Three York University students took home prizes at the 31st National Japanese Speech Contest, which was held online for the first time in its history on March 29. The students, each of whom won top prizes in the Ontario Japanese Speech Contest in February, participated in the beginners, intermediate and open categories, comprising three of Ontario’s four representatives in the competition.
Lily Feng placed first in the beginners category, while Anson Wong earned the top prize in the intermediate category. Michael Tracey won second prize in the open category. A total of 26 students from across Canada participated in the contest.
“The York students were outstanding and distinguished themselves among the contestants in the content and performance of their speeches,” said Norio Ota, associate professor in York University’s Japanese Studies program. Ota noted that York has become the leading winner among Canadian Universities in the field of Japanese language education.
“I would also like to congratulate Professors Kumiko Inutsuka and Akiko Mitsui,” Ota continued, “who diligently coached these students until the last moment in the final online rehearsal, for their excellent advising and coaching.” Professor Inutsuka as well as Professor Noriko Yabuki-Soh, also served on the contest’s organizing committee.
The York students were pleased with the benefits they gained from participating in the contest. “My experience was enlightening and fulfilling,” said Wong. “The competitions gave me the opportunity to practice my Japanese language skills, as well as to build confidence and new connections with talented people.”
“This memory will always be with me,” exclaimed Feng. “I truly encourage students to join in on this amazing experience.”
This year’s contest can be viewed on YouTube.
More information about Japanese Studies at York University can be found on the program’s website. Additional details about the competition can be found on the National Japanese Speech Contest website.