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Indiana University


K-12 East Asian Connection


Volume XVII, Number 2

Spring 2013

Quick Links

Any questions? Contact us:

Theresa Kang
Director, NCTA

Anthony Ross

Outreach Coordinator

Read previous issues in our archive.


Year 16 NCTA Grant Received

This spring EASC received a $289,750 grant from the Freeman Foundation to fund National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) activities for another year, Year 16 (2013-14) of the NCTA program. The NCTA program provides K-12 teachers interested in incorporating East Asia into their curricula with face-to-face seminars, Web-based courses, and other professional development programs on East Asia. For more information about our NCTA program, see EASC’s NCTA Web site.

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Groundbreaking at EASC’s New Home

In April, IU broke ground on the new Global and International Studies building. Along with EASC, the Global and International Studies Building (GISB) will house approximately 10 academic departments and 19 research centers or programs focused on the study of global cultural processes and foreign languages. The GISB will offer state-of-the-art classrooms, offices, and gathering places for the study of foreign languages and humanistic inquiries into global cultures. Placing all of these units in the GISB will offer exciting possibilities for new collaborations in the four-story 165,000-square-foot building. The GISB will also help alleviate ongoing demands for classroom space as IU’s student population continues to grow. To read more about the ground breaking ceremony and watch video of the ground breaking ceremony, click here.

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NCTA Enrichment Event on “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

On May 18, 21 K-12 teachers from around the Midwest participated in the 2013 NCTA enrichment event held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The day began with a presentation titled “Love the future:” Ai Weiwei and contemporary China by Gardner Bovingdon (Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University). Professor Bovingdon shared his insight into human rights and social change in contemporary China as well as his understanding of Ai Weiwei—one of China’s most provocative and vocal artists—and his artwork. Within the presentation, relevant resources were provided for teachers to use in their classrooms. A guided tour of the special exhibition, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” led by museum docents, followed the presentation. Participants were able to get a deeper understanding of the artist’s life and his artistic practice. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is one of only five venues, including the Smithsonian’s Hirshorn Museum, on the North American tour of this exhibition.

Funded by the Freeman Foundation, the goal of EASC’s annual NCTA enrichment event is to enhance teaching and learning about East Asia for K-12 teachers, including alumni of our NCTA Teaching about Asia Seminars.

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Lesson Plans from NCTA Hangzhou Residential Program and NCTA EAGLE Site

In our Fall 2012 newsletter, we reported that three of EASC’s NCTA alumni joined 17 other NCTA teachers from across the country in NCTA’s first summer residential program. The 20 teachers attended a variety of classes, participated in field trips, and explored Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, China, where the program took place. The end product of this program was either a series of lesson plans or a comprehensive teaching unit which, when possible and appropriate, included components based on their experience in Hangzhou.

The NCTA at University of Pittsburgh has made the lesson plans available on their East Asia Gateway for Linking Educators (EAGLE) Web site. Click here to view all the lesson plans. The EAGLE site is an online resource of materials for teaching about Asia, and a portal where teachers can share teaching materials as well as their own ratings and reviews of materials. Furthermore, a database of teaching material was designed to serve as an online library of books, films, and other resources for teachers’ use. If you wish to comment on the materials or contribute to the site you will need to login with your own password, which can be requested. Visit EAGLE’s homepage at to find out more.

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K-16 Workshop on “How to Teach Writing in Japanese using the Genre Approach”

This April, in collaboration with the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese, EASC held a one-day workshop for elementary, secondary, and college teachers of Japanese titled “How to Teach Writing in Japanese using the Genre Approach” in Indianapolis. Seven high school instructors and twenty-one university instructors from Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin participated in the workshop.

Organized by Keiko Kuriyama (East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University) and Allen Kidd (President, Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese), the workshop was a response to the growing need among Japanese language teachers to know how to teach writing in Japanese within the K-16 education system. Dr. Kazumi Matsumoto (Professor of the Modern Languages and Classics Department at Ball State University) guided the discussion of approaches to teaching Japanese writing skills. Tomoe Nakamura (Japanese teacher at North Central High School), Hiroko Chiba (Associate Professor of Japanese at DePauw University), and Molly Jeon (Japanese and ENL teacher from Bloomington High School North) led hands-on sessions that focused on topics such as activities that comprise the Genre Approach, effective group collaboration writing exercises and practical lesson plans based on the Genre Approach.

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EASC Presents Korea Box for Classroom Use

The East Asian Studies Center’s outreach program has been providing K-12 teachers in America with lesson plans and items indicative of Chinese and Japanese culture for nearly a decade. Interested teachers request one or more of the roughly 13”X10”X11” plastic boxes and use the toys, books, clothing and occasional surprise inside, such as vacuum-sealed chicken feet, to help their students better understand the cultures of East Asia.

