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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
    Date(s): July 2, 2018 – July 20, 2018: Alternate Route Teacher Certification (Face-to-face)
    Location(s): Chong Wa Benevolent Assn. Hall, Seattle, WA
    Program Setting: Non-residential

    Outcomes of the City University of Seattle Startalk Teacher Certification program: recruit 16 fluent speakers of Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese for Startalk Cohort 12. They will be at the novice teaching level (pre-service). Cohort 12 will take nine undergraduate quarter credits towards a Washington State teaching certificate. The program will run 14 days (July 2-July 20) for a total of 90 instructional hours. After the summer program, candidates will take an additional 14 credits over fall, winter and spring quarters, completing student teaching and the edTPA by June. During the field experience, teacher candidates will take the Designated World Languages test in order to add the world language endorsement to their teaching credentials. Teacher candidates, if all state standards and requirements are met, will then be able to apply for Washington state teaching certificates. The state teaching certificates may be exchanged in other states that have reciprocal agreements with Washington state.


    (206) 722-6561

    UW (Teacher)

    Preparing Language Teachers for the 21st Century

    Language(s): Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian
    Date(s): June 25, 2018 – July 8, 2018: (Online);
    July 9, 2018 – July 20, 2018: (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, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic 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 2018, the 75-hour program will offer five UW credits of EDC&I 495 from the University of Washington College of Education and will run from June 25, 2018 to July 8, 2018 (online) and July 9, 2018 through July 20, 2018 in the face-to-face component.

    (206) 543-0536
    Program Website:

    Seattle Public Schools (Teacher)

    Seattle Schools Startalk Teacher Certification

    Language(s): Chinese, Korean
    Date(s): July 30, 2018 – August 17, 2018: (Face-to-face)
    Location(s): Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, & Seattle Public Schools
    Program Setting: Non-residential

    The Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) STARTALK Teacher Program will offer a four-credit continuing education world language methods course, with a focus on differentiation, working with special needs students, and connecting to STEAM content areas, for 10 Chinese and 5 Korean speakers. This three-week summer intensive course awards 4 credits of continuing education that can be applied to PLU’s alternative routes to full teacher certification program with a World Language Endorsement in Chinese or Korean. During the second and third week of the course, teachers will have the opportunity to observe and microteach during a summer language camp for high school heritage and intermediate second languages learners.

    (253) 906-9173


    OneWorld Now! (Student)

    OneWorld Now! - STARTALK Summer Language Camp

    Language(s): Arabic, Chinese, Korean
    Grade Level(s): 9-12
    Date(s): July 9, 2018 – July 27, 2018: (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, Seattle-based Global Leadership Program, we integrate critical language learning, leadership training, and study abroad scholarships with a focus on minority and low-income high school youth. Thanks to STARTALK, OWN has offered a three-week Arabic, Chinese, and Korean summer program for each of the last ten years, with follow-on language classes available through the OWN academic yearlong program. In our twelfth year offering the STARTALK summer immersion program, we will hold another three-week-long, non-residential Arabic, Chinese, and Korean language immersion program for non-heritage high school students in Seattle. 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, and to motivate them to continue their language and cultural studies.

    (206) 223-7703
    Program Website:

    UW (Student)

    Russian in the Sky and in Outer Space

    Language(s): Russian
    Grade Level(s): 9-12, Undergraduate
    Date(s): June 25, 2018 – July 20, 2018: (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 (AAPPL and ACTFL OPIc and WPT) that high school students may be able to use in order to receive up to four high school competency-based credits, and all students will receive placement results for future study of Russian at the UW.

    (206) 543-0536
    Program Website: