provided to junior high schools and high schools from Chuo University.

The English Speech Contest among the four affiliate schools is a means for realizing the motto "Beyond All Chuo" that was raised by the Chancellor of Chuo University. However, in order for affiliate schools to fulfill such a role, it is essential to construct an even more substantial cooperative relationship with the university. It is my ardent hope that such a relationship will be realized in the near future.

Yukio Saigusa
Professor of 16th & 17th Century British Literature, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
Principal of Chuo University Junior and Senior High School at Koganei
Born in Chiba Prefecture. In 1978, completed the Doctoral Program in humanities at the University of Tokyo Graduate School. Before assuming his current position in 2008, was appointed as Full-Time Instructor at Nagaoka University of Technology in 1978, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Chuo University in 1983, and Professor at the Faculty of Law, Chuo University in 1990. His research themes include the theatre and related social conditions in the Elizabethan era and the Jacobean era. Major written works include Aspects of the British Renaissance-The Growth of Theatre, Culture and Thought (co-written; Chuo University Publishing).
Yoshio Ikeno
Vice-Principal of Chuo University High School at Koganei
Born in Tokyo Prefecture. In 1998, completed the Doctoral Program in English Education at the Graduate School of Education, Tokyo Gakugei University. Assumed his current position in 2008 after being appointed as Instructor at the Chuo University High School at Koganei in 1970. Teaches courses in English.
Kentaro Yajima
Vice-Principal of Chuo University Junior High School at Koganei
Born in Tokyo Prefecture. In 1980, completed the Master's Program in English Literature at the Graduate School of Literature, Doshisha University. Assumed his current position in 2010 after being appointed as Instructor at the Chuo University High School at Koganei in 1979. Teaches courses in English.