College Division Application

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Application Period is Now- September 24th

*Due to security reasons, you may not be able to access the application form and we may not be able to communicate with you if you use a school email account.  Please use your private email account.

College Division Application Form

*The application form (Google Form) will ask you for your Google account.


College Division Eligibility

diagram showing levels: distinguished, superior, advanced high, advanced mid (all category III), advanced low, intermediate high (both category II), intermediate mid, intermediate low (both category I), novice high, novice mid, novice low; ACTFL logo; AATJ logo; Mentor must be an AATJ member; Less than 4 years at a MEXT certified school; drawing of four people and a school; Obtained 6 college credits or 84 hours of instruction + Currently enrolled in a Japanese language class

Based on teacher recommendation (and subject to review by the selection committee) applicants enter one of the three competition categories: College I, II, and III. All applicants must have all basic qualifications, as well as the relevant category-specific qualifications. Heritage speakers who have the basic qualifications are encouraged to apply. Notes: The selection committee reserves the right to place a contestant in a different category based on the committee’s evaluation of his/her YouTube video submission, and/or online interview to be conducted if necessary. In the event there are not enough successful applicants in College III, the selection committee will merge College III into College II.

Basic Qualifications

  • Will be registered in a Japanese-as-a-foreign-language class at the undergraduate or graduate level in a 2-year college or 4-year university as of the J.LIVE Talk final round date. Note: If there are extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for you to be enrolled in a Japanese class in the necessary semester for the competition, please contact us by email and explain your situation. The Executive Committee will determine your eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
  • Has earned a minimum of six college-level Japanese-as-a-foreign-language credits (calculated based on a semester system) or more than 84 contact hours of study in college-level courses (as determined by the student’s university and subject to review by the selection committee) by the time of application. Note: AP Japanese Language and Culture course credits officially accepted by a college/university may be counted as college-level Japanese-as-a-foreign-language credits. 
  • Has spent no more than four years at full-time, secondary-level (grades 7-12) Japanese educational institutions accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
  • Has not won a gold award in any category in previous J.LIVE Talk competitions, nor has participated in any summer program with a scholarship offered by J.LIVE Talk.

Category-Specific Qualifications

These levels are determined by teacher recommendation based on the “ACTFL oral proficiency guidelines 2024” — not the level of the course in which the student enrolls — and subject to review by the selection committee.

College I

  • Possesses intermediate-low to intermediate-mid level speaking proficiency
  • Has not won any award in previous J.LIVE Talk competitions

College II

  • Possesses intermediate-high to advanced-low level speaking proficiency
  • Has not won any award in Category II or III in previous J.LIVE Talk competitions

College III

  • Possesses advanced-mid to advanced-high level speaking proficiency
  • Has not won any award in Category III in previous J.LIVE Talk competitions


College Division 2024 Schedule

Entry deadline: September 24th, 2024

Submit the online preliminary round application form by 11:59 PM EST September 24th, 2024. You will need to have the endorsement form filled out by your instructor and the Parent/Guardian consent form filled out by your parent or legal guardian (if you are under 18 years old ), and have a video completed before you can submit the application.  Please see Video Submission Guidelines and Requirements for the theme and the length of the video.

Notification of the result: September 30th, 2024

The Contest Committee will notify the contestants whose applications will move to the semi-final round via email. They will be provided with the semi-final round application form. The names will be announced on our website once they complete the semi-final round application. 

Preliminary round video screening (assigned topic 2-3 mins); 6 per category; Semifinal round video screening (presentation topic 1 min); 3 per category; final round; awards; image of person creating video on phone with selfie stick and ring light

Deadline for the required materials: 11:59 PM EDT, October 4th, 2023

Semifinalists must submit the semifinal round application form (the link to be emailed with the preliminary round result notification) including a 1 minute video describing in Japanese what they plan to present should they be selected as finalists.

Notification of the result: October 8th, 2024

The Contest Committee will notify each semifinalist as to who will move onto the final round. The names will be announced on our website.

