Feedback from Matthew：
（One of the judges of 2014 Performance English）
While I was impressed with all of the student’s efforts, there were several things that I noticed during the speaking contest that detracted from their overall performance. As the students had memorized the whole passage they were presenting for the first part, their pronunciation was at times a little unnatural, and when they forgot what they wanted to say next, they paused to think what it was rather than improvise. I feel using cue cards may have helped them sound more natural. It is very important to speak fluently and naturally, and not to rush what you are saying because you are worried you will forget it. I also feel that some of the topics covered were not really in keeping with the theme of the night, it was an English competition and there is no need to be political or deride other people, cultures or countries at an event like this. At competitions it is more professional to speak about topics that are not controversial or taboo, but to keep things general.
The other main point is the lack of creativity on the photo competition. I noticed that many students simply described the pictures on the screen rather than really linking them together or exploring more creative ideas about them. This made this part of the speaking contest duller than it should have been.
Of course, it was not all bad. I was overall impressed with the quality of the grammar and pronunciation used, and the students displayed a wide vocabulary too. Many of them remembered to maintain good eye contact with the audience and also made some effort to use good body language. The final part, with the questions I asked, I was particularly impressed with. Both students in the final spoke well, and expressed their ideas clearly and with great enthusiasm.
I would like to congratulate everyone who took part and encourage you all to continue to better your English!
Nowadays, you can see the words “Chinese Dream” everywhere. They’re on television, on the Internet, on your text books, and also on your examination papers. From the bottom of my heart, I agree that our nation does need the Chinese Dream.
In the current situation, China is facing plenty of challenges. Chairman Xi Jin Ping once outlined his vision of Chinese Dream: a higher standard of living for its 1.3 billion people. He stressed that the realization of Chinese Dream is connected to everyone’s happiness and a great renaissance of the nation.
At the same time, our own dreams make up the whole of the Chinese Dream. Making our own dreams come true is like setting milestones on the long path to the realization of the Chinese Dream. The property of the nation, the better environment and the happier life for people depend on whether the Chinese Dream can be enriched and realized or not. To enrich and realize the Chinese Dream, our efforts for making our own dreams come true are seemed so necessary.
You may want to be a diplomat in the future. China needs a more dignified and higher status, so that more and more countries will respect us. If you achieve your ambition like this, you can get a chance to speak loud in the international community, representing your country.
You may want to be a professor on environment protection. In recent years, some cities of China have met some serious environmental problems. Tens of thousands of people were affected. If you achieve your ambition, you will have the ability to solve the most difficult environmental problems and make our country cleaner and more beautiful.
However, none of this will make sense if you don’t put in any efforts. You won’t achieve any of your ambitions unless you are willing to work hard. Now, the responsibility of revitalizing our nation is on our shoulder. Let’s start today, try every means to realize our dreams, for the sake of a better Chinese Dream.
For the Sake of a Better Memory
Looking back on younger days, all sorts of memories fill our minds. Some are full of sorrow. Others contain pain. But most importantly, some are crammed with love, giving us warmth and courage, which shine like gold. Obviously we want the good ones, the more, the better.
To live in peace when old, for the sake of a better memory, all we can do is to live in the moment and cherish the present ones.
It was in a casual chat that this topic jumped into my mind. One of my friends asked how I will feel if my intimate friend is on MH370, the plane found lost recently.” First I was staggered, and then I began to imagine that pitiful situation from my perspective. Yet he continued cruelly before I replied, “What if the plane is confirmed crashed?” Now dear friends, I am curious about your answers, if you were asked the same question. Hit by a severe sorrow, I finally organized my words to respond, “I…I’d be drowned in misery and our memories for the rest of my life.”
Honestly, I have never seen anyone pass away, so I can barely describe the pain. But it warned me of losses and farewells in life. Says in Sherlock Homes:“All lives end, all hearts are broken.” But if we treasure our loved ones when they are around us, at least we have sweet memories to bring them back to life.
Take myself as an example. I used to be a shy girl and never express love to anyone directly. The situation changed when my mother had a narrow escape from an air crash. Trapped in a heavy storm, the plane shook violently, flying up and down. Thought she got out of danger at last, the fear of losing everything planted in our minds. The accident alarms me that life is unpredictable and that we must express love in time. But for the sake of a better memory, it's time for a change.
All in all, for the sake of a better memory, we might as well avoid meaningless quarrels and bring laughter to people. For the sake of a better memory, give warm hugs and express love every now and then. For the sake of a better memory, we should live in the moment gratefully, and cherish the present ones. May sun shines on your memory shore forever, without regret and sorrow.
