Experience J.LIVE Talk

J.LIVE 2022 Report

On November 13, the eighth annual J.LIVE Talk (Japanese-Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) was held on the campus of George Washington University. For the first time since 2019, the event was held predominantly in person, with nine exceptional finalists from three college divisions traveling to Washington D.C. to deliver their presentations before a live audience and a distinguished panel of judges. Three high-school finalists also delivered presentations remotely, resulting in the first ever hybrid format for J.LIVE Talk.  

The 12 finalists were selected from a large field of impressive contestants: 74 highly motivated learners from 11 states and the District of Columbia submitted recordings of their presentations, which passed through two rounds of scrupulous judging. The universities represented in the final round included Duke University, Baylor University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Murray State University (Kentucky), the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and The University of Texas, San Antonio. The high schools represented were Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA), Washington Japanese Heritage Center (MD), and Walt Whitman High School (MD).

J.LIVE college winners

This year, we also added a high-school group division, where teams of students presented videos to the in-person audience as well as a national audience watching on Zoom. The theme of these videos was “Our school and the environment surrounding it.” J.LIVE high school group video winners picture

Winners in each category were as follows.

  • High school group video division:

  Gold Award: Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA)

  Silver Award: Centennial High School (ID)

  Bronze Award: Hayfield Secondary School (VA)

  • Individual divisions:

High SchoolJ.LIVE high school gold winner Kyler Coyne

       Gold: Kyler Coyne, Lake Braddock Secondary School (Melvin Yuki sensei) 

    「思いやりの大切さ」Importance of thoughtfulness

       Silver: Miya Weintraub, Washington Japanese Heritage Center (Seat Mina sensei)

    「美しさとは...」Beauty is...

       Bronze: Teddie Frank, Walt Whitman High School (Moorman Yukiyo sensei)

    「言語決定論と先住民族の言語を復興すること」Linguistic determinism and indigenous language revitalization

College IJ.LIVE college I gold winner salma battisha picture

       Gold: Salma Battisha, Baylor University (Prefume Yuko sensei)

    「美しさのひみつ」The secret to beauty

       Siver: Evan Abella, Baylor University (Gaines Yoshiko sensei)

    「質問することを学ぶ」How I learned to ask questions

       Bronze: Gabreel Elsawi, Baylor University (Prefume Yuko sensei)

    「鋼のような心」Steel-like heart

College IIJ.LIVE college II gold winner Andrew Kowalewski picture

       Gold: Andrew Kowalewski, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Hoogenboom Tomoko sensei)

    「機械工学と日本語の関係?」What is the relationship between mechanical engineering and Japanese?

       Silver: Ashley Pizzolato, Murray State University (Shirata Akane sensei)

    「かぎ針編みのステレオタイプ」Crochet stereotypes

       Bronze: Robert Bierman, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Hoogenboom Tomoko sensei)

    「開発者の責任?」The responsibility of developers?

College IIIJ.LIVE college III gold winner Rhyn Cai picture

       Gold: Rhyn Cai, The University of Texas at San Antonio (Fukuda Makiko sensei)

    「共存する日本社会へ」Towards a coexisting Japanese Society

       Sliver: Yixuan Sun, Duke University (Chen Yunchuan sensei)

    「みにくいアヒルの子の飛び方」Can the ugly duckling fly?

       bronze: Gavin Withers, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Yokono Yukiko sensei)

    「原子力」Nuclear Power

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners received cash prizes of $300, $200, and $100 respectively. In addition, the Gold Award winners of the college divisions received airfare, living expenses, and tuition waiver for a summer study-abroad program at Nanzan University in Nagoya, the Naganuma School in Tokyo, and International Christian University in Tokyo.


J.LIVE judges


The final-round judging panel consisted of Mr. Koichi Ai, Minister and Head of Chancery of the Embassy of Japan, Ms. Yuki Sako, Japan Commerce Association of Washington Foundation Director, and Prof. Tomoko Takami, President of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese.

The final-round judges, as real-time participants, viewed the presentations and then evaluated each presenter’s interpersonal skills through a short question-and-answer session in Japanese. Audience members watching on Zoom were also given the chance to ask the presenters questions in Japanese; these questions were then read to the presenters by Professor Morley of GW. These impromptu exchanges further tested the participants’ abilities to articulate themselves effectively in Japanese.

Many thanks to the following organizations for their sponsorship. J.LIVE Talk 2022 was made possible by your generous support!  The list is in alphabetical order.

J.LIVE 2022 sponsor logos

2021 Report (online competition)

2020 Report (online competition)

2019 Report

2018 Report 

2017 Report

2016 Report

2015 Report