10th ESU speech contest awards champs

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10th ESU speech contest awards champs


Winners of the 10th English-Speaking Union Korea Public-Speaking Competition gather at Incheon National University in Incheon with Ryu Kwon-ha, second from left, the executive editor of the Korea JoongAng Daily; Anthony Spaeth, second from right, chief editor of the Korea JoongAng Daily; Peter Kim, far left, head of global markets at HSBC Korea; Choi Sung-eul, far right, the president of Incheon National University. By Park Sang-moon

The final round of the 10th English-Speaking Union (ESU) Korea Public-Speaking Competition was held Saturday at Incheon National University (INU) in Incheon, with nearly 400 people in attendance.

Four contestants - one each from the elementary lower-level, elementary higher-level, middle and high school divisions - were bestowed the highest honor, the grand prize: Park Seong-min from Anyang Foreign Language High School; Han Ye-do from Sanghyeon Middle School; Lee Jun-hee from Seokyong Elementary School; and Lee Hae-won from Seongsan Elementary School.

The lower-level elementary division was made up of students from first to third grades, while the elementary higher-level group was composed of fourth through sixth-graders.

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 key sponsors include the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and INU.

ESU Korea and Edubase are in charge of management.

The distinguished guests who presented the awards were Ryu Kwon-ha, the executive editor of the Korea JoongAng Daily; Peter Kim, the head of global markets at HSBC Korea; and Choi Sung-eul, the president of INU.

In a welcoming speech presented during the awards ceremony, Kim reflected on his own experience working at a British multinational banking and financial services company to explain why English is an important communication tool in the real world.

The Korean-American further advised students to set their priorities on family and friendship, two assets they are prone to “cherish for the rest of [their] lives.”

There were 120 contestants total, 30 in each division. Gold, silver and bronze prizes were awarded to one person in each group; a participation prize was given to three; and the creativity prize given to two.

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 Gold Prize went to Jung Hyun-seok from Whimoon High School; Jie Yeo-won from Cheongshim International Academy; Kim Yeon-su from Seoul Jamshin Elementary School; and Lee Dong-min from Tangjeong Mirae Elementary School.

The Silver Prize went to Jake Leem from Chadwick International; Lee Chae-rin from Yeongjong Middle School; Jung Seo-yun from Dongducheon Sincheon Elementary School; and Lee Hyo-bin from Hongcheon Elementary School.

The Bronze Prize was awarded to Kim Chan-hyo from Youngdong High School; Song Yu-jin from Gumi Middle School; Bae Si-hyeon from Seoul Mirae Elementary School; and Kwon Joo-eun from Seoul Banpo Elementary School.

The Participation Prize went to An Jeong-hyun from Myungduk Foreign Language High School; Shin Eugene from Asia Pacific International School; Kim Seung-joo from Eton College; Lee Eun-jeong from Korea International School; Kim Hae-ran from Daemyeong Middle School; Kim Ji-su from Daejeon Jeonmin Middle School; Cho Seong-hyeon from Yeocheon Elementary School; Chung Ji-wu from Seoul Yeouido Elementary School; Kang Byeong-wook from Sinyoung Elementary School; Choi Ho-jun from Seoul Doseong Elementary School; Choi Yu-ri from Dongsak Elementary School; and Lee Jung-min from Seoul Daegok Elementary School.

The Creative Prize went to Yu Ji-hoo from Hanyoung Foreign Language High School; Song Yeon-soo from Chungshin Girls' High School; Woo Jeong-min from Joongam Middle School; Park Jong-eun from Ewha Keumlan Middle School; Woo Si-jeong from Seoul Eungam Elementary School; Park Gyu-ri from Bullo Elementary School; Jung Hwan-hi from Jungang Elementary School; and Shin Kyung-won from Seoul Gaeil Elementary School.

Park Seong-min from Anyang Foreign Language High School, the grand prize winner, will face off with Yim Nam-gyu from Goyang Foreign Language High School, who won the same category in the last competition, to be Korea’s contender for the international round held in London next year.

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