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Indiana University

NCTA 2015
Participant Reflection

Renee Brown

English Teacher
North Cobb High School
Kennesaw, GA

"What a wonderful week spent with an amazingly adept group of educators learning about East Asian literature and history at the NCTA Teaching East Asian Literature Workshop hosted by Indiana University's East Asian Studies Center. Not only did we share collegial information but also the experience of learning about China, Japan, and Korea over a wildly quick week. Our lectures and interactive seminars provided incredible historical background information that made the literatures of East Asia more accessible. Our instructors sought incorporation of our knowledge with theirs in such a way that we were encouraged to ask questions yet maintained a steady speedy progress through these various cultures. Extra opportunities for films, tai chi, calligraphy, and museum visits ensured additional entertainment and learning possibilities for the classroom. Never have I been to such an action packed, immediately implementable series of activities. Just make sure you take time to explore the quaint shops and diverse eateries within easy walking distance of the campus in downtown Bloomington. Reserve some time in the Lilly Library to explore the original American author manuscripts and memorabilia!"

NCTA Teaching East Asian Literature Workshop

July 7-12, 2019

Indiana University Bloomington

We host an annual week-long, intensive summer workshop for K-12 English and world literature teachers who are interested in incorporating Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literature into their curriculum. Priority admission is reserved for high school educators.

Following the workshop, each participant develops a complete lesson plan for at least one of the pieces covered in the workshop. Those who turn in their lesson plan by the deadline are eligible to receive a $300 book-buying grant.

The workshop is generously funded by the Freeman Foundation. It is part of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) program, a national provider for professional development on East Asia to K-12 teachers.

Expanding Worldviews

The geo-strategic importance of East Asia—defined here as China, Japan, North and South Korea, and Taiwan—has compelled Americans to look at these cultures with new eyes. While there has been an increase in the teaching of East Asia in the national social studies curriculum, there has yet to be a similar effort in the language arts.

Literature opens a window on the inner life of a culture, offering readers a glimpse of how another culture understands and represents itself. Studying East Asian literature helps students to develop an appreciation of other cultures, allowing them to participate more fully as informed members of the world community.

Participation Includes:
  • Set of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literary works covered in workshop (mailed to participants prior to workshop)
  • Free housing and at least one meal a day
  • Certificate of completion
  • Option to purchase three graduate credits from Indiana University
  • Book grant for purchasing East Asian literature for classroom use, provided upon completion of all requirements
Workshop Format

The workshop kicks off Sunday, July 7. Each morning, history professors lead lectures and discussions on specific facets of China, Japan, and Korea that are pertinent to the literary works covered. Topics discussed include history, religion, culture, family and gender, and language.

Each afternoon literature professors discuss the short stories, novels, and poetry that participants have read prior to arrival at the workshop, focusing on universal as well as culture-specific aspects of the works.

After the literature discussions, a high school world literature teacher with experience teaching East Asian literature acts as curriculum consultant, leading strategy sessions on how to teach the works at the high school level.

Participants are also encouraged to attend Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultural activities during the day and film viewings in the evenings.

Participant’s Responsibilities
  • Pay the $100 non-refundable registration fee and cover travel expenses to and from Bloomington and the cost of up to two meals a day.
  • Read all works to be covered at workshop prior to arrival.
  • Participate in online discussions on the workshop’s Google Groups Web site prior to the workshop.
  • Submit one lesson plan on a specific work within five weeks of close of workshop. Those who turn in a lesson plan by the deadline are eligible to receive a $300 book-buying grant.

Participation is limited to 25 teachers.


Hye-Seung (Theresa) Kang                                                                                                          
Director, Indiana University NCTA National Coordinating Site                          

Associate Director, East Asian Studies Center


Anthony Ross

Outreach Coordinator, East Asian Studies Center