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  4. Ms. Hitomi Hoshino selected as top five finalist of the All Japan Student English Presentation Contest//全国学生英語プレゼンテーションコンテストで個人の部トップ5名に入選(法学部1年星野 瞳さん)

Ms. Hitomi Hoshino selected as top five finalist of the All Japan Student English Presentation Contest//全国学生英語プレゼンテーションコンテストで個人の部トップ5名に入選(法学部1年星野 瞳さん)

  • English
  • 日本語

星野瞳さんThe All Japan Student English Presentation Contest is a student contest hosted by the Kanda Gaigo Group and the Yomiuri Shimbun. Students compete by giving presentations in English. The purpose of the contest is to foster students’ ability to find employment by improving their self-expression, logical thinking, and presentation skills, and to promote friendship and interaction among students. The contest is divided into two categories: individuals and groups. In 2017, 641 students from 127 schools in 35 prefectures entered the contest.

Ten contestants, consisting of five individuals and five groups that won the first and second preliminary rounds in the individual and group categories, competed in the final round at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Three students from our university, Mr. Shigemasa Mitoma (senior at the Faculty of Law), Ms. Hitomi Hoshino (freshman at the Faculty of Law), and Ms. Namie Yazaki (freshman at the Faculty of Global and Regional Studies), moved on to the second round of the individual category, and Ms. Hoshino was selected as one of the top five finalists. This is a remarkable accomplishment as she is the first student from our university to move into the final round.

This year’s subject matter was “Think from a global point of view.” Each contestant picked one of the four themes and gave a presentation on it.

Theme 1: Rugby World Cup 2019TM to be held in Japan—Bringing training camps into our city!
Theme 2: Market English translation of Japanese literature!
Theme 3: Protect the earth!—Presenting new technology for environmental protection
Theme 4: Propose new ways to use the Internet!—Shared use of resources

Ms. Hoshino, who is an enthusiastic fan of author Keigo Higashino, selected Theme 2 and proposed translation of The Miracles of the Namiya General Store. She gave an effective visual presentation by incorporating scenes from the movie into her presentation slides, as she believed that “regardless of where people are from, they should be able to sympathize with the sincere heart-to-heart connection and feelings nurtured through the exchange of letters that transcends the concept of past and present.”

Judges evaluate each presentation using a 100-point scale based on five criteria: content, organization, delivery, persuasiveness, and questions and answers. Two of the judges and two people from the audience ask questions in English after each presentation. The contestants are required to demonstrate extensive knowledge about the subject and provide clear-cut answers. In the final round, the answers to the questions account for 20% of the score. This is because while contestants could achieve the highest level of perfection for their presentation by practicing in advance, having to field the unexpected questions that sometimes arise during the Q&A session means that, in addition to their advance preparation, the contestants’ ability to explain and answer in a calm and logical manner is also tested. Ms. Hoshino received questions about sales strategy and so on, and was able to handle them with her strong English skills.

Judges for the final round

Chief Judge, Mr. Sadaaki Numata (Chairman of English-Speaking Union of Japan, Former Japanese ambassador to Canada and Pakistan)

Mr. Yasuyuki Sugiura (Managing Director of Toyo Bunko Foundation, Member of International Advisory Committee for Harvard University Asia Center)

Ms. Michelle Segal (Vice Consul of U.S. Embassy in Japan)

Mr. Takeo Suzuki (Chief Executive Director of Asia-Euro Language Research Institute, Lecturer at Waseda University [Faculty of Law] and Atomi University [Faculty of Letters])

Mr. William Sposato (Commentator/writer specializing in Japanese economy)

Mr. Koji Tokumasu (President of Asia Rugby, Special Advisor to CEO of Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee)

Mr. Kazuhiko Takemoto (Director of UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability)

Mr. Tom Baker (Journalist at Japan News)

Comments from Ms. Hitomi Hoshino:

Note: Ms. Hoshino also won second prize in the English Speech Contest held at Toyo University on Saturday, November 4.

I am not good at speaking in front of people and my number one goal for my four years of college life is to overcome this problem. If I am going to achieve this, I very much want to do it in English, which I love, so right after I started university in April, I found out about this competition and decided to enter. After I passed the first preliminary round in early November, Associate Professor Steven Green and Associate Professor James Short helped me tremendously with proofreading and intonation. It was two weeks before the second preliminary round when I seriously started memorizing the script. During the week before the round, I practiced with Associate Professor Green almost every day.

