UT students win big at Japanese speech contest

April 20, 2017 | News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Ashley Diel

Eveliina Hartus, a recent psychology graduate, and Keaton Bogle, a fifth-year communication student, have received the prestigious Consul’s General Award at the 18th Japan-America Society of Central Ohio’s Language Speech Contest.

The two traveled last month with their speech mentor, Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, assistant professor of Japanese, to Dublin, Ohio, where Hartus and Bogle presented their speeches, “What Is Good Culture” and “A Voice Actor’s World,” against five other students from other universities in the state.


Presenters were scored according to fluency, the ability to answer questions from the judges, and the content of the speech.

The Consul’s General Award is presented to students whose speeches had an interesting or important message.

“This is truly great news for all of us studying and teaching foreign languages,” Yamazaki said. “We have so many talented students in our classrooms, but not many of them recognize their own abilities and potentials. Our job is to help them realize such talent and encourage them to challenge themselves so that our students can achieve the best versions of themselves.”

Bogle has been studying Japanese for four years and began to learn it with the help of online resources before taking the language classes at The University of Toledo.

“Winning this award was a really nice surprise,” Bogle said. “I didn’t even think I’d get accepted into the contest, so walking away with an award was a really nice little boost of self-confidence.”


Hartus studied Japanese for two years in high school and during her last two semesters at the University.

“I feel happy about the award, but I am mostly grateful for Ms. Yamazaki for it,” Hartus said. “If it was not for her, no other teacher would have been able to convince me to even apply for the competition. So for me, the award shows how big of an impact a great teacher can have.”

Bogle and Hartus both hope to be able to use Japanese in the future in their career or to be able to continue learning and studying it.

Since 1999, the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio’s Japanese Language Speech Contest has been an annual event designed to highlight the power of foreign language communication at the high school and university level.

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