The Mwanza chapter of the Tanzanian English Language Teachers Association (TELTA Mwanza) held its third regional English competition involving 35 English clubs from surrounding high schools. English Language Fellow John Whalen assisted local teachers and students in facilitating this event. The prompt for the top three speakers from each club was as follows: “Tell us about something that inspires you and helps you to overcome obstacles. It can be a person, a place, an activity, an experience, or anything else.” Speeches were held in front of entire student bodies in order to showcase the accomplishments of the participants and to motivate the other students at the schools.
After the first round of speeches, the top seven students were selected by the judges to speak in response to a new prompt: “A famous expression in English says that ‘luck’ is where preparation meets opportunity—what preparations can high school students in Tanzania make to be ready for any opportunities they may find in life?” Although they had only 20 minutes to prepare their remarks, these finalists wowed their instructors and their peers with their insights into the roles that high school students can play in preparing not only themselves, but also their communities for success.