Tokyo International University of America students perform Japanese folk tales

Students from Tokyo International University of America spent several weeks this past spring practicing their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills by performing traditional Japanese folk tales.

Students in professors Lora Yasen and Marianne Stipe's classes honed their pronunciation, intonation and expressive reading as they performed "kamishibai," or paper theater.

They read the kamishibai stories to a Japanese class at South Salem High School, which provided feedback on their speech, and then recorded the stories in both English and Japanese at Salem's CCTV studio, a local cable station. Two Willamette graduates, Jamie Perros '09 and Daisuke Nagata '10, also appeared in the video, and Nagata edited it with the help of CCTV staff.

For the students' final performance, they read the stories to an enthusiastic audience at nearby Bush Elementary School.

The TIUA campus was established in 1989 through a partnership between Tokyo International University in Japan and Willamette. Since that time, 2,182 students have enrolled in the Salem program to spend a year taking English language and American studies courses at TIUA and Willamette.

The partnership also allows Willamette students and professors to study and teach in Japan at the TIU campus.

The TIUA students' performances will air for the next several weeks on CCTV Channel 22. View the schedule on CCTV's website. Photo stories of the students discussing their projects are available on TIUA's website.