FOR THE SAKE OF A BETTER WORLD
As John Donne once wrote a poem called “No Man Is an Island “, which is well known to us that no one can live without co-operations with others in this planet. So for the sake of a better world, we must combine with each other as a team and live as a family.
First of all, it is clear that we have different characters and experiences which may lead to the differences of solving problems. However, our similarities are more important than our differences. For example, in my class, there are students who do well in math; there are students who are good at physics, and some of my classmates have a gift for biology. But this can’t prevent us from working as a team. On the contrary, we can help each other and because of our combined effort, we can achieve greater things than ever.
Secondly, teamwork is not only important in school, but also in the global world. As we all know that our country is developing unbelievably fast these years, and this development cannot happen in isolation. China’s economy depends on exchanges with other countries. For example, Guangdong has become the global maker of toys and clothes. Thousands of cars have been imported from Germany, Japan and other countries.
Besides of the economic part, there’s another example for the global co-operation. On January 12 of 2010, a dreadful earthquake erupted in Haiti, and two hundred thousand people wouldn’t wake up forever due to it. To our reliefs, a multitude of countries from the United Nations, including China, gave a hand to rebuild the disaster areas.
The famous song called “Imagine” sang by John Lenmen may be the most suitable expression of my opinion, “Imagine no precessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of a man. Imagine all the people sharing the entire world.” Kofi Annan also said “Human misery knows no frontiers, and nor should human unity.” in Tsinghua University in 2004.
Finally I’d like to end with an old Chinese saying, “It is easy to break one pair of chopsticks, but not so to break a brunch of them.” Therefore, for the sake of a better world, teamwork spirit and co-operation are more and more important for us to achieve goal and solve problems.
For the sake of better independence
First of all, I’d like to talk about personal independence. As a senior high student, on the one hand, independence means you can take care of yourself. You will never gain independence if you always keep your parents worrying about you. On the other hand, individual thinking is necessary, which involves being able to think for you, regardless of what others think and say.
Only when you are able to weigh up all your facts and feelings and make a decision can you truly become independent. To gain independence, followings are necessary. Firstly, the ability to tell right from wrong is the core of an independent mind. Secondly, the capacity of building up your own values, which is based on your attainments and experience, makes you mentally independent.
Meanwhile, independence is to a country what water is to the fish. To build an independent country, the government should attach great significance to the development of forces and economy. A country needs to be powerful enough to protect its sovereignty from being interfered by other countries.
However, there are some people misunderstanding independence. The terrorist incident on March 1st in Kunming was organized by some terrorists, who were misled by the wrong and prejudicial thoughts. In fact, that is not independence but only a delusion to divide our country.
What's more, to be independent does not mean you are going to cut off from others. When it comes to defining challenges of our time, no one country can confront them alone. The only way forward is together. Due to the economic globalization, the need for cooperation between countries has been increasing.
My fellow students, for the sake of better independence, let's work hard to have individual thinking, let’s work together to make our country more vibrant and stronger!
As is known to us all “No gold is pure and no man is perfect”. If we, our country, and even the world desire to become better, we are supposed to fight against our weaknesses bravely.
Lately, there is a fascinating cartoon, Frozen, concerning Elsa, a princess with magic power. She can freeze everything and make it snow. But unfortunately, at her coronation of becoming a queen, she lost control of her dangerous power and froze the whole kingdom. What’s worse, she nearly killed her little sister. To everyone’s relief, Elsa’s courage dissolved her fears. Eventually, Elsa found out how to use her power properly and brought the warmth back to her kingdom. Anna woke up in the end and Elsa became a better self, not being afraid any more.
Similar with Elsa, I am struggling to defeat my weakness right now. Not believing in myself, I never took part in any oral English competition before. I was scared of being laughed at but I tried hard to overcome it and my roommates encouraged me a great deal. Just at that moment did I realize, I had run away so many times in the past and had missed many opportunities? That’s why I stand here, for the sake of a better me.
So does a country. If a country wants to receive respect and protect its men, always fighting for a better self with great efforts is the only choice. On March 8th, 2014, a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing lost contact with the control centre. On the plane, MH370, there were 153 Chinese. However, the Malaysian government just sent most of the key information to America, which misled China into spending a whole week searching for the survivors over the South China Sea.
