Mixing paper and digital: 2020 online summer English drama kamishibai workshop





kamishibai, traditional Japanese story-boarding, paper to digital, online drama workshop, intercultural communicative competence


This paper discusses the results of an intervarsity picture kamishibai-storytelling workshop that integrated communication skills and art via the online real-time conference system, Zoom©. As in previous years, the goal of the annual summer drama workshop was to support the participants’ communication and leadership skills. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic however, the chief purpose of the 2020 Online Summer English Drama Kamishibai Workshop was to support the mental well-being of students. Thirteen low-to-intermediate level English language students, both English language majors and non-majors from three different universities in Japan worked together for the workshop project in three 90-minute online slots over two days in August 2020. After learning the basic theory and techniques of the storytelling art, students were divided into groups to create their original English kamishibai story to perform online. In the preparation stage, each student created their own work using simple A4 paper sheets and pens, and these were amalgamated with other members of their group to form a coherent narrative. At the end of the third session, each group presented their work on Zoom©, and these performances demonstrated the students’ creativity through unique plots and characters. Their feedback indicated that they developed stress-tolerance and resilience, both features of negative capability.


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