For the last six weeks I have been working almost daily with a kid who had entered the city speech competition.
His speech was about “Thanksgiving Week”, a holiday he had invented in which people send cards of thanks and gratitude to people who have helped them or made a positive difference to their lives (yes, I’m quoting).
Anyway, being Japanese, “thanksgiving” was a hard word to say and, more often than not, it turned into “sanksgibbing”. I spent six weeks in a despair that I was never going to get this kid to say TH, V or ENTHUSIASTICALLY.
However, in the few days before the competition, he really seemed to make a massive effort and I hate to think how late he was staying up practicing.
Come competition day, he was super nervous (though I think my nerves might have matched his) but he got up there and did so well that we (I mean he) came in the top three!
He won’t be going on to the prefectural round, which my JTE was pretty disappointed with, but I was stoked with him for doing so well!
His family were really grateful to me and my JTE for working with him and they insisted on taking photos of me with him in front of the competition sign. Hilarious.