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.

Dates: July 8-19 (8:30-3:30) 2013, plus follow-up sessions, Oct. 12 and Nov. 2 (9:00-1:30) 2013.

Location: University of Houston, Main Campus.

Application Deadline: Monday, April 1, 2013. Only 20 seats are available.

Download the online application.

Along with other application materials, applicants should include a one-page essay in English, that describes:

  • What do you hope to achieve by the end of the program?
  • What project do 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 must 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. Scholarships are offered to cover tuition & fees, instructional materials, and part of the housing cost for non-local participants.
  • The registration fee ($200) is due after being accepted to the program. The fee, however, will be refunded to the participants upon successful completion of the entire program.
  • The participants will receive a certificate for their successful completion of the entire program.

What is the program?

  • A 3-credit graduate course (CHNS 6398: Issues in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language) may be applied towards the Alternative Teacher Preparation Program leading to Texas teacher certification in Chinese, teacher certificate renewal, or the Master of Arts in teaching Chinese as a second language.
  • Participants will work on curriculum design, materials, and instructional development during the program. Participants will develop an understanding of the nature and process of learning Chinese as a foreign language, identify critical issues in Chinese foreign language pedagogy, and enhance their ability to develop appropriate teaching plans and materials.
  • 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 follow-up sessions.
  • 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 70 contact hours during the period of July 9 – July 20, and  follow-up sessions on Oct.12, Nov. 2, 2013. 

What is the curriculum?

  • Conceptualize the National Standards; apply the standards to theme-/content-based curriculum design and learner-centered instruction. See the national Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. Use the national standards and teaching principles to evaluate sample teaching plans and curriculum materials.
  • Discuss Chinese vocabulary instruction: from theories to methodology, through analysis of critical issues such as learning processes and interactive learning.
  • Examine Pedagogical Grammar in the areas of tones, sentence structures, pragmatics and culture.
  • Backward design: application of the theories to CFL curriculum and instruction. Microteaching: Develop curriculum and/or instructional projects for your students.
  • Techniques for differentiated instruction to accommodate different needs of learners.
  • Conduct performance-based assessments with a focus on "what students can do with language" rather than "what they know about language."

What are the program activities?

  • Through lectures, observations, 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.