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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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5/1/2008 Linfield students win at Japanese speech contest

McMINNVILLE – Two Linfield College students were honored at the twelfth annual Toyama Cup Speech Contest in Portland April 28.

Freshman Michael Colby of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Amy Shoemaker of Soldotna, Alaska, participated in the Japanese language contest established to encourage students at the college level to enhance their Japanese speaking skills. It is sponsored by the Toyama Prefectural Government and the Japan-America Society of Oregon and celebrates the sister state affiliation between Oregon and Toyama Prefecture.

Colby placed second in division one among other students who have studied the Japanese language for one year or less at the college level. His presentation was on his language learning experience at Linfield, and the emphasis placed on learning from the professor, the textbook and his fellow students. Shoemaker, an elementary education major, placed second in division two among students who have studied Japanese for two years at the college level. She spoke about her experience of visiting the Atomic Bomb Museum in Hiroshima while studying abroad at Kanto Gakuin University, Linfield’s sister institution, and how it reconfirmed her opposition to war as a means of resolving international differences.

The competition is open to undergraduates studying Japanese at an Oregon college or university and offers upper and lower division competition. Students were evaluated on their general Japanese language ability, speech content and overall presentation.

Both students prepared and practiced their speeches with the help of Christopher Keaveney, co-chair of the modern languages department and Japanese professor at Linfield.

Keaveney found that Shoemaker and Colby pushed their linguistic and presentational abilities in order to be ready for the contest.

“I believe that the most important benefit of participating in such a contest is that not only do they develop public speaking experience and confidence in speaking Japanese in a formal setting,” said Keaveney, “but they meet excellent students from other colleges and universities throughout Oregon and begin to see that they are part of a larger community of language learners committed to the study of Japanese.”

For more information, contact Keaveney at 503-883-2584.