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Contest Outline:

The purpose of this contest is to maintain and improve the standards of Japanese language education at Purdue University. It is an event officially organized by the Japanese Department at the School of Languages and Cultures. It offers students an opportunity to challenge themselves, collaborate with their peers, and show the community their passion for the Japanese language.

Eligibility for Japanese Speech and Skit Contest:
To be eligible contestants must satisfy 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 a previous semester at Purdue University.
  3. Endorsed by an instructor, or self-nominated.


Students may only apply for ONE DIVISION and ONE LEVEL per contest.

Speech Division: Available in three levels. (CONTINGENT upon the number of applicants)
  • Level 1 – Enrolled in 1st-year Japanese (JPNS 101-102)
  • Level 2 – Enrolled in 2nd-year Japanese (JPNS 201-202)
  • Level 3 – Enrolled in or completed 3rd or 4th-year Japanese (JPNS 301 or above)
Skit Division: Available in ONE level.
  • Level 1 – Enrolled in 1st-year Japanese (JPNS 101-102)


  • Skits may take up to 8 minutes including set-up/ removal of props. There will be a visual warning at 7:00, and an alarm will sound at 7:30. The skit is expected to be about 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 the Japanese language. Groups that use too much time on actions (dancing, physical comedy, etc.) will be deducted points.
  • Any costume is considered acceptable for skits as long as it remains in 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.


  • There is a time limit for each level, as shown below:
    • Level 1: 3 minutes
    • Level 2: 5 minutes
    • Level 3: 7 minutes
  • Speakers will receive a visual warning one minute before the time limit, and will be stopped by an alarm if they are 30 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 a speech.
  • No English translations of the speech script are 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. Responses to these questions are graded and added to the overall rating.
  • There is no time limit for answering the judges’ questions.
  • Attire: Business casual (smart, presentable, and in good taste).
  • Speeches cannot involve audience member participation.



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 Level 3 Speech): Understanding of questions, fluency, improvisation, and elaboration in responses.


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 another 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.)



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.


  • The stage and venue of the contest are large, so practice projecting your voice so that everyone can hear you! The same applies to recordings or music that you may plan on using. Microphones will be provided for the speech contestants.
  • Ask your instructor to help you refine your speech or skit, but make sure that it’s original work – plagiarism and coaching are 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 well! Look to see what phrases and conversations are frequently used by native speakers in TV shows, movies, music, or radio.
  • 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!



Refer to How To Apply page.