About the Program

Star talk logo

The STARTALK Texas Teacher Program At The University of Houston

The Chinese Studies Program,
MCL, CLASS, UH

StarTalk is a federal grant from the National Security Language Initiative.

Time: July 6-17 (8:30-3:30) 2015, plus a follow-up session, Nov. 1 (9:00-2:00) 2015.

Location: University of Houston, Main Campus.

Application Deadline: Monday, April 27, 2015. Only 20 seats are available

Fill out the online application along with a copy of your Bachelor’s or latest degree’s transcript with the degree specified.

Download application.

Applicants should include a one-page essay in English that describes:

  • What you hope to achieve by the end of the program.
  • What project you plan to develop to share with other teachers. The projects may include a standards-based curriculum design with theme-based units, daily lesson plans, curriculum materials tailored to their own students, or a course syllabus with instructional and assessment samples.

Who can participate?

  • Participants must hold an undergraduate degree. A copy of your last degree transcript with your degree specified must be submitted together with your application.
  • Teachers of Chinese in K-12 public and private schools, community colleges, and Chinese heritage schools in Texas.
  • Out-of-state teachers who pay for their own transportation to Houston and a partial of the room cost are also welcome to apply.

What is the cost?

  • Zero for participants who are admitted to the program, fulfill the course requirements and successfully complete the entire program. You will receive the Startalk Scholarship to UH upon your successful application.
  • The participants will receive a certificate for their successful completion of the entire program addition to 3-credits for a graduate course.

What is the program?

  • You will receive a Scholarship for Startalk Texas Teacher Program at UH. You will receive a 3-credit graduate course (CHNS 6372: Studies of Chinese Language Acquisition) may be applied towards the Alternative Teacher Preparation Program leading to Texas teacher certification in Chinese, teacher certificate renewal, or a degree of Master of Arts in teaching Chinese as a second language.
  • Participants will work on curriculum design, materials, and instructional plans during the program. Participants will develop an understanding of the process of learning Chinese as a foreign language, and analyze critical issues in Chinese language acquisition and instruction.
  • Each participant will develop a program project based on his/her teaching needs, implement the project when returning to school in fall, evaluate it in actual teaching, and report the results to the class in the follow-up session.
  • There is an online post-program center that uses materials created by the participants, which include standards-based curriculum with theme-based units, daily lesson plans, curriculum materials tailored to particular student groups, and the course syllabus with instructional and assessment samples, videos, presentations, teaching points and cultural resources.
  • This intensive program consists of 64 contact hours,  July 6 –17, and a follow-up session on Nov. 1, 2015. 

What is the curriculum?

  • Conceptualization of the National Standards by applying the standards to theme-/content-based curriculum design and learner-centered instruction
  • Examination of research in second language acquisition and Chinese language instruction on form, meaning, and function
  • Backward design: application of the theories to CFL curriculum and instruction; using the theory and teaching principles to evaluate sample teaching plans and curriculum materials
  • Discussion on Chinese vocabulary instruction: from theories to methodology through analysis of critical issues such as learning processes and interactive learning
  • Performance-based assessments with a focus on "what students can do with language" rather than "what they know about language"
  • Chinese linguistics for Chinese teachers: From theory to application.

What are the program activities?

  • Through lectures, reflections, hands-on activities, presentations, and collaborative learning, participants construct their knowledge in a learner-centered environment, and develop their capacity to become master teachers.
  • The participants will first evaluate existing curriculum materials and instructional plans, and report their assessments. 
  • They will then design a standards-based curriculum with theme-based units, including daily lesson plans, curriculum materials tailored to their own students, or the course syllabus with instructional and assessment samples.
  • The projects will include curriculum goals for theme units, objectives for each lesson, and instructional focus for each class activity, with formative / summative assessments integrated throughout the process.
  • The projects developed will be learner-centered and task-based, helping students develop communicative competence, cognitive skills, and learning strategies.