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 9月19日に開催された愛知県高等学校スピーチコンテスト西三河予選に、本校の代表2名が出場しました。審査員の先生方の目の前で2人とも堂々と立派にスピーチを披露しました。1つ目の” Education to play on a global stage”のスピーチは、今回の予選会で4位入賞し表彰されました。

Education to play on a global stage

 What do you think about Japanese education? Or, have you ever doubted how Japan educates children? Why am I asking? Because I want some part to be changed.
 I experienced American education when I was little. In America, I had a lot of opportunities to express my opinions in words and writing. For example, when I was in kindergarten, I made a presentation in front of the class about a Japanese toy. At that time, anime and toys made in Japan were very popular in America, so everyone listened to me closely and asked me a lot of questions. Before the presentation, I was so nervous because it was my first time to talk in front of the class. But it went well and I got confident in my ability to share my opinions with others. When I entered an elementary school, I found that there were more opportunities to share my opinions. We used to talk about our weekends, what we like to do, and so on. It was so exciting for me because I was beginning to like to speak about myself and other things in public.
 But when I came back to Japan, I was shocked because chances to think and express my opinions decreased. And I was surprised about two things.
 First, what I felt through taking a class in Japan was that we would be asking the answer and everybody thought about it together in class, but not opinions. If you said the wrong answer in class, the teacher would ask another person for the correct answer. Therefore people who said the wrong answer would feel they got denied and most of them would feel embarrassed. But in America, even if you said the wrong thing, the teacher would ask why you thought so and let you think in depth. So, American people feel free to say their opinions. Japan should allow students to express more opinions in class.
 Second, we usually do workbooks for homework in Japan. And they make us memorize many things. But this kind of style won’t let us think by ourselves or why it happens that way, and the ability to speak our own opinion in public won’t improve at all. Some of them even copy the answer to finish the homework! Unlike America, we barely have any homework to think and write about our opinions. What if Japan introduced homework that involved opinions? Even if we can’t speak our opinion in public, we would be able to think and express it.
 According to a survey, the Japanese education system hasn’t changed significantly for about 150 years. The distinctive feature of the education system in Japan is group education and the teacher does all of the talking, so most classes are not interactive. It’s one-way. Japan focuses on keeping pace with the other students, rather than improving the abilities of an individual. As a result, this kind of education style may be difficult to unleash a child’s potential. It is important that Japan keeps up with modern teaching method used in foreign countries such as America.
 The reason why I thought we should change the system of Japanese education is to accommodate for the world and make more people who can play on a global stage. But how should Japanese education change? It’s true that there is a movement to change the system in Japan. But most of the classes are still one-way, so there are less opportunities to express our opinions. I feel that there are many things that are yet to be improved. I think it’s important to accept the foreign education system, and change it into a Japanese style. Japanese education has merits. For example, Japanese education is based on memorization, and have to take a small test until we reach the passing score, so we can work hard until we reach the goal. We should leave the merit and change the other things. I wondered what I could do to change the education style, but it’s too big that I can’t handle it by myself. So I decided to make a speech to disseminate my opinion to many people. I wish many people would understand that Japanese education might be behind other countries from my speech. What do you think about Japanese education?

Foreign Language in this Society

 What if you can’t understand what other people are saying? You may be in trouble because you get a lot of information to your ears. When I was 14, I went to America. I lined up to buy some clothes. I couldn’t speak English at that time, so I was with my uncle. He can speak English. Then, I heard a lady saying “Excuse me.” behind me many times. But I didn’t know what she meant. She meant “Please clear the way.” I didn’t understand it until my uncle told me to do so. It was just I couldn’t understand their language, but I was really scared. This experience has motivated me to study English hard.
 Recently, a similar thing happened to me again. I went to the hall to attend a lecture by a film director. In fact, the director is deaf, so he speaks in sign language. Sign language is like a gesture, but we can’t understand without learning it. A lot of people came to see his lecture and movie. And some staff and audiences were deaf. So when I was in the hall, people around me spoke in sign language. All I could hear was the sound of moving hands. I couldn’t understand what they were speaking, so I felt as if I was in a foreign country. But when the staff checked my body temperature and I bought a pamphlet, they spoke to me using verbal language even though they were deaf. I couldn’t catch their words, but I was glad they were considerate. On the contrary, in everyday life, do we consider the deaf? I don’t think we often find a deaf person in daily life, but it is just we can’t notice them, because they have no difference in appearance. So we sometimes speak to them without noticing. And they are probably scared in this society. These deaf people and their feelings were reflected in this director’s movie. I watched his movie there and it was so moving. It was about a girl who is deaf. This movie taught me how difficult it was for deaf people to live in this society. I realized that most people think that communicating with the girl is too troublesome because they have to communicate in writing. So often she can’t join their conversations. And her grandmother, and many parents who can hear think that their deaf children should be growing up to be like the children who can hear by practicing to speak in verbal language, not sign language. Because their parents want them to live in this society. But deaf people can’t be like other people who can hear perfectly, so they often can’t communicate easily like the time I bought a pamphlet. In the movie, finally, people around her realized she was very bright and she tried to communicate with them quite often. So they started to communicate in writing or gestures. And she truly became a member of the community. I think this result was achieved both by her and people around her, not by either of them. The same thing is true in daily life. When deaf people try to talk, we have to listen to their words carefully. That leads to better communication.
 Through my experience in America, I realized that some people, not only deaf people, are afraid of communicating. I think communication connects people, so it is very important. Now, this Covid-19 pandemic robbed us of opportunities to talk with other people face-to-face and wearing a mask makes it difficult for them to read lips. So we have to value communication even more. Deaf people live together with us and they should feel comfortable in this society. That means sign language is very important. So I want to be able to say to these people “sign language is ok.” in sign language someday.
背景の黒板までを引いて写した発表者の写真です 発表者を斜め横から写した写真です