Winners of 20th ESU English-speaking competition announced
The winners of the 20th English-Speaking Union (ESU) Korea Public Speaking Competition were announced March 30 after a selection process which lasted four months.
The contest, normally held twice a year by the Korea JoongAng Daily in a large auditorium, was moved entirely online this year in order to prevent any possible transmission of the virus.
Contestants gave their presentations over Zoom, with only the panel of judges physically attending together in a conference room at the JoongAng Ilbo’s headquarters in Sangam-dong, western Seoul.
A total of 123 finalists were narrowed down from some 1,000 who signed up for the 20th ESU competition, sponsored this year by HSBC Korea. There were four different categories based on the students’ age: Lower-level elementary from grades one to three, upper-level elementary from grades four to six, middle school and high school. Thirty to 32 finalists were chosen in each group.
The finalists called in via Zoom over two days, March 20 and March 27, on staggered schedules in groups of 10, with three groups per age category. Each finalist was allotted four to five minutes to deliver their speeches, after which they were asked questions and evaluated by a panel.
The competition was broadcast live on YouTube, with only finalists and judges allowed into the Zoom meeting. Prizewinners’ speeches are due to be posted to YouTube.
The highest Grand Prize in each category went to Choi Rin from Asia Pacific International School, Park Hyeon-seo from Daechi Middle School, Lee Seung-hun from Yongsan International School of Seoul and Jeon Ye-rin from Goyang Hwajung Elementary School.
The runner-up Gold Prize in each category was awarded to Jang Jae-young from Pusan Foreign Language High School, Cho Yoon-seo from Singapore American School, Jung Ha-um from Seoul International Christian Academy and Hong Ju-a from Suzhoi Singapore International School.
The Silver Prize winners were Choi Seo-yeon from Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Emily Son from Juniper Christian School, Oh Ha-rin from DongKwang Elementary School and Lim Seo-jin from Seoul Mogun Elementary School.
The Bronze Prize went to Grace Eu-ri Kim from Yongsan International School of Seoul, Heo Ji-yu from Gumi Middle School, Lee Soo-ha from Daegu Gyeongdong Elementary School and Sung Da-yun from Naejeong Elementary School.
Winners of the Excellence Prize were Kim Ye-jin, who is homeschooled, Park Bo-bin from Hodan Nalayeh Secondary School, Kang Seo-yeon from Cheongshim International Academy, Sylvia Sang-ha Park from Seoul Foreign School, Emily Ga-oun Kim from Korea International School, Kim Tae-hee from Korea International School, Park Sa-rang from Ain Elementary School, Kwon Na-yoon from Dasol Elementary School, Eun Ji-min from Taegang Sahmyook Elementary School, Kim Ju-ha from Simseok Elementary School, Lee Na-yoon from Yongsan International School of Seoul and Kang Arieun from Halla Elementary School.
The Creative Prizes in each category were awarded to Hwang Seong-eun from Changwon Girls High School, Lee Jeong-min from Chungshin Girls High School, Kim Ye-eun, who is homeschooled, Choi Eugene from JaYang Middle School, Grace Ha-yoon Kim from Seoul Youngdo Elementary School, Kim Yu-eun from Halla Elementary School, Lee Min-kyung from Bansong Elementary School and Choi Song-ha from Seoul Wolchon Elementary School.
BY MICHAEL LEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]