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Students place in Toyama Cup language competition
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Two Portland Community College students took first and second places at the annual Toyama Cup, a Japanese speech contest.The event, which took place on April 27 at the Fifth Avenue Suites Hotel in Portland, featured hundreds of students from eight institutions, university and community colleges. PCC students Kevin Claborn, of southeast Portland, took first place in the Level 1 competition, while Renee Skjeie, of Cornelius, placed second. Claborn and Skjeie are both studying in the second-year Japanese class at the Sylvania Campus.The Toyama Cup’s Level 1 competition is for students who have studied Japanese at the college level for less than two years. Level 2 is for students who have studied at the college level for more than two years or have taken trips to Japan for more than three months. The contestants were judged on the three main areas, including language ability, creativity and presentation.The main sponsors are the Toyama Prefectural Government and the Japan-America Society of Oregon. The state of Oregon has a special relationship with Toyama Prefecture and one of the ways in which this friendship is being expressed is through the annual speech contest.There also were several PCC student volunteers who assisted the two students in the preparation stages of the speech presentations. PCC’s international student volunteers as well as Doris Werkman, PCC speech instructor, provided the two students with guidance in the presentational aspect of their speech.