High School Division Application

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Application Period is September 13th- October 6th

*You may not be able to access the application form if you use a high school Google account.  Please use your private account to fill out the form.

High School Division Application Form


High School Division Eligibility

diagram listing ACTFL levels with a red line indicating that proficiency must be intermediate-mid or higher to qualify for J.LIVE Talk; AATJ Logo; Mentor must be an AATJ member; bilingual or multilingual speakers' dominant language can not be Japanese

All applicants must have all qualifications. Heritage speakers who have the basic qualifications are encouraged to apply.


  • A high school student recommended by a teacher who is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese or its affiliate.
  • Possesses speaking proficiency of intermediate-mid and above (based on the “ACTFL oral proficiency guidelines 2012” )
  • Japanese is not his/her dominant language.*

*The dominant language is the language which a bilingual or multilingual speaker has greatest proficiency with and/or uses more often.


High School Division 2023 Schedule

Entry deadline: October 6, 2023

Submit the online preliminary round application form between September 13 and October 6, 2023. 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: October 10, 2023

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: 11:59PM EDT October 13, 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 17, 2023

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: 11:59 PM EDT November 4, 2023

By November 4, 2023, 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 12, 2023

J.LIVE Talk 2023 will be an in-person event held on the GWU campus.


High School 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:

Before You Submit the Application Form

  • Download the consent/endorsement form: High School division consent form (PDF).
  • Fill out and sign Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Have Part 3 filled out and signed by your 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.
  • Learning is a lifelong process. Describe what you would like to learn as you grow into adulthood. For example, you can talk about what you plan to study in college, or what kind of skills you would like to master, etc. Explain why.
  • 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.
High School Assigned topic "what do you want to learn in college, why?" 2-3 mins; No editing; Pay attention to the lighting; Conceal the name of the school; image of person creating a phone video using selfie stick and ring light; YouTube logo

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 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 school 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.