Deadline for the required materials: 11:59PM EDT, October 27th, 2024

By October 27th, 2024, finalists must submit via the Google form link to be provided (1) their short abstract in English (150 words) and (2) a PowerPoint (or equivalent) presentation to accompany their talk.

Competition Day: November 3rd, 2024

J.LIVE Talk 2024 will be an in-person event held on the GWU campus.


College Division Application Guidelines

In order to participate in an individual division of J.LIVE Talk, applicants must submit the relevant online application form by the submission deadline (September 24th, 2024):

Before You Submit the Application Form

  • Download the endorsement form and get it completed by your recommending instructor.
  • Complete a video for submission.


Video Submission Guidelines and Requirements

As a competitor, you are required to provide a short video of you speaking Japanese (see below for specifics). This video will be used to evaluate your qualification and proficiency level. Therefore, you may not enlist the assistance of your instructor or a native speaker of Japanese.  This online accent dictionary may be helpful.

Your video should be 2-3 minutes long and show you speaking for its entire duration. (No slideshows, please.)

  • Begin your video by stating your name. Do not mention the name of your school.  Make sure you do not wear clothes with college logos.
  • Describe what a college education means to you. You can interpret this prompt however you like. You can talk about your personal experiences, e.g., a particular life lesson you have learned as a college student; your dreams for the future and how college is helping you prepare for it; etc. Or you can approach the topic in more broadly socio-cultural terms, e.g., why you think a college education is necessary in today's "knowledge economy"; how you think higher education should be improved for future generations; etc.
  • You are expected to speak naturally.  Do not edit your speech.  You will be disqualified if you read from a pre-written script.  Imagine an audience in front of you and talk to this audience. Pay attention to your gestures, voice volume and eye contact.  Our Tips for Preliminary Round Video Presentation may be helpful.
  • Upload your video to YouTube and select "Unlisted" as the privacy setting.
College assigned topic: What does college mean to you? 2-3 mins; Image a person taking video on phone using selfie stick and ring light; YouTube logo; No editing; Pay attention to the lighting; Conceal the name of the school

If you have any questions regarding how to upload the video to YouTube, see Video Upload Instructions below.

Please note that, if we decide to use any part of your video for promotional or other purposes in the future, we will obtain your consent beforehand.


Video Upload Instructions

  1. Go to YouTube.
  2. Click 'Sign in' in the upper right corner. You can sign in with your Gmail account. If you do not have a Gmail account, create one. Or, you will need to create a separate YouTube account using your email address.
  3. Once you create (and sign into your) YouTube account, click 'Upload' in the upper right corner.
  4. Select a file to upload. Make sure to use the following format for the title of your video: 'JLIVE Talk + Your Name' (e.g., JLIVE Talk Sachiko Suzuki).
  5. Select the privacy setting "Unlisted."

You may ignore the other fields (Description, Tags and Category).

Note: There are many video tutorials on uploading to YouTube, such as this tutorial.

Once your video is uploaded, YouTube will create a URL link for your video. Provide this URL link when submitting the online application form.

If you cannot upload to YouTube or prefer to send your video in a different way, please notify the J.LIVE Talk Committee at [email protected].


Information about Travel Support

Travel subsidies of up to $500 in total to cover all or part of the following travel expenses will be provided to eligible college division finalists whose home institution is located more than 100 miles away in driving distance from George Washington University (See Google map):

  • transportation (air, train, or gas for auto travel) between a finalist’s college address and GW
  • one night's accommodation (up to $150)
  • parking fee at the George Washington University campus

Meal expenses are not covered, although breakfast and lunch will be provided on the day of the competition. The maximum subsidy for accommodation expenses is $150. For instance, if your flight ticket costs $200 and your hotel stay costs $250, we will reimburse you $350 since the maximum allowance for accommodations is $150, and your transportation cost is $200.

Travel subsidies are given only on a reimbursement-basis, and will be processed after the completion of the event. We need your social security number to process your reimbursement. Please provide it when you come to GW for the contest. To receive your reimbursement, you must also provide all the receipts within two weeks of the final round. An E-ticket itinerary is OK as long as it shows the total cost for the ticket and your credit card information.