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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.


    CityU of Seattle Startalk (Teacher)

    City University Startalk Teacher Certification

    Language(s): Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
    Date(s): June 29, 2019 – July 19, 2019: (Face-to-face)
    Location(s): Chong Wa Benevolent Assn. Hall, Seattle, WA
    Program Setting: Non-residential

    Our program outcome is to recruit 15 fluent speakers of Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish at the novice teaching level (pre-service) to take nine undergraduate quarter credits towards Washington state teacher certification. Teacher candidates will be enrolled in one of CityU of Seattle's Alternative Routes to teacher certification program. The face to face part of the program runs 15 days (June 29-July 19), with a pre-program component (June 22-28) for a total of 90 instructional hours, not including outside assignments and the pre-program online component. After the summer program, teacher candidates will take an additional 14 credits during the academic year, completing student teaching by the end of spring quarter and taking and passing the edTPA in June. Teacher candidates will then apply for a Washington State Residency Teaching Certificates. During the certification program, teacher candidates will also be eligible to take the Designated World Language endorsement test to be certified to teach Chinese, Korean. Portuguese or Spanish.




    UW (Teacher)

    Preparing Language Teachers for the 21st Century

    Language(s): Arabic, Russian, Spanish
    Date(s): July 29, 2019 – August 11, 2019: (Online Pre-Program);
    August 12, 2019  August 23, 2019: (Face-to-face)
    Location(s): University of Washington Language Learning Center, Seattle, WA
    Program Setting: Residential

    The STARTALK Teacher Program, “Preparing Language Teachers for the 21st Century,” will prepare 10 native (or near native) speakers of Russian, Arabic, or Spanish 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 2019, 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 July 29, 2019 to August 9, 2019 (online) and August 12, 2019 through August 23, 2019 in the face-to-face component.

    Program Website:

    Seattle Public Schools (Teacher)

    Seattle Schools Startalk Teacher Certification

    Language(s): Arabic, Korean, Spanish
    Date(s): July 8, 2019 – July 26, 2019: (Face-to-face)
    Location(s): Seattle Public Schools/Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA
    Program Setting: Non-residential

    The Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) STARTALK Teacher Program seeks to enroll 13 participants (6 Korean, 3 Arabic, and 4 Spanish) who have at least Advanced Low proficiency. Participants will earn 11 graduate level credits towards teacher certification with a World Language Endorsement through alternative routes to certification and will receive vouchers to take the required assessments for teacher certification This three-week face-to-face summer intensive program and 3 online classes totals 120 contact hours. The program will be followed by 8 credits of fall/spring coursework and internship in order to complete the full certification program, with an estimated out-of-pocket cost of only $6,600 (financial aid available). Participants will have the opportunity to observe and microteach during summer language camps for high school heritage and intermediate second languages learners.



    OneWorld Now! (Student)

    OWN - STARTALK Summer Language and Leadership Camp

    Language(s): Arabic, Chinese, Korean

    Grade Level(s): 9-12
    Date(s): July 8, 2019 – July 26, 2019: (Face-to-face)
    Location(s): Franklin High School, Seattle, WA
    Program Setting: Non-residential

    OneWorld Now!’s vision is that all young Americans have access to transformative international education. Through our year-round Global Leadership Program we integrate critical language learning, leadership training, and study abroad scholarships for mostly underserved high school students. Thanks to STARTALK, OWN has offered a three-week Arabic, Chinese, and Korean summer program for each of the last eleven years, with follow-on language classes available through our academic year long program. In 2019 we again propose to hold a three-week-long, non-residential Arabic, Chinese, and Korean language immersion program for non-heritage high school students in Seattle, especially those who have fewer opportunities to access international education. The program includes 15 six-hour days, for a total of 90 contact hours. The desired outcome of the STARTALK-OWN Summer Language Camp will be to introduce 51 students to Arabic, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese, as well as to motivate them to continue their language and cultural studies.

    Program Website:

    UW (Student)

    Russian in the Sky and in Outer Space

    Language(s): Russian
    Grade Level(s): 9-12
    Date(s): July 29, 2019 – August 23, 2019: (Face-to-face)
    Location(s):  University of Washington Language Learning Center, Seattle, WA
    Program Setting:  Non-residential

    The STARTALK Student Program, “Russian in the Sky and in Outer Space,” aims to enroll 20 high school and early college Russian heritage students in a four-week intensive STEM-based language program meeting five hours a day for a total of 100 instructional hours. The program intends to increase students’ proficiency in Interpretive Reading, Presentational Speaking, and Presentational Writing. For the Interpersonal Mode, students will increase their linguistic accuracy and sensitivity to cultural norms, e.g., social register and extended linguistic forms not typically encountered in intimate family speech. Students will be able to earn five University of Washington credits by enrolling in RUSS 499 and also have an opportunity to complete language proficiency assessments that high school students may be able to use in order to receive up to four high school competency-based credits. The language proficiency assessment results may also qualify the students to receive the state Seal of Biliteracy. All students will receive placement results for future study of Russian at the UW.

    Program Website: