Students broadening their global horizons by studying Japanese had the opportunity to prove their talent and further their goals November 13, 2016 at the final round of the second annual J.Live Talk 2016 at George Washington University.
Sponsored by The Japanese Program at GWU with support from organizations including Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, J.LIVE Talk 2016 (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) was launched in 2015 as the only active university–level speech competition in the region. The competition emphasizes a comprehensive range of learned communication skills. Unlike a traditional speech contest, this competition evaluated the dynamism, vision, and level of engagement of each participant’s presentation, which can include audio-visual materials, audience interaction, and other innovations that enhance his or her talk in a manner similar to the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks. The competition aims to provide a platform for graduate and undergraduate students of institutions of higher education to showcase their proficiency in Japanese, polish their public speaking skills, share ideas from their unique perspectives, and connect with the larger Japanese-affiliated community.
The competition consists of a preliminary round (September 1-October 13) during which entrants send in a short video on a designated topic, followed by a final round of live presentations of their choice held at the George Washington University on November 13, 2016. The top awards include a chance to study abroad in Japan, as well as cash prizes.
Last year, two award winners of J.LIVE Talk 2015 were given the opportunity to study abroad in Japan in Summer 2016. Mr. Danny Jeon (Gold Award Winner) enrolled in the advanced “Comprehensive Course” at Naganuma School in Tokyo. Ms. Chieko Quigley (Judge’s Special Prize) completed a six-week study at Nanzan University that included intensive Japanese courses offered by the Center for Japanese Studies and sitting in on a course on U.S.-Japan comparative policies with her Japanese peers.
Japan still plays a very large role in the international order of the world and is still a strong economic powerhouse. I want to see more interest in Japanese language within the United States as well.
Interviewed by Sasakawa USA after taking the top prize, Mr. Jeon said he enjoyed using the competition as a way to build a relationship with the audience using visuals and innovative methods. In his presentation, he related his experiences as the American chair for the 68th Japan America Student Conference in 2016 to maintaining positive communications between Asian countries.
“One of the things I learned is that mutual understanding and dialog is the first step to overcoming any mistrust in the international community,” he said. “My main message is to apply what I learned to to the current issues of East Asia.
“Japan still plays a very large role in the international order of the world and is still a strong economic powerhouse. I want to see more interest in Japanese language within the United States as well.”
Ms. Quigley blogged about her experiences while studying abroad. Her photos and reports of various activities, from pottery making to figure skating in Nagoya, can be found here.