Contest Outline:

This contest is designed to promote and improve the already high standards of Japanese language education at Purdue University. This competition is one of the events officially organized by Japanese Cultural Event Organization (JCEO), with the extensive support of School of Languages and Cultures and College of Liberal Arts. The contest encourages students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in context.

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Eligibility for Japanese Speech and Skit contest:
An eligible cantestant satisfies all of the following conditions:
  1. Enrolled as a student (Undergraduate/Graduate) in the current semester at Purdue University.
  2. Enrolled in a Japanese course in the current or previous semester at Purdue University.
  3. Appointed by an instructor, or self-nominated.

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Students may only apply for ONE DIVISION and ONE LEVEL per contest.

Speech division have three levels of difficulty:

Level 1 – One year university curriculum completed level (Novice Mid) JPNS 100
Level 2 – Two years university curriculum completed level (Novice High) JPNS 200
Level 3 – Three and more years university curriculum completed level (Intermediate Low-Mid) JPNS 300 and above

Skit division have only one level of difficulty. JPNS 100

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  • Skits may take up to 10 minutes including set-up/ removal of props. There will be a notification at 9:00 by the sign, and skits will be stopped at 9:30 by the alarm. The minimum skit length is 5 minutes.
  • Groups should be 2-5 people.
  • Members are expected to participate equally in the skit, and at least 70% of the skit must be spent using Japanese language. Groups that use too much time in a skit for actions (dancing, physical comedy, etc.) will be deducted points.
  • Any costume is considered acceptable for skits as long as it remains within good taste.
  • Any number of props may be used in a skit; however, contestants are encouraged to keep in mind that space is limited.
  • Groups can receive no outside assistance in moving or placing props once their skit has begun. All props must be moved and placed by group members.
  • All necessary props must be brought by each skit group.
  • The script must be original.

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  • Speeches can be no more than 10 minutes long. Speakers will be notified once they have reached their time limit by the sign, and will be stopped by the bell if they are 15 seconds over the limit.
  • No visual aids (e.g., PPT slides, movies, pictures) or presentational aids (e.g., audio files, goods and items for the prop, theatrical costumes) can use in speech.
  • No English subtitle of speeches are required to use in speech. 
  • At the end of their speeches, contestants in Speech Level 3 will be asked questions in Japanese by the judges about the content of their speech. These questions are not considered bonus points; correctly answered questions will add to the overall score of a participant, while incorrectly answered questions will deduct.
  • There is no time limit for answering the judges’ questions.
  • Attire for speech contestants should be smart, presentable, and in good taste.
  • Speeches cannot involve audience member participation.

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A panel of 5 judges will assess each speech or skit in three categories: Language Use, Content and Delivery. For Speech Level 3 contestant, Q&A will be assessed after their speech. An example of what judges will be looking for:
1. Language Use: Correct usage of vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, context, honorifics, etc. Skit participants are evaluated on language skills, not acting ability.
2. Content: Originality, creativity, appropriateness, depth of subject understanding, etc.
3. Delivery: Pronunciation, clarity, organization, flow, memorization, poise, enthusiasm, etc.
4. Q&A (Only Level 3): Understanding of question, fluency, improvisation and elaboration in answer, etc.

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  • All decisions by the judges are final.
  • Points will be deducted for speech participants relying on their script.
  • Speeches and skits must be original material by students, without outside influence or plagiarism.
  • Teachers are only allowed to help students refine their speeches or skits.
  • Teachers can correct grammar mistakes, but not errors in word choice.
  • The primary editor/advisor to a contestant must be his or her instructor, not other resource person.
  • Unscreened, crass, or inappropriate use of violence, discrimination, or stereotypes in the content of a speech or skit will result in IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION.
  • Stereotypical or exaggerated behavior is discouraged. (overdone karate motions, etc.)

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Any topic is acceptable subject material as long as it is appropriate, sensitive and in good taste.

Example Skits: Japanese Fairy Tale, Animal Talk, Jeopardy! Japanese Style, Children’s Hour, The Bus Stop, The Great Adventure of Oda Nobunaga, A Play on Words, TV Game Show, Lost Foreigner, Sick Dog, Hiroki Ends Up Bullying, Guys Night Out in Tokyo, Japanese Office, Center Of The World, Valentine’s Day

Example Speeches: A Trip To My Sister’s House, My Family, Special Gift From My Parents, Hamburger And Cola, My Japanese Exchange Student, My Summer Vacation, Can Ninja Work In Modern Society?, Why Japan Is  Famous In The World?, Snow Days, A Changing In The World! The Zen In My Life, A Professor’s Smile

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  • The stage and venue at the contest are large, so practice projecting your voice so that everyone can hear you! The same applies for recordings or music that you may plan on using.
  • Get your teacher to help you refine your speech or skit, but make sure that it’s an original work – plagiarism and coaching is easily recognized.
  • When writing your script, try writing it in Japanese first rather than translating it from English. Some expressions and words simply don’t translate over well! Look to see what phrases and conversations are frequently used by native speakers in TV, movies, music or radio.
  • Your teacher can correct your grammar, but not your word choice.
  • See the “Grammar Guidelines” for more details about advanced grammar.
  • For both contest divisions, emphasis is placed on language that is natural and expressive –  think in Japanese!
  • There will be many students competing, so having a speech or skit that is original and interesting will help set you apart in the judges’ minds.
  • Practice your speech so you can memorize it, but take notes to jog your memory – this could save you on stage!

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Students looking to participate in the contest must complete an application and submit it to their Japanese instructor. Applications will be available from the event website. The completed applications will be checked to ensure fair competition.

STUDENTS: All applications must be approved by your Japanese instructor. Your Japanese instructor must currently be teaching at Purdue University. Applications without this confirmation will be dismissed. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. All applications must be full completed,and received before the deadline.

Draft Submission:

  • To help the judges prepare for the contest, students in Speech Level 3 are expected to submit a draft of their script in Japanese prior to the contest.
  • The deadline for draft is Friday April 14th. Please submit your final draft via the designated link.
  • Students do not have to adhere exactly to their manuscript at the contest; the manuscripts allow the judges to formulate questions for each student’s speech.
  • Students are allowed to change the language content of their speech, but changes to the title/ general theme of the speech after application and draft are submitted is strongly discouraged.

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By SLC Japanese department & Japanese Cultural Events Organization (JCEO)

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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