Every year the FLRI is one of the hosts of the prefecture's oldest and most important English speech contest for high school students, the Akashi Cup. The contest, which now has four sections, offers participants the opportunity to put their skills to the test in a spirit of friendly competition with some of the very best students in Gunma.
Each section of the contest, in addition to requiring a high level of English proficiency, makes its own special demands: the recitation section asks that contestants demonstrate a strong sense of performance, the two speech sections require well researched and organized content, and finally, the recently introduced presentation contest demands the skillful use of visual media.
The Akashi Cup provides valuable official recognition of the importance of practical English competence. For students, the process of preparing for and taking part in such a contest will help them become more confident and skillful users of English. For teachers, the contest may act as a catalyst for them to incorporate more use of student output in their daily classes as an effective means of language acquisition.