The final of the “Hot Words English Storytelling Contest” took place on Dec. 16 at Tainan Cultural and Creative Park. This event was specially organized by the Tainan City Government to encourage students to download and make good use of “Hot Words,” a free English learning resource exclusive to Tainan City residents. The first prize in the contest was vouchers worth a total of NT$10,000. Accomplished English speakers from all over the city put their storytelling skills to the test, creatively telling stories in English through words and gestures. Li-Ming High School student Huang Yi-zhen won the junior high school category, while National Tainan Girls’ Senior High School student Li Meng-zhen emerged triumphant in the senior high school category.
Tainan City Government’s Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL) said the objectives of the event were to encourage students to creatively use English words to write their own unique stories, as well as to speak English aloud and apply their creativity to achieve the best learning results. The OEASOL offered great prizes to the winners to attract the participation of junior high and senior high school students. First-place winners received vouchers worth NT$10,000.
Tainan Cultural and Creative Park, the organizer, explained that the contest was divided into two phases. For the preliminary contest, participating students had to submit self-written English stories that were about five minutes long. The stories had to include at least 30 “Hot Words App” words, and their content had to be completely original. For the final, participants were required to read their original English stories out loud.
A Zhongxiao Junior High School eighth grader surnamed Su said he only had a few days to prepare from the time he heard about the contest to the registration and story submission deadlines. He had a limited amount of time to search for words and write a story, and also had to intensify the practice of his storytelling skills. He added this was a great opportunity to develop his English speaking, writing, and expression skills. Su’s mother accompanied him during the entire process. She said this contest allowed her child to show off the results of his everyday studies, and she also noticed that his English proficiency had gotten better, which was very significant.
The OEASOL said English words are “useful” only if people “know how to use them.” It hoped this contest was able to encourage students to practice the creative use of the words they learned and strengthen their English proficiency.