We are pleased to announce that several Korea boxes are being developed, with the first one, “Holidays and Traditions,” now available. The “Holidays and Traditions” box provides artifacts and explanations for major holidays like Daeboreum (full moon festival), traditional Korean dress and the traditional sport, Ssireum. In addition, included within the box is a detailed PowerPoint and several activity plans. For more information and to make reservations for the box, click here or email

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Japanese Children’s Artwork Exhibit

Since December, EASC has featured on its office walls a collection of 12 exceptional pieces of artwork from Japanese children ranging from ages eight to 15 years old. Now 20 pieces from the collection of prize-winning entries for the 71st National Exhibition of Art in Education in Japan will be digitally displayed on EASC’s Web site. These 20 works of art were made possible for viewing by the Society for the Promotion of Art in Education in Japan along with the special help of Indiana University Professor Marjorie Cohee Manifold (Art Education Program, Curriculum & Instruction). The illustrations, such as fifth grader Shiori Manobori’s Roller on the Tree and seventh grader Rumi Watanabe’s All Alive, highlight the significance of nurturing creativity through art education.

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“Students’ Backpacks from Across the Globe” Display at IUB Wells Library

Presented by the IU Bloomington International Outreach Council, students’ backpacks from Mexico, China, South Africa, Romania, Turkmenistan, Guatemala, Germany and Japan were on display at the Herman B. Wells Library from late January through February.

Backpacks and their contents from the above eight countries, together with posters containing background information about each country and its education system were shown to help illustrate what being a student looks like all around the globe. The East Asian Studies Center (EASC) actively participated in this exhibit by designing posters about education systems and school lives in China and Japan.

Many guests left positive comments about the exhibit. One guest wrote: “Fantastic options for learning and research activities!”

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Jackson Creek Middle School Chinese Language Program and Chinese New Year Celebration

To kick off the incorporation of Mandarin Chinese courses into their curriculum in 2013, Jackson Creek Middle School (JCMS) in Bloomington, Indiana, celebrated the Chinese and Korean New Year with cultural displays and entertainment at an assembly on February 12th. The assembly started off with a piece by the JCMS band followed by EASC volunteers, Minhwa and Minae Choi, with a thrilling performance on traditional Korean drums. The rest of the assembly was comprised of EASC volunteers, Li Xuan, from Jacobs Music School, her two friends Jue and Yu Wang, who sang a popular Chinese song, and Tracy Zhu, IU School of Education, who performed a traditional Chinese fan dance. (picture) While the performances were occurring, onstage, members from IU’s Chinese Calligraphy Club, Lucia Zhu and Qindan Nie, created sheets of calligraphy to be displayed in the school. 540 students, 50 teachers and staff members, and 10 guests and parents attended the assembly and enjoyed the performances.

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The 2013 Japanese Olympiad of Indiana

The thirteenth annual Japanese Olympiad of Indiana was held at Ball State University on March 2. The event was cosponsored by EASC, the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese, Consulate General of Japan at Chicago, Department of Modern Languages and Classics at Ball State University, and The Japan Foundation. This competition brought together more than 150 students of Japanese from 16 Indiana high schools to test their knowledge of Japanese language, culture, and history in a fast-paced “Jeopardy”-style competition. Students were split into separate divisions based on their years of experience in the study of Japanese (second-year, third-year, and fourth-year Japanese).

Chesterton High School won both the second-year and third-year levels and placed second in the fourth-year level at the competition. North Central High School won the fourth-year level. In addition to competing in the Japanese Olympiad, participants watched performances of traditional Japanese instruments by Japanese musicians and also took part in a variety of modern and traditional Japanese cultural activities, including watching Japanese movies, learning origami, making crafts, and learning Japanese games.

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The 14th Lotus Blossom World Bazaar

The fourteenth annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar took place on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at Binford Elementaryin Bloomington, with an estimated 1,400 children and adults attending. The first day was set aside for Bloomington-area fourth graders,while Saturday everyone, young and old, was able to attend the Family Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for international music, crafts, games, and other fun activities. The East Asian Studies Center, with help from our wonderful volunteers, hosted activities such as Korean fan making, Chinese lantern crafts, and Year of the Snake coloring.

EASC volunteers, in addition to assisting with activities, also shared their experience and knowledge of East Asia with children and adults alike at the EASC table as well as at the bazaar’s World Language table. For more information, visit the Lotus Blossoms Web site.

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