Question Categories

About J.LIVE Talk

About Eligibility

About Application

About the Preliminary (Video) Round

About Video Upload

About Final Round Schedule

About the Final Round

About Transportation to GW


About J.LIVE Talk

  • What makes J.LIVE Talk unique compared to other Japanese speech contests?
    Unlike a traditional speech contest, J.LIVE Talk expects a contestant to engage in a lively, dynamic and engaging presentation using speaking skills in a style similar to TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks.

About Eligibility

  • How do I find out if I am qualified to apply?
    Please read the Eligibility criteria. If you have any further questions, please email the J.LIVE Talk Committee at [email protected].

  • My mother is Japanese, but I studied Japanese in college. Am I qualified?
    You are qualified as long as 1.) you are enrolled in a JFL (Japanese as a foreign language) class as of November 2016 ; 2.) your transcript proves that you took at least 6 credits of college level courses in JFL or the equivalent (please see the Eligibility criteria), AND 3.) you can, if asked, submit documentation to verify that you did not attended a full-time, secondary-level (grades 7-12) Japanese educational institution accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, for 4 or more years (such as transcripts from a middle and/or high school.  

  • Which category should I apply for?
    Please talk to your Japanese teacher to determine your current proficiency level according to ACTFL Oral Proficiency Guidelines. He/She will make the designation for you. Subsequently, based on your YouTube video submission, the J.LIVE Talk selection committee may reassign you to a different category.

  • I took an AP Japanese class in high school. Does this count as a college-level JFL (Japanese as a foreign language) class?
    It depends. If your university has officially accepted your AP credits, they will show on your transcript, and you can count them toward satisfying the requirement for this contest. Therefore, please check the transcript of your institution.

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About Application

  • How can I apply?
    As the Schedule section explains, the nomination period runs from September 1, 2016 to October 13, 2016. Please talk with your Japanese teacher as soon as possible and inform her/him of your interest in applying for J.LIVE Talk. Your teacher must complete Section II of the application for you to be a contestant.

  • How should I choose a Japanese teacher who can recommend me? Is any Japanese teacher okay?
    Look for a teacher who is willing to 'coach' you through the Final Round. You may want to ask your teacher to critique your written script and make suggestions for you to improve your presentation style. He/She does not have to be your current Japanese teacher.

  • Do I need more than one Japanese teacher to recommend me?
    No. You need only one teacher who can both recommend you AND coach you for the Final Round.

  • The Japanese teacher whom I want to recommend me does not teach at my university (but at my previous university). However, I really want to apply for J.LIVE Talk. What should I do?
    We recommend you discuss your interest with a Japanese teacher at your current school first. The time commitment will likely require face-to-face work.

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About the Preliminary (Video) Round

  • Can I ask my Japanese teacher or Japanese friend to check the grammar of my script for the Preliminary Round?
    No. It is crucial that your video displays your true proficiency level. If you receive editing help, you may be placed higher than your actual level regardless of the level indicated on your application form, and you may end up having to compete at a higher level.

  • I plan to use a dictionary to write a script on my own so it may contain some words which are considered above my proficiency level. Will this be a problem?
    Heavy usage of a dictionary or online translator may inflate your proficiency level and require you to compete against more advanced speakers. Please keep in mind that if you make it to the Final Round, there will be an unscripted Q&A section where you will be expected to converse at the level appropriate to your category level.

  • What should I talk about in my video?
    In the video, introduce yourself and tell us in Japanese how learning the Japanese language has inspired you. For more information, please read the Video Guidelines under the Preliminary Round section on the J.LIVE Talk website. You can also watch the J.LIVE Talk promo video for inspiration.

  • Is it okay to edit the video?
    Continuous video is preferred and recommended. However, minimal editing is allowed. For example, if you record different parts of your video in different places, you can put them together into a single 2-3 minute video. Keep in mind that J.LIVE Talk is a Japanese language competition, not a video production contest. Excessive editing may obscure your true proficiency level. Please do not add production elements such as music and credits.

  • Do I need to add subtitles to the video?
    No, subtitles are unnecessary.

  • Should I send a script file as well?
    No, only the video is required.

  • If the quality of my video is poor, will I be disqualified?
    No. But if the speaking is not audible, we may ask you to reshoot it.

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About Video Upload

  • How do I upload the video to YouTube?

  1. Go to YouTube.com

  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. Simply send this link to the J.LIVE Talk Committee.

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

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About Final Round Schedule

  •  When will I find out whether I’ve been chosen for the Final Round?

All contestants who proceed to the Final Round will be contacted by email by October 17, 2016 at the latest.

  • Do I have to go to the Final Round if I’m chosen?

No. If you were chosen as one of the Final Round contestants and decide not to participate, please notify the J.LIVE Talk Committee by October 21, 2016.

  • Do I need to submit my presentation script for the Final Round beforehand?  

No. However, please submit a short abstract in English (150 words) AND a PowerPoint presentation you will be using by November 11, 2016. The abstract will not be published but will be given to one of the judges in advance to brainstorm what questions he/she should ask you.

