On Sunday, November 5th, nine finalists from colleges and universities across the United States competed to win trips to Japan, scholarships and cash prizes at the third annual J.LIVE Talk 2017, held at The George Washington University.
J.LIVE (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk 2017 invites college level Japanese learners to showcase their 21st century presentation and communication skills. The competition encourages contestants to make use of audio-visual materials, audience interactions, and other innovations to enhance the messages they deliver in Japanese.
This year, the judging committee received over 30 video entries from 13 universities in eight states, including California, Wisconsin and Ohio. The nine finalists were selected as a result of the preliminary and semi-final rounds by two separate judging panels.
On the day of the final round, an audience of over 130 watched the nine finalists give their presentations live. A panel of five final round judges (Mr. Takehiro Shimada of Embassy of Japan, Mr. Shin’ichi Hori of Mitsui Co., Dr. Nanako Machida of Nanzan University, Ms. Chiyo Kobayashi of Washington CORE, and Ms. Kyoko Vaughan of Hayfield Secondary School) evaluated each presentation by taking into consideration not only the speakers’ linguistic proficiency, but also their presentation’s vision, charisma, and audience engagement. Judges also evaluated each speaker’s interpersonal skills by asking them two or three questions in Japanese. Then audience members were given the chance to ask questions, although these answers were not directly taken into account by the judges.