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CCCCD Student Wins Statewide Competition

CCCCD Student Wins Statewide Competition

DEC. 16, 2001-Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) student Kyujeong Shim won first place in the 13th annual Japanese Language Speech Contest. The only community college student in the contest, Shim competed against students from universities in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Waco and the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan at Houston and the Japan-America Society, this statewide competition is held in North Texas every four to five years.

"In the preliminary contest I saw the other contestants, and I realized it would be really tough. I did not expect that I would get first place," said Shim, a computer science student at CCCCD.

To qualify, contestants must be Japanese language students who are not native Japanese and who have not lived in Japan for more than one year within the past five years. In addition, Japanese should not be the applicant's first language or be spoken at home.

Contestants are evaluated on pronunciation, grammatical ability, overall ability, content, delivery of speech, creativity and enthusiasm. "I am very glad I was not a judge in this competition as I would not be able to make any suggestions for improving his speech; it was that good," said the Honorable Mari Amano, consulate-general of Japan at Houston.

According to Kazuko Scott, CCCCD professor of Japanese, it was pronunciation and expression that interested Shim in class. He wanted to be truly immersed in the culture.

"He is a very motivated student. He has studied Japanese before, but never with a native Japanese teacher. He is a very quick learner. If he continues his study, he will become quite fluent," she said.