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THREE AREA TEACHERS SELECTED TO VISIT JAPAN

 THREE AREA TEACHERS SELECTED TO VISIT JAPAN
 NORMAL, Ill., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Three Bloomington-Normal


educators will travel to Japan June 7-20 as participants in Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) educational ''Visit to Japan'' program.
 The program is designed to allow the teachers firsthand experience in Japanese school systems, customs, lifestyle and culture. During the two-week trip, the teachers will visit Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Bloomington-Normal's sister city, Asahikawa.
 Each program participant was selected by a committee of Unit 5 and District 87 representatives based on their concepts for incorporating the overseas experiences into the local classroom.
 Margaret Kang, Ed.D., who teaches Spanish and ESL (English as a Second Language) at Normal's Chiddix Junior High School and Parkside Junior High School, is one of the educators selected for this year's trip.
 Dr. Kang would like to help the district's development of course sections in selected content areas geared specifically to address the needs of limited English-speaking students. She said she looks forward to ''developing and delivering better and more effective culture and language packets for inservice training'' following her visit.
 A math instructor at University High School in Normal, Carol Ropp, will use the experience to enhance her work with non-English speaking students. ''Being able to experience a different classroom setting and culture will help me to better understand and assist the ESL students in my classes,'' said Ropp. She and her family have also hosted more than 100 youth from 27 different countries in her home and is ''excited about the opportunity to share a bit of American culture in return.''
 Janenne Scott, a third grade teacher at Oakland Elementary School in Bloomington, wants to establish written communications channels with a Japanese elementary school class during her trip to enable her students to ''become lifelong learners and friends of Japan.'' Since Japanese culture and the country itself are part of the third grade curriculum, Scott also plans to expand her classes' language unit ''by incorporating many of the great Japanese fairy tales and folklore.''
 MMC initiated the ''Visit to Japan'' program in 1989 as a thank you to the local community for helping provide educational services to Japanese families who have relocated to the area with Diamond-Star Motors.
 Scheduled to conclude last year, MMC extended the program through 1994 due to its success. ''Genuine international understanding can best be achieved through the free and frequent exchange of ideas between individuals who come from different cultures,'' said MMC President Hirokazu Nakamura.
 In addition to the ''Visit to Japan'' program, MMC has sponsored other educational exchange opportunities including programs coordinated by Youth for Understanding (YFU), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit international exchange organization. Since 1987 through the YFU program, a total of 21 high school students from both Central Illinois and Diamond-Star families have visited Japan. Each year, the students spend two months in the summer with a host family.
 Diamond-Star Motors, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., produces the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Plymouth Laser and the Eagle Talon.
 -0- 05/14/92
 /CONTACT: Chris Ziehmann, 309-888-8200, for Diamond-Star Motors/ CO: Diamond-Star Motors ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:


JP -- NY076 -- 0228 05/14/92 12:15 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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