Winners awarded in 9th English-Speaking Union Korea contest

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Winners awarded in 9th English-Speaking Union Korea contest

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Winners of the ninth English-Speaking Union (ESU) Korea Public Speaking Competition gather on Saturday at the Incheon Global Campus in Songdo, Incheon. Ryu Kwon-ha, right, the executive editor of the Korea JoongAng Daily; Anthony Spaeth, second from right, chief editor of the Korea JoongAng Daily; Nicholas Duvivier, third from right, a public relations officer for the British Embassy in Korea; Brian G. Ford, forth from right, head of global payments and cash management at HSBC Korea; and Nam Shunwoo, left, CEO of the Incheon Global Campus Foundation. By Park Sang-moon

The final round of the ninth English-Speaking Union (ESU) Korea Public Speaking Competition was held Saturday at the Incheon Global Campus in Songdo, Incheon, with nearly 350 people in attendance.

Jointly hosted by the Korea JoongAng Daily and the British Embassy in Seoul, the competition is a renowned English-speaking contest sponsored by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

Other sponsors include Incheon Global Campus (IGC) and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). ESU Korea and Edubase are in charge of management.

Three contestants - one each from the elementary, middle and high school divisions - were bestowed the highest honor, the grand prize: Yim Nam-gyu from Goyang Foreign Language High School; Choi Ga-lim from Pungsan Middle School; and Hong Seok-joon from Incheon Haesong Elementary School.

There were 120 contestants in total - 30 high school students, 30 middle school students and 60 elementary students. Gold, silver and bronze prizes were awarded to one person in the high school group, one in middle school and two from elementary schools. Twelve contenders received participation prizes, while nine took home a prize commending them for their creativity.

The contestants, narrowed down from nearly 800 applicants nationwide, gave five-minute speeches prepared in English and answered questions from a panel of judges.

The distinguished guests who presented the awards were Ryu Kwon-ha, executive editor of the Korea JoongAng Daily; Nicholas Duvivier, the head of media and public affairs at the British Embassy; Nam Shunwoo, CEO of Incheon Global Campus Foundation; and Brian G. Ford, the head of global payments and cash management at HSBC Korea.

“This is my second time trying out for this contest. The first time, I didn’t make it to the finals at all,” said Yim, the grand prize winter, who advised future prospective applicants to “come up with a special topic - not something that everyone else talks about.”

The winners of the Gold Prize were Lee Da-youn (Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies), Joung Min-Seung (Daejeon Deokmyeong Middle School), Kim Na-wi (Dangchon Elementary School) and Lee Chae-eun (Elementary School attached to Seoul National University of Education).

The Silver Prize went to Choi Won-tae (Joong Ang High School), Han Soo-yeon (Seoul Foreign School), Kim Jin-young (Seoul International School) and Chang Yoon-suh (Gyeseong Elementary School).

The Bronze Prize was awarded to Ha Myung-hoon (Seoul Global High School), Yun Ha-bin (Namsuwon Middle School), Moon Seon-young (NeungWon Elementary School) and Lee Chae-min (Kyung Bok Elementary School).

Contenders who received the Participation Prize were Bae Soo-hyouk (Hana Academy Seoul), Lee In-yong (Hanyoung Foreign Language High School), Kim Youn-jung (Sookmyung Girls’ High School), Lee Nam-young (Baekma Middle School), Yoo Sun-woo (Kyeongin Middle School), Bae Jung-hun (Handong International School), Kim Min-seo (Hansan Elementary School), Kim Youn-jae (Wonmyong Elementary School), Kim Yoon-ji (Seoul Cheong-dam Elementary School), Lee Hyun (Yeomni Elementary School), Jeon Ju-won (Seoul Bangil Elementary School) and Cho Chae-eun (Oesam Elementary School).

Students awarded the Creativity Prize were Kim Jae-hee (Kyunggi Girls’ High School), Kim Hyun-sung (Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies), Jee Hyun-seo (Yangil Middle School), Lee So-eun (Bundang Middle School), Koo Hyun-mo (Chorim Elementary School), Kweon Ye-jun (Nangmin Elementary School), Park Jun-su (Munhwa Elementary School), Lee Ji-hyun (Dasom Elementary School) and Annie Jin (Minbaeg Middle School).

Whoever wins the high school division in the next ESU Korea Public Speaking Competition late this year will face off with Yim Nam-gyu, who won the same category last week. The victor will be Korea’s contender for the international rounds held in London next year.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]

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