Actually, the flight crashed down on the Indian Ocean. How can all of us bear Malaysia’s behavior like this? Only when China becomes as courageous and powerful as America, can our motherland possibly protect its men from being hurt. Realizing the importance of fighting bravely for a better China is the first step. There will still be a long way but we all should keep trying.
All in all, I just want to call on one thing that is trying hard from now on to overcome our weaknesses with great courage for the sake of better selves.
FOR THE SAKE OF BETTER YOUTH
One silent Saturday night, mother and I found that the gate of the park was closed while we were still having a walk in it. It was obvious that except shouting out for help, the only way out was climbing over the door. I suggested it but my mother thought it ridiculous and childish.
But you know, finally she had to agree. Much to my surprise, after climbing over the gate, my mother was pretty excited. She said she felt young again and so alive with the excitement of adventure.
When we were children, we were energetic, lively, and we don’t care about what others think of us. However, in modern society everyone becomes so busy, people gradually losing their dreams and passion about youth. They forget pure love, original beauty, and the enjoyment of freedom.
For students as young as us, we study and study but forget how to have fun; we remember the answers of exams but do not try something new and be creative. For our teachers and other white-collar, blue-collar workers, so young and at the prime of their life, they just work and work till the nightfall and become exhausted. Even for my parents, they are still young, they should have their youth. They should not just take care of me and forget about their dreams.
In this year, people have been asking: where are the fathers? Where did the time go? And where is the MH370? Now I would like to ask: Where’s our youth? Let’s find it and bring it back.
For the sake of better youth, let’s stay young and never lose imagination, never be influenced by others opinion on you.
Curiosity drove young Edison to hatch eggs like a hen. It looked foolish, but he finally learns knowledge on his own. Forest Gump, although born stupid and disabled, he overcame them and just ran forward as a fearless young man. In his early age, Chairman Mao, whose father forced him to be a businessman, left his hometown to fight for his dreams, and became such a successful leader.
Something may look stupid, but as Oscar Wilde told us:“Youth smiles for no reason. It is one of its chief charms.” Our youth is when we have dreams and create miracles. Why not make is more colorful? Look at me standing here sharing my story with you. Participating in this competition is my way to make my youth more colorful and meaningful.
For the sake of better youth, let’s travel! Let’s explore! Let’s have fun! You and I, we are young, so let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun!
FOR THE SAKE OF BETTER PRIVACY PROTECTION
In George Orwell’s book 1984, Big Brother spies every action and thought; citizens can by no means hide any secrets. Just imagine how terrible the world could be without the protection of personal privacy. So we need a safe place for secrets.
Keeping personal privacy is one of the basic human rights .However, the infringement of this right seems to be constant. Nowadays, all over the world, personal information has been leaked.
Anonymous messages, cheating calls and spam were listed as the most reported means of harassment. I am sure most of you have received a call telling you that you won a prize, or dozens of advertisements sent by text messages. Such experiences are surely unpleasant. If they are just trifle stuffs, then what Edward Snowden told you might really make you fear and worry.
He came to international attention when he disclosed thousands of secret documents to several media outlets, and revealed operational details of global surveillance programs, such as PRISM and TEMPORA. But who knows whether there are similar secret programs run in China? Is it possible that our personal information, or even the contents of our emails, are obtained by others without our knowledge?
I just dare not imagine. For the better protection of personal privacy, the whole society should spare no efforts. Recently, a criminal law amendment has been approved to ban any government and corporation to sell or leak personal data without reason.
You and I, as individuals, should also be responsible for the safety of our own privacy; we can set passwords for our information storage devices, or install a privacy protection system in personal PCs.
All in all，let’s gather up our efforts to build a safer society for personal privacy, so another 1984 will never ever come!
FOR THE SAKE OF A BETTER ME
You must be curious about who the boy is and the answer is me .As you can see ,I used to be fat when I was in primary school but now I have changed, I have become healthier. So today I want to share my story with all of you. My topic is “For the sake of a better me.”
The first thing I want to share with you is the change in my personality. To be honest, I thought I might be a girl when I was young, that is because I couldn’t stop myself from crying. When my parents and teachers scolded me, I cried. When I hurt, I cried. One day, I realized that crying doesn’t solve anything, crying is just a symbol of weakness.
So I made up my mind to stop crying that very day. Since then, I have learned to be strong and smile at bad things. I still cry sometimes, but I cry because I’m filled with joy, not just cry when I’m faced with tough challenges. For the sake of a better me ,I successfully stopped crying.
