School of Languages and Cultures JapaneseCollege of Liberal Arts
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 offers students an opportunity to challenge themselves, collaborate with their peers, and show the community their passion for the Japanese language.

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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: Available in three levels. (tentative upon number of applicants)
  • 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 – JPNS 300 and above (Intermediate Low and above); generally achieved by completing 5 semesters or more of the language.
Skit Division: Available in two levels.
  • Level 1 – One year university curriculum completed level (Novice Mid) JPNS 100
  • Level 2 – Two years university curriculum completed level (Novice High) JPNS 200

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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.
  • A group should consist of 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.
  • The script must be original.
  • No visual aids (e.g., PPT slides, movies, pictures) nor presentational aids (e.g., audio files, goods and items for the prop, theatrical costumes) can be used in speech.
  • No English translations of the speech script is required. 
  • [Level 3 only] At the end of the speech, contestants will be asked some questions in Japanese by the judges regarding the content of their speech. These questions are not considered as bonus point; correctly answered questions will add to the overall score of a contestant, while incorrectly answered questions will be deducted.
  • There is no time limit for answering the judges’ questions.
  • Attire: Business casual (smart, presentable, and in a good taste).
  • Speeches cannot involve audience member participation.


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A panel of judges will assess each speech or skit in three categories: Language Use, Content and Delivery. For the contestants, 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.
3. Delivery: Pronunciation, clarity, organization, flow, memorization, poise, enthusiasm.
4. Q&A (Only for Speech): Understanding of question, fluency, improvisation and elaboration in answer.

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other RULES:
  • All decisions by the judges are final.
  • Points will be deducted for speech contestants relying on their script.
  • Speeches and skits must be original. No plagiarism is tolerated.
  • Instructors are only allowed to help students refine their speeches or skits.
  • 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 as long as it is appropriate, sensitive and in good taste.

Example Skit Topics: Therapy Drama, Yamaguchi Sensei's Class, Traveling, Clothing Store.

Example Speech Topics: My Hometown, Reason to Study Japanese, Me and Working Out, New Life Style, Love, My Best Friend, Japanese Traditional Style Music, Japanese Language, My Biggest Fear.


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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. Microphone will be provided for the speech contestants.
  • Ask your instructor 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.
  • 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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Refer to How To Apply page.

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