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    What is STARTALK?

    STARTALK’s mission is to increase the number of U.S. citizens learning, speaking, and teaching critical need foreign languages. STARTALK offers students (K–16) and teachers of these languages creative and engaging summer experiences that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) launched STARTALK in 2006 and delegated executive oversight of the program to the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA in turn awarded a contract to the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland (UMD) to act as its subject matter expert in the implementation and administration of the program. 

    STARTALK is guided by six Principles for Effective Teaching & Learning and has three main objectives:

    1. To increase the number of students enrolled in the study of critical-need languages
    2. To increase the number of highly effective critical-language teachers in the U.S.
    3. To increase the number of highly effective materials and curricula available to teachers and students of these critical-need languages

    Through the accomplishment of these objectives, it is believed that the U.S. will be better equipped not only to improve its international relations, but also to solidify its national security and global economic competitiveness in the years ahead. (retrieved 11/5/2016)

    STARTALK has amassed an amazing array of resource for world language teachers which can be used or adapted for any language. Check our STARTALK Resources.

    STARTALK PROGRAMS in Seattle 2017

    Seattle Public Schools (Teacher)

    Seattle Schools Startalk Teacher Certification

    Language(s):  Chinese, Korean, Portuguese

    Date(s): June 23, 2017 – July 14, 2017: (Face-to-face)

    Location(s):  Chong Wa Benevolent Association Hall, Seattle, WA

    This three week summer intensive program will take place June 23-July 14. Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Startalk Teacher Certification Program will start a new Cohort 11 of 5 Chinese, 3 Korean and 3 Portuguese speaking teacher candidates to join the returning Cohort 10 (4 participants) in a state approved teacher certification program. Cohort 10 will take its own 6 graduate level credits in the alternate route teacher certification sequence, totaling 180 instructional hours . The new Cohort 11 will begin their initial set of courses for 6 graduate level classes. Day 1 (Friday, June 23) features the orientation to certification seminar and first day of classes, with the following Week 1 consisting of morning certification classes and afternoon lab school prep. Weeks 2 and 3 will consist of a supervised morning lab school practicum with a working lunch debrief and prep in the afternoons. Those in Cohort 10 who completed summer 2016 and who have also completed the fall Issues of Child Abuse and Neglect class, spring student teaching and the culminating EdTPA, will be eligible for state teaching certificates by the end of Summer 2017.

    Contact(s):  Betty Lau  (206) 722-6561  |


    University of Washington (Teacher)

    STARTALK: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century

    Language(s):  Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russia

    Date(s): June 26, 2017 – July 5, 2017: (Online)
    July 6, 2017 – July 21, 2017: (Face-to-face)

    Location(s): University of Washington Language Learning Center, Seattle, WA

    The STARTALK Teacher Program, “Preparing Language Teachers for the 21st Century,” will prepare 10 native (or near native) speakers of Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, or Russian to teach in a standards and content-based program, focused on developing communicative proficiency and accuracy in students learning these languages and on integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into language instruction. The program is designed to teach participants the STARTALK principles and standards-based language teaching and curriculum development, as well as the content knowledge needed to pass the Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsement (WEST-E) for World Languages. Teachers will be able to work toward obtaining a P-12 World Language Endorsement for teaching these languages in Washington K-12 public schools. The program also provides scholarship assistance to complete the required assessments (WEST-E and ACTFL OPIc and WPT). In 2017, the 75-hour program will offer six UW credits of EDC&I 495 from the University of Washington College of Education and will run from June 19, 2017 through July 21, 2017 with both online and in-person components.

    Contact(s): |

    OneWorld Now! (Student)

    OneWorld Now!-STARTALK Summer Language Camp

    Language(s):  Arabic, Chinese, Korean

    Grade Level(s): 9-12

    Date(s): July 10, 2017 – July 28, 2017: (Face-to-face)

    Location(s): OneWorld Now! @ Franklin High School, Seattle, WA

    OneWorld Now!’s vision is that all young Americans have access to transformative international education. In our tenth year offering the STARTALK summer immersion program, we will hold a three-week-long, non-residential Arabic, Chinese, and Korean language immersion program for at least 51 non-heritage high school students in Seattle, with a focus on minority and low-income high school youth. The program includes 15 six-hour days, for a total of 90 contact hours. The desired outcome of the STARTALK-OWN Summer Language Camp is to introduce the students to Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Korean, motivate them to continue their language and cultural studies, and encourage them to explore related post-secondary studies and careers with a demand for critical languages.


    University of Washington (Student)

    Portuguese through STEM and Project-Based Learning

    Language(s):  Portuguese

    Grade Level(s): 9-12, Undergraduate

    Date(s):  June 19, 2017 – July 14, 2017: (Online)
    July 17, 2017 – August 11, 2017: (Face-to-face)

    Location(s):  University of Washington Language Learning Center, Seattle, WA

    The UW STARTALK Student Program, “Portuguese through STEM and Project-Based Learning,” aims to enroll 20 high school and college Portuguese and Spanish heritage language students in a four-week intensive Portuguese language program meeting six hours a day for a total of 120 instructional hours plus 20 hours for the online component preceding the face-to-face program. Portuguese heritage students are expected to increase their proficiency level from Intermediate Low to High, and Spanish heritage students, who will be just beginning their study of Portuguese, will aim to reach Intermediate Low (or higher) proficiency. The program is designed to develop students’ proficiency in Interpretive Reading and Listening, Presentational Speaking, and Presentational Writing in Portuguese, and in the Interpersonal Mode, students will increase their linguistic accuracy and sensitivity to cultural norms, e.g., social register and linguistic forms not typically encountered in intimate family speech. Students will be able to earn six University of Washington credits by enrolling in PORT 105 and also have an opportunity to complete the ACTFL AAPPL in the beginning of the program and the ACTFL OPIc (Oral Proficiency Interview computer-based) and WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) at the end of the program. High school students may be able to use these results in order to receive up to four high school competency-based credits, and all students will receive placement results for future study of Portuguese at the UW.

    Contact: |