Kenneth (Mike) Gillum and Justin Wheeler, students at The University of Findlay, were selected as finalists for the Japan-American Society of Central Ohio’s (JASCO) 13th Annual Japanese Language Speech Contest at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Gillum, of Chillicothe, earned first place in the competition. He is a junior majoring in Japanese.
From Kenton, Wheeler is a junior majoring in Japanese.
To enter the 2012 Japanese Language Speech Contest, participants were required to write an original, three-minute speech in Japanese, practice it and record it on tape. A manuscript written in Japanese also was required with each submission.
Only high school and college students studying Japanese, who have not lived in Japan for more than six months and do not come from homes where Japanese is spoken, were eligible for the competition. University and high school finalists competed separately.
According to Hiroaki Kawamura, Ph.D., chair of the department of language and culture and associate professor of Japanese, all students of the Japanese program who have studied Japanese for more than one year are strongly encouraged to participate in the speech contest because the process is more important than the result. The experience of writing the speech in Japanese and practicing reading it out loud is beneficial in the learning process. UF students have been represented in the final competition in each of the last six years.
During the March 3 competition, finalists were required to deliver their memorized speeches in Japanese on a stage in front of an audience. That was followed by a non-rehearsed question-and-answer session with the judges.
For more information about the Japanese language program at the University, visit www.findlay.edu, Keyword: Japanese.