About the Program

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The STARTALK Texas Teacher Program At The University of Houston

The Chinese Studies Program,

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 fulfill the course requirements and successfully complete the entire program. The Startalk grant covers tuition & fees, instructional materials, and a portion of the housing cost for non-local participants.
  • 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?

  • 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.