In the second preliminary round, I didn’t think I was going to be selected because a lot of the contestants gave great presentations, so when they called my name at the end, I was so happy I almost cried. When I spoke at a speech contest held at our university, my mind went blank and I didn’t remember anything I said, so I thought I would be very nervous again this time, but to my surprise, I was able to stay calm and give my presentation. I was a little nervous during the second preliminary round, but in the final round I was calm on stage and was able to fully express what I wanted to say. This came as something of a surprise to me. At the same time, I realized that there is still room for improvement in my Q&A skills, so I hope to advance my English speaking skills by going to ECZ more often.

Whenever I watch TED(*), I always think how great it must be to give a presentation in front of a large audience, and I never imagined I could do it myself. I gained confidence through this experience. I would like to give it another try if I have a chance!
* A conference organized by an American non-profit organization at which speakers in various fields give presentations.

Comments from Ms. Hoshino’s instructor, Associate Professor Steven Green:

It was an honor to teach Ms. Hoshino. Her English proficiency is already at a high level, but she always keeps challenging herself and that impresses me. The script of her speech was sophisticated to start with, but we were able to reinforce the persuasiveness by making some improvements to the speech script. Ms. Hoshino always kept trying to improve her style of speaking, body language, and tone of voice so she could give a more natural and smooth presentation. I was surprised to see her make remarkable improvements every time she practiced. Finishing in the top five is undoubtedly a great achievement, but she seems to be enjoying the challenge to advance further. I think that is very important. After listening to her speech, I am now interested in reading The Miracles of the Namiya General Store. I’m sure the author, Mr. Keigo Higashino, will be thankful for her speech as well.

Toyo University provides a variety of educational support for students learning English. We will continue to put our efforts into improving the English presentation skills of our students to develop their communication skills, so they can convey their opinions in a logical way in our global society.

Hands-on English Presentation Course Open for registration




Theme 1: ラグビーワールドカップ2019TM日本開催 キャンプ地をわが町に!
Theme 2: 日本の本の英語版翻訳を売り込め!
Theme 3: 地球を守れ! 環境保全の新技術を発表
Theme 4: 新たなネット活用法を提案! 資源の共同利用

作家・東野圭吾氏の熱心なファンという星野さんは、Theme 2を選び、「ナミヤ雑貨店の奇蹟」の翻訳化を提案しました。「過去と現在を超えた手紙交換を通じて生まれる人と人との温かな心のつながりや感動は、国を超えて共感できるはずだ」と映画のシーンをスライドに混ぜながら視覚的かつ効果的に訴えました。



審査委員長 沼田貞昭氏(日本英語交流連盟会長、元駐カナダ、パキスタン大使)

杉浦康之氏(公益財団法人東洋文庫 専務理事 ハーバード大学アジアセンター国際諮問委員)










“私は人の前で話をするのがとても苦手で、それを克服することが大学4年間での第一目標です。どうせなら大好きな英語で実現したい、という気持ちが強く、大学入学直後の4月にこの大会を知り参加しようと決意しました。11月上旬に一次予選を通過し、その後は法学部スティーブン グリーン准教授とジェイムズ ショート准教授に文章の校正や声の抑揚などいろいろと助けていただきました。本気で原稿を暗唱し始めたのは二次予選の二週間前でした。最後の一週間はほぼ毎日グリーン准教授と一緒に練習しました。




指導教員スティーブン グリーン准教授からのコメント:

“星野さんを指導できて嬉しかったです。星野さんの英語力は既に高いですが、常に自分自身にチャレンジしている姿に感心しています。スピーチの内容は洗練されていましたが、更に良い内容となるようスピーチ原稿を改善したことで説得力が増しました。星野さんはスピーチのスタイルやボーディランゲージ、トーンがより自然でスムーズになるよう常に努力していました。練習をする度に目覚ましい改善がなされ驚きました。 ベスト5に入賞したことは十分に素晴らしいことだと思いますが、星野さんはより上を目指しチャレンジしていくことを楽しんでいるようで、これはとても重要なことだと思います。星野さんのスピーチを聞いたら「ナミヤ雑貨店の奇蹟」を読みたくなりました。作家の東野圭吾氏も、きっと星野さんのスピーチに感謝することでしょう。”



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