Xiyue Zhang (pictured right), a third-year master's student pursuing dual degrees in Interdisciplinary East Asian Studies and Film Studies at The Ohio State University, was selected as a finalist and a Silver Award Winner in the Category III: ACTFL Advanced Mid - Advanced High Level of the fourth annual J.LIVE (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk at George Washington University. Under the guidance of Japanese language instructor Eri Terada, Zhang delivered a presentation titled 「他人の成功と幸福から解放しましょう」 ‘Let’s Free Ourselves from the Happiness of Others.' Held on November 11, 2018, the presentation contest was open to all college-level learners of Japanese in the United States. Unlike a traditional speech competition, J.LIVE Talk evaluates contestants not just based on their linguistic competence but on their cumulative ability to communicate their ideas and perspectives using Japanese. The aim of J.LIVE Talk is to foster and encourage the next generation of professionals entering Japan-related careers in America and beyond. The competition encourages contestants to make use of audio-visual materials, audience interactions, and other innovations to enhance their presentations.
Originally from Changchun, China, Zhang learned about Japan from Japanese animation and literature when he was in middle school, but did not receive formal Japanese language training until arriving at OSU. He began with Level 1 in his first year, then attended an eight-week Japanese Language Summer School in 2017. He has since been studying in Level 5 Japanese at Ohio State for more than one year. Zhang also won first place in the Advanced Level at the 19th Annual Japan-America Society of Central Ohio Speech Contest in March 2018. He hopes to become a specialist in Japanese literature and film.
Further information and footage of the J.LIVE Talk presentations can be found at https://eall.columbian.gwu.edu/jlive-talk-2018-report.