More on EALC Student Conference 2018
By East Asian Languages & Cultures | Thursday, June 7, 2018
By East Asian Languages & Cultures
Thursday, June 7, 2018
This year’s EALC student conference took place on April 27, in Herter 201. Even though it was a Friday night, the room was packed with a large audience and they all enjoyed stimulating presentations.
Professor David Schneider, the EALC Program Director, kicked off the conference with inspiring remarks about the field of East Asia studies, which was followed by a showcase of contest-winning speeches. Rebecca Cooper (Finance, ’20) delivered her speech entitled, “我的旅行 - My Travel Experience,” with which she had won the Best Delivery & Style in the Five College Chinese Speech Contest on April 13. Cooper’s eloquence was such that it was hard to believe she had only been studying Chinese for a year. With the same speech, she also won the first place in the beginner group of the Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for University Students in New England held at the UMass Boston Confucius Institute on April 21.
Cooper’s speech was followed by Julia Nguyen’s speech, “제고향 - My Hometown,” in which Nguyen (Communication, ’18) described in fluent Korean various attractions of her home country, Vietnam, from banh mi (sandwich) to Ha Long Bay. She was awarded third place in the Five College Korean Speech Contest on April 7 for this speech.
The last one to give a speech was Annie Ayers (Japanese and Mathematics, ’21). In her speech, “幽霊とゴーストで学べる社会 - Studying Society through Ghosts and Spirits,” Ayers compared Japan with the U.S. by looking at how ghosts are imagined in both cultures. With this insightful speech, she won the first place in the third- and fourth-year level at the Five College Japanese Speech Contest on March 28, as well as the right to participate in the Japanese Speech Contest held by the Consulate General of Japan in Boston.
Following these well-delivered speeches, three of the EALC graduate students presented their MA theses. The first presentation was by Baoqing Qian and entitled, “Studies on L2 Acquisition of Chinese Verbs of Change by English Speakers.” In her thesis, Qian examined the influence of English on learning various Chinese verbs of “to change” and discovered that second-language learners whose native language is English have difficulty with verbs of “to become” rather than those of “to change.”
Next, Johnathan McGlory presented his thesis, “A Religious Pilgrimage for Retired Women: A Translation and Analysis of Jippensha Ikku’s Togakushi Zenkōji ōrai.” Togakushi Zenkōji ōrai is a guidebook for a pilgrimage to Zenkōji Temple, a popular destination among elderly women in the late Tokugawa period. With a hand-bound copy of his own made from an online xylographic edition, McGlory explained what the pilgrimage was like and how significant this book is in understanding the breadth of its famous author, Jippensha Ikku, as well as the historical background of the book itself.
The last presentation of the day was “How Students of Japanese Perceive and Use Technology” by David Rubino. In his thesis, Rubino sought to discover which technologies students of Japanese select, how they employ those tools and if it makes them feel more confident in their studies. The presentation offered an inspiring switch of perspectives from instructor-centered choice of technology in language classrooms to a learner-centered one.
Unlike the conferences of previous years where honors students present their honors theses as well, the presentations of this year’s conference were all based on MA theses and were more specialized. Nevertheless, the audience was well-engaged and many of them later expressed appreciation for the illuminating presentations. Their understanding was no doubt facilitated by the respondent, Patrick Carland (MA, Japanese, ’19), who made comments and questions for all of the presentations. After taking some questions from the floor as well, the evening ended with more conversation over Chinese food from Ginger Garden.