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24th Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest

Students Obtain Seven Prizes in this year's Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest

By Anna Tran and Zoe Ascoli

The 24th annual Provincial Japanese Speech Contest was held on March 15th, 2015 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Of the 35 contestants, 14 represented the University of Calgary’s Japanese program (Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures), alongside their instructors X.Jie Yang, Akiko Sharp, Yoko Kodama and Hinako Ishikawa. The other four participating universities included the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, the University of Regina, and the University of Saskatchewan.

Every contestant spoke eloquently, and we are proud to announce that seven of our students from JPNS 207, 303 and 333 placed within the top three of their respective categories. In the beginner category, Asia Vibert took home the first place with her speech “Would you like to write a story?” with Jiafan Rao following in second place with her speech “Letter to Myself in 10 Years.”

In the intermediate category, we were lucky enough to win all three spots.

With her speech “The One Who Decides”, Anna Tran took first place. Hazel Ocenar came in second with her speech “Lost Adult”, and Asyraaf Muhamad won third place with his speech “Mother and Dream.”

Hyechan Lee placed third in the advanced category with his speech “Name Change.”

In the open category, Zoe Ascoli and her speech “The Japan of My Memories”, will also be advancing into the National Japanese Speech Contest, alongside the other first place winners.

We would once again like to congratulate all the participants for their outstanding efforts and thank the four instructors for their invaluable coaching and input. We wish the winners luck in the National Competition, which will be held on March 28, 2015  in the Gallery Hall (TFDL) of the University of Calgary.

For more information on the Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest, please see the University of Alberta Website:

The 24th Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest

Prize Winners List

Click on speech titles to access video of the speech.

Beginner's Category, First Prize
Asia Vibert (UofC)
Would you like to write a story?

Beginner's Category, Second Prize
Jiafan Rao (UofC)
Letter to Myself in 10 Years

Beginner's Category, Third Prize
Annie Chen
The Importance of Family

Intermediate Category, First Prize
Anna Tran (UofC)
The One Who Decides

Intermediate Category, Second Prize
Hazel Ocenar (UofC)
Lost Adult

Intermediate Category, Third Prize
Asyraaf Muhamad (UofC)
Mother and Dream

Advanced Category, First Prize
Jeffrey Shalagan
The Key to Learning English

Advanced Category, Second Prize
Christian Laubman
If Winter Comes, Spring cannot be Far Behind

Advanced Category, Third Prize
Hyechan Lee (UofC)
Name Change

Open Category, First Prize
Zoe Ascoli (UofC)
The Japan of My Memories