  • What is the tentative schedule for the day of the Final Round, November 13, 2016?

Before the Final Round, a detailed schedule will be sent to all the contestants.

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About the Final Round 

  • I would like to participate from the West Coast; are there any travel subsidies?

                Yes. Depending on the location of your home institution, travel subsidies up to $500 will be provided. Information on reimbursement processes will be sent to relevant contestants.

  • In what order will the Final Round contestants present?

Presentation order will be determined by mail lottery before the Final Round.

  • How long should the PowerPoint presentation be for the final presentation?

As “Format and Rules” explains on the J.LIVE Talk webpage, length of the presentation for Category I is up to 4 minutes, and for Category II and Category III up to 6 minutes. Please make sure you will complete your presentation within the limit, so that you will not be penalized for going overtime.

  • How many questions will the judges ask in the Q&A round?

Judges will ask two questions for Category I level contestants, and three questions for Category II and Category III level contestants. A total of up to four minutes is allotted for each contestant’s Q&A. This does not include the time it takes for the judges to ask the questions.

  • Will the judging criterias be made public before the contest? 

​       Yes, please visit this page.

  • At the Final Round, will I know how many points I received for my presentation and Q&A by the judges?

    No. Awardees for the prizes in each category will be announced in the Award Ceremony. However, no points will be made public.

  • I understand that I have to give the presentation to the audience in an entertaining fashion. Are there any scores from the audience?

   No. You will only get scores from the judges.

  • Do I need to memorize everything I say for the presentation?

Reading a script of your presentation should be avoided and will significantly impact your score. Also your presentation needs to finish within four minutes for Category I, and six minutes for Categories II and III. If your presentation goes over the time limit, it will negatively affect your score. We recommend you memorize your script and time yourself in practice.

  • Should I send you my PowerPoint beforehand?

Yes, please send your finalized PowerPoint by November 11th to [email protected]. If there are any changes to your PowerPoint between November 11th and November 13th, then please bring an electronic copy of your powerpoint with you to the event. We will be using PC computers so if you prepare your presentation on Keynote then please convert it to PowerPoint or else it will not work. In addition, please submit a short abstract in English (150 words) by November 11th.

  • Should I include any data?

It is recommended that Category II and III contestants include any supporting information and data in his/her presentation. For Category I contestants, this is not necessary; however, if you decide to include it, please make sure you can finish within four minutes.

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About Transportation to GW

  • How can I get to George Washington University? 

The George Washington University (GW) is easily accessible by Metro (subway) and Amtrak (Union Station).


Foggy Bottom Metro Station (23rd Street & I (Eye) Street) is located on campus. For more information on metro, vitist Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

<Amtrak to Metro>

Union Station on Red Line is located in AMTRAK Union Station. Go to Metro Center on Red Line, and transfer to Orange or Blue line westbound. Get off at Foggy Bottom Station.

              <From Dulles Airport>

               Take the bus to Wiehle–Reston East Station at the end of the Silver Line and then Metro to  Foggy Bottom. It will be an hour or more. [Please be advised that the Silver line service on weekends may be unreliable due to the on-going system wide maintenance.] 

             <From National Airport>

               Take Metro to Foggy Bottom. It will be about 20 minutes.

<Direction for car>

See the direction to Foggy Bottom on the University website.

  • Is there a parking lot at GW?

Street parking in Washington, DC is free on Sundays.

The following two university parking garages are available on the weekend.

University Parking Garage: Access from H Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets, located under the Science and Engineering Hall.

G Street Garage: Access from both 20th Street and 21st Street between F and G Streets.

For more information on parking, visit the parking information page for visitors. You can find an icon of Visitor Parking on the Campus Map.

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  • When will I be notified if I am chosen to proceed to the Final Round?

Contestants to the Final Round will be notified by J.LIVE Talk Selection Committee on October 17, 2016. Please notify the J.LIVE Talk Selection Committee of your intention to participate in the final round by October 21, 2016. For more information, please see the Final Round Schedule.

  • What is the presentation topic for the Final Round?

For the Final Round, you may give a talk on any topic of your choice. (It does not necessarily have to be about Japan, or learning Japanese.) For Category I, your talk should be based on your personal experiences and have a clear message to the audience. For Categories II and III, your talk should also have a clear message and be based on your personal experiences; however, in addition, you should also include more diverse types of information such as findings by researchers, statistical data, and competing claims in order to support your message. For more information, please see the Final Round section.

  • Where is the Amphitheater located?  

The amphitheater is located on the 3rd Floor of the Marvin Center on the George Washington University campus. The Marvin Center is located at the corner of H Street and 21st Street.

Go to the campus map and click ‘Foggy Bottom Campus;’ Marvin Center is #15. You can enter the building from H Street or 21st Street. For Virtual Campus Tour, click ‘Virtual Tour’ on the right side of the above campus map page.

  • What should I wear to the competition?

All participants are expected to dress in a professional manner. Business suits are not necessary, but casual wear such as t-shirts and jeans should be avoided.

  • Can I bring my family with me?

Yes, you can bring up to two people (e.g. friends, family members) in addition to your teacher.

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