I've spent the last two days being one of the judges at the "Seventh International Spoken English TV Final Contest" at a local University. I managed to rustle up three other foreign judges for the organisers, to add to another three they had from elsewhere. There were over 300 students in the competition and the foreigners were split into 8 rooms to judge kids of different ages alongside two Chinese judges each. I was assigned to the eldest competitors - Senior School and University students.
Over the 2 days of competition I watched 50+ students do speeches, sing songs, take part in debates, attempt role plays, invent stories from four random words and demonstrate non-English-related talents such as dancing, violins, guitars, flutes, tea ceremonies, paper-cutting, Powerpoint presentations, shadow puppet show, short plays and songs aplenty. Most of the songs on offer to sing were from musicals, cartoons or Take That/Boyzone, but the most popular was called "Shine your way" (from a film called "the Croods"??). And yet not one of the students managed to sing it to the end without forgetting the words at some stage. I've never actually heard the original, but if the students' cover versions were anything to go by, I'll avoid it!
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