Japanese language students selected for Living Language Experience Program

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All the fourth and fifth year Japanese language students in Yoko Iwasaki’s classes were selected for the Living Language Experience (LLE) Program, which builds bridges between classrooms and the Japanese business world. The 19 students were accepted into the program based on their outstanding Japanese language proficiency — the largest group of qualifying students in Oregon. Students had to pass the Oregon Benchmark Level 4 exam to qualify.

Few outsiders are given the opportunity to visit U.S.-based Japanese companies and observe their inner workings. The students interacted in Japanese with native Japanese business professionals to arrange their visits, tour the facilities, and engage in conversation about the products or services.

Rohan Jhunjhunwala, Gene Yamamoto, and Cole Williamson visited JAE Oregon, Inc., a manufacturer of electrical connectors.

Lizzie Medford, Danielle Shapira, Megan Stater, and Ramtin Rahmani visited Pacific Nutritional Foods Inc., a tofu processing and packaging plant.

Jackson Morawski, Anthony Eden, Will Jolley, and Koichi Omara visited Tokyo Ohka Kogyo America, Inc., manufacturers of photoresists and auxiliary chemicals.

Jesse Kimsey-Bennett, Cameron Boyd, Emrys Dennison, and Lauren Spiegel visited Pasco Corporation of America, a bakery, deli, and food service products manufacturer.

Alex Foster, Sabin Ray, Qiddist Hammerly, and Andrew Hungate visited Nippon Express U.S.A. Inc., a division of Nippon Express Group, the world's largest full-service freight forwarder.

Members of Shokookai, a Japanese business alliance in Portland, are interested in how the LLE program works at the high school level (colleges participate, too), and are eager to know what effect the experience has on students. To that end, Yoshio Oda from Epson Portland, Inc., and a board member of Shokookai, and Miwa Pierce, a Shokookai staff member, came to Catlin Gabel to attend student presentations about their visits to Japanese businesses. Yoko will speak at an upcoming Shokookai meeting.