What comes next is the change of my eating habits. When you see the picture I showed you just now, I think you can guess that I always ate junk food at that time. I was crazy about junk food.KFC and McDonald’s were like paradise in my eyes. Al though my parents seldom took me to fast food restaurants, I would secretly buy some chicken wings with my pocket money. I knew it was bad for my health, but I still loved eating them.
This has changed since my violin teacher found my eating habit and decided to help me have a healthy diet. On this menu, I can only eat rice, vegetables, fruits and a little beef. It was difficult those days because I had to say goodbye to my favorite chicken wings, but I made it. Now I seldom go to KFC and McDonald’s.
Last but not least, I have learned a lot of new things. learned a better way to study. I learned to play basketball. I learned to play the violin. I learned to do housework. In these last few years, I have become better because I always want to change me into a better me. Everyone has the potential to live better, and everyone has the responsibility to change the world. How can we change it for the better?
We can only do this by first changing ourselves. If everyone has the determination to change, everything can become better. It’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do. Why not start to change yourself right now? For the sake of a better me, for the sake of a better world!FOR THE SAKE OF A BETTER ENVIRONMENT
For 200,000 years we humans have lived on this planet, the planet Earth we call home. Throughout our journey on the route of evolution Earth had always been beside us, just like a selfless mother taking care of her child. Under her protection, we flourished and our numbers grew dramatically. But never until recently did we take a look back at our mother and what we found was our mother, dying.
Industrialization has had too heavy a toll on the environment. Yes, we now live a much better life than our ancestors, but at what price? Maybe it’s time we fulfil our responsibility to our mother. Even the tiniest effort contributes to a better environment.
For the sake of a better environment, we should all act immediately, here are some practical tips:
Unplug the chargers of electric devices when it’s not recharging. A charger left plugged is a charger wasting electricity.
Littering may seem insignificant, but the combined effect of large amounts of litter poses great threat to the environment. Think twice the next time you have rubbish at hand, there may be a dustbin around.
One leaking tap means that up to 600 litres of water guzzled down the drainer weekly. Remember to close the tap completely after using tap water.
The path we had taken on was a path of repentance. The environment has been heavily damaged and the Earth is in pain.Alone, ones effort truly seems limited, but I believe that when we work together, miracles can become reality. For the sake of a better environment, we must act now, before mother Earth dies completely because a child cannot stand a chance without his mother.
FOR THE SAKE OF A BETTER SELF-LOVE
Yes or no? Some of you say “Yes” .So you must be unhappy, feeling down and even hate yourself. “Why I am so useless?” But now, please stop thinking in this way. Friends, you have to know, in our world there is another kind of love called” SELF-LOVE”. Today, my topic is focus on us. Let’s start to talk about “For the sake of a better SELF-LOVE”.
What is SELF-LOVE? In 1956, a psychologist and social philosopher called Erich Fromm proposed that SELF-LOVE means caring about oneself, taking responsibilities for oneself .In a word, SELF-LOVE is the love of oneself. My parents used to tell me” Look at the children from other families, they can do things perfectly.
But why you can’t?” I felt embarrassed and annoyed. I wondered why the others always do things better than me? More depressed I felt, worse things I had done. However, one day, I found myself good at singing, acting and speaking. . I can do these better than others. The strengths have brought me confidence, and all the things I am doing are getting better and better.
So please listen to me, stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone on Earth is unique. We all have different talents. When we compare ourselves to others, we may lose confidence, or perhaps will be depressed or jealous. Stop to focus on your own strength. Get to know yourself and discover what your best talent is that you are meant to share with the world!
For the sake of a better SELF-LOVE, make yourself happy and do what you love to do. Don’t define yourself by what you have done as well as stop trying to be perfect. You just need to follow all the steps above. For us, that’s enough.
For the sake of a better SELF-LOVE, we need to be well aware that we deserve a fresh beginning. Forget the pass which made us unhappy. Forgive those who have done you wrong. Treat others with love and respect. In addition, those who you treat well will likely repay you with the same kindness.
Fail in the exams? That’s ok. Just try your best to do well in the next time; others do the thing better than you? Never mind. You can finish another project better than them. No matter what happen, don’t lose heart. It’s not only for the sake of a better self-love, but also for a brighter tomorrow. “Life is not all roses.” But if we are willing to, we can still fill our “life garden” with joy and happiness!
Live beautifully, dream passionately, love completely.
Yesterday is history，tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.
Grasp all, lose all；
“All things come to those who wait.”
Ideal is the beacon.Without ideal, there is no securer directionn; Without direction, there is no life.