Hua Hin student wins top prize in national English-speaking competition


A student from Hua Hin recently talked her way to victory in a national English speaking competition.

Emily Pairin Hart, 12, finished ahead of students from across Thailand to win the top prize in the Impromptu Speech category at the 70th Student Arts & Crafts Competition, which was held in Ratchaburi in late January.

The Student Arts & Crafts Competition is an annual event organized by the Ministry of Education to encourage the development of both teachers and students in the arts and creativity.

The competition attracts students from all over the country, with participants competing in various categories, including mathematics, science and technology and music.

Emily, who attends Beaconhouse Yamsaard School in Hua Hin, was given just five minutes to prepare a five minute speech in front of a panel of judges.

The judges were impressed with her impromptu speech on the topic of ‘things she likes about herself.’

Her confident delivery and thoughtful response made her stand out from the other contestants, securing her the top spot in the competition.

Emily came through three rounds to reach the final.

During the first and second rounds, which took place in December and early January, she had to deliver impromptu speeches about her home province, Prachuap Khiri Khan, while in the third round of the contest she had to talk about some of the different places she had visited in the province.

It was after this that Emily was chosen to represent Prachuap Khiri Khan at the national finals.

Emily said prior to the contest she was a bit skeptical about entering but decided to take part because she thought it would be fun.

As part of her preparation for the contest, Emily said she discussed a number of topics with her English teacher, who was very supportive of her entering the contest.

She also added that she didn’t find the contest “so difficult”, but admitted that she really wanted to “win the Nationals to make her teachers proud” of her.

Emily said that as soon as she found out that she had won the contest, the first thing she did was tell her best friends, Fyona and Chelsea, who were “so happy for her,” having been very supportive in the run up to the contest.

Emily described herself as a talkative person and a good speaker and said that these qualities were obviously useful when entering a speaking contest.

For other students taking part in speaking contests, Emily had this piece of advice: “Just be yourself and try not to get too stressed about it. It’s also important to think before you speak”.

Emily also said that making some jokes during the speech is good to help “lighten the mood”.

Outside of school, Emily said her main hobby is playing basketball, which represents “probably her entire life”.

Paul Laffisse contributed to this article