The Nihongo Philacon is open to high school students in their first, second, or third year of Japanese study:
Level I Students in their first year of Japanese study
Level II Students in their second year of Japanese study
Level III Students in their third year of Japanese study
In order to provide a fair playing field for all students in the Competition, students who have completed extensive Japanese study outside of the school course, or students who are exposed to Japanese language on a regular basis (because of a Japanese parent or other relative at home) are not eligible to compete. If there are any questions regarding a student’s eligibility for the Competition, please contact the Japan America Society.
Students may compete above but not below their level of completed study. I.E. A first year student could opt to compete in Level 2, but a second year student could not compete in Level 1.
Students will participate in teams composed of between 2 and 4 students from different schools. The hope is that the students will develop new connections and have some friendly rivalry with their classmates. Teams will select a spokesperson before the program begins.
Students will participate in two rounds of competition. There will be at least two teams in each classroom. While the difficulty of the questions will vary by level, the competition format will be the same for Level I, Level II, and Level III.
Each round will consist of:
1. Team Questions: 6 questions to each team (one question to each team in order, repeating)
The moderator will ask a multiple choice question to one team at a time. The team members will have 45 seconds to discuss their answers. Then, the team spokesperson must give the answer. 10 points will be awarded for a correct answer.
2. Toss-Up Questions: 10 questions
Each team will be given a bell to “ring in” with the answer. Any member of the team
may answer the toss-up question. The person who “rings in” fastest will have the first
chance to answer. If that person’s answer is not correct, other teams will have the
opportunity to “ring in.” The first correct answer will be awarded 5 points.
3. Open Questions: 10 questions
All teams are asked the same question simultaneously and must provide their answers in
writing. Team members will again have 45 seconds to discuss their answers. All teams
answering correctly will be awarded 10 points.
When answering in full sentences in Japanese, students must use the polite forms (です・ます).
There is no partial credit available. The individual judges have the final say on if an answer is right or wrong.
The scores for both the first and second round will be combined to determine the winning team.