The main reason we went was to judge the English Speech Contest but we were also treated to a performance by the school orchestra, class choirs and student dance groups. I was extremely surprised by the skill level of the student’s English as well as their musical talent. The school is comprised of 3 grades and each grade choose about 6 of their best students to compete in the English Speech Contest. It fell on our shoulders to judge and choose one winner from each grade. As all of the students were quite good it was a very hard choice to make and we struggled over our decision. After we finally came to a decision we presented the winners with certificates, congratulating them in front of the students and parents. In America students don’t typically start learning a foreign language until high school so I was amazed that the students here are already speaking impressive English and taking part in English speech contests at such a young age.
The school orchestra played a number of difficult songs and I was shocked at how talented the group of junior high musicians are. Each class also has their own choir which performed 2 songs each accompanied by piano and conducted by members of their own class. As my junior high school in America had neither choirs nor an orchestra I was amazed at the skill and organization of the young Japanese students. It was a really fun day and a great experience for me to be able to watch and judge the student performances. I was very impressed by all of the performances and hope that I will be invited back for future events!