Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Culture Cup

Posted 05/20/2016 by Michael Katsman

artwork by Andrew Villescas

A few Japanese students represent TJ by achieving third place in the annual Japan Cup.

Recently, several TJ students competed in the Japan Cup, a competition about Japanese culture and language which gives students the opportunity to express their fluency and excellence in the Japanese language. The competition is similar to Jeopardy, where students are asked trivia questions about Japanese culture and language.

Foreign language teacher Kyler Jackson had fourteen of his Japanese students compete, with five of these students placing third for the cup. These students went to DU to compete against several other schools in Colorado. Although the students did not know what to expect in the Cup, they performed extremely well. “My goal for next year is to place at least one team, if not every team we have,” Jackson stated.

Principal Suzanne Morris-Sherer was one of the first to hear of the victory. “I’m very proud that they reached third place,” said Morris-Sherer. “These kids are going above and beyond in representing our school.” In addition to fulfilling the high school requirement of two years of foreign language, the Japan Cup shows students’ readiness for global interaction and their fluency in another language, something colleges look at deeply. “I know we have plenty of students who want to pursue studying in Japan,” Morris-Sherer added. “This just gives them a leg up in their future.” This event shows much of our S.P.A.R.T.A.N (self advocacy, pride, aspire to achieve, respect self, others, environment, teamwork, academic accountability, no excuses) etiquette and college readiness expectation. “It’s an example of academic accountability as well as aspiring to achieve,” Morris-Sherer commented.

The Japan Cup presents many opportunities for foreign language education and allows students to show their potential in a different tongue. When the Japan Cup comes again, Spartans will be able to compete with fellow Japanese speakers and show off their skills in the language.