Taku Sato from Japan, a student at Langports College, was one of two winners at the 2012 Gold Coast English Championship (GCEC) on Saturday 29 September. Sixteen international students studying English at eight different colleges on the Gold Coast took part in the public speaking competition in the Southport Community Center.
The GCEC was created in 2012 to encourage international students to come together and showcase their English skills. In its first year, close to 300 students attended, having come to the Gold Coast with the same aim: to study English while living the Australian lifestyle. Australian Education & Visa Centre (AEV Centre) organized the event, which promotes the Gold Coast an English learning hub as well as a popular travel destination.
The eight participating English language colleges held internal competitions in the months leading up to the GCEC and entered a student into the competition under two categories: B1 and B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a global scale used to determine English Proficiency. The competitors came from Brazil, Colombia, China, Japan, Italy, Korea, East Timor, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Taiwan. The competition was split into two rounds. Each student prepared an individual speech on their own story about choosing to study on the Gold Coast, then performed as part of their school team on a topic of their choice.
Winners of each category were awarded a $1000 scholarship, a certificate and the English Championship Cup.
Langports entered two competitors: Taku Sato from Japan in the B1 category and Angela Hsu from Taiwan in B2. Both speakers performed exceptionally well on the day - a huge achievement as they were speaking in front of an audience in their second language.
Langports Gold Coast Director of Studies Jo Hewson-Williams said: “We were really pleased that they performed so confidently and naturally. We were especially delighted when the judges announced ‘and the winner of B1 is Taku Sato’ WAAAHOOOOO! Taku was completely shocked, but the crowd wasn’t; he was a stand out competitor on the day.”
The judges’ comments were that he was a natural public speaker, great fluency and very effective pauses.