Consulate-General of Japan in Houston



March 5, 2011

22nd Annual Texas State Japanese Language Speech Contest Final Results


Speech Contest

On Saturday, March 5th 2011, contestants from across Texas gathered at Rice University’s Herring Hall for the 22nd Annual Texas State-wide Japanese Language Speech Competition finals. 37 participants competed in five divisions ranging from beginner poetry recitation to advanced adult and college level free speech.

First place winner Sin-Yeong Kim and second place winner Nick Zagone  of the High School Division Free Speech (Division 4) won eligibility to participate in the Aurora Foundation’s National Japanese Language High School Speech Contest in Los Angeles, California this May. Their flights will be paid for as part of their prizes.

Special prizes were also awarded to the winners of the free speech levels. Daniel Hwang of Division 3 received a Japanese-English Dictionary and a Japan Tour book from Acting Consul-General Takahiko Watabe from the Consulate-General of Japan to help him along his path towards Japanese fluency. For Division 4, Sin-Yeong Kim won a $1000 scholarship from the Japanese Association of Greater Houston presented by Association President Shinji Takeshi. And lastly, Namsu Kim of Division 5 won a round-trip flight to Japan from the Japan-America Society of Houston. Society President Greg Crowe noted that the prize existed so that Mr. Kim could use his language ability and further explore Japan.

After the contest’s conclusion, participants, judges, friends, and family were invited to a reception at the official residence of the Consul-General of Japan at Houston to honor the participants. At the reception, Acting Consul-General Watabe thanked the organizations that help to make the speech contest happen every year: the Japan-America Society of Houston, the Japanese Association of Houston, the Japanese Teachers Association of Texas, and the Consulate-General of Japan at Houston. Mr. Watabe concluded his remarks by applauding the students’ hard work and language ability.

Next, Speech Contest Chairperson, Dr. Toshimatsu Matsumoto gave remarks focusing on the high-level of the participants and evoked the first year of the Japanese-language speech contest some twenty-two years earlier, noting how the contest has grown since its humble beginnings.
To close the ceremony, Mr. Cesar Carrillo, Secondary Manager of Languages other than English with the Houston Independent School District, gave brief remarks about the competition. He noted that, while Japanese was not his specialty, he was impressed with the skill and passion that the students exhibited.

The Consulate-General of Japan at Houston is pleased to announce the top placements in each of the five divisions:

Division I – Middle & High School Poetry Recitation (Beginner)
First Place: Hayley Nelson – Claudia T. Johnson HS (San Antonio)
Second Place: Lisa Trieu – Richardson HS (Dallas)
Third Place: De’Ja Wilson – Roosevelt HS (San Antonio)

Division II – Middle & High School Poetry Recitation (Intermediate)
First Place: Andrew Kim – Seven Lakes HS (Houston)
Second Place: Tristan Arizara – Creekview HS (Dallas)
Third Place: Ji-Woon Park – Liberal Arts & Science Academy (Austin)

Division III – Middle & High School Free Speech (Beginner)
First Place: Daniel Hwang – Creekview HS (Dallas)
Second Place: Hanbi Liu – Bellaire HS (Houston)
Third Place: Clifford Williams – Newman Smith HS (Dallas)

Division IV – High School Level Free Speech (Intermediate)
First Place: Sin-Yeong Kim – Newman Smith HS (Dallas)
Second Place: Nick Zagone – The Woodlands HS (Houston)
Third Place: Marisa Oxley – Creekview HS (Dallas)

Division V – College and Adult Level Free Speech (Advanced)
First Place: Namsu Kim – University of Texas, Austin (Austin)
Second Place: Dee Guo – Baylor University (Dallas)
Third Place: Min-Ji Oh – Texas A&M University (Houston)


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