WCU students spend day teaching Catamount School students

Students from WCU’s Japanese Language Program and Intensive English Program visited the Catamount School to teach students Japanese language and culture.

Western Carolina University’s Japanese Language Program and Intensive English Program recently partnered with the Catamount School, WCU’s laboratory school located at Smoky Mountain High School, to share the Japanese language and culture with the school’s students.

WCU students from both programs went to The Catamount School on Nov. 8 to provide students with lessons in Japanese language and to teach them about Japanese culture. The idea came when Japanese instructor Yumiko Ono and Jill Cargile, director of the Intensive English Program, were looking for new ways to promote meaningful exchange opportunities between WCU Japanese language students and those in IEP.

Students from the Catamount School learn how to use chopsticks.

Ono and Cargile said they also wanted an opportunity to present Japanese language and culture in the local community. After speaking with Katy Elders, the enrichment coordinator at the Catamount School, Elders arranged the visit.

Six Japanese language students and five from IEP worked together to show about 30 Catamount school students how to write their names in katakana, which is one of the Japanese alphabets. They also shared with them the differences between classroom environments and school lunches in the U.S. and Japan.

Ono and Cargile said the visit provided the WCU students with an opportunity to gain experience in giving presentations on language and culture. The WCU students who participated are Madison King, Aubree Payne, Brooke Palmer, Jessica Nash, Kyle Murray, Daniel Averitt, Nao Funato, Natsuho Tsunekawa, Sakura Ootake, Nagisa Sakaguchi and Miku Yamamoto.