The Language Learning Center at the University of Washington has received funding from the National Foreign Language Center under the STARTALK Program. The STARTALK Program is a Presidential Initiative that funds Summer Programs in critical languages seeking to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important world languages that are now not widely taught in the US. For the third year in a row, the LLC will offer a Teacher and Student Program in Russian during the summer.
The STARTALK Teacher Program, "Preparing Russian Teachers for the 21st Century” (July 8-19, 2013) aims to enroll ten or more teachers who are currently teaching Russian in the community or who would like to work toward obtaining a P-12 World Language Endorsement in Russian for teaching Russian language in Washington K-12 public schools. This Teacher Program will prepare native (or near native) speakers of Russian to teach in a standards and content-based program, focused on developing communicative proficiency and accuracy in heritage speakers of Russian. A special focus on integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) into language instruction will prepare teachers to work effectively with today's students. The program also provides content knowledge needed to pass the Washington Educator Skills Test - Endorsement (WEST-E) for World Languages and the pedagogical experience that would prepare them for the Performance-Based Pedagogical Assessment (PPA) for those teachers for whom it is required for state endorsement, and to provide scholarship assistance to complete the required assessments (WEST-E and ACTFL OPIc and WPT).
The STARTALK Student Program, "Russian in the Sky and in Outer Space" (July 15-August 9, 2013), is designed for twenty high school Russian heritage students as a four-week intensive language camp. The program combines the history of the most important events of space exploration with that of aircraft design and the language of science and technology. A content-based component STEM is woven into this program through a partnership with the Museum of Flight. Students will be able to sharpen and expand their use of formal Russian language not only inside the classroom, but during the field trips to the Museum of Flight, while meeting with professionals from Boeing and Microsoft, and visiting facilities of these companies. All participants will receive scholarship assistance for ACTFL OPIc (Oral Proficiency Interview computer-based) and WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) with the possibility to earn up to 4 competency-based credits for high school world languages. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be granted transferable 5 University of Washington credits.
Conference "Russian Language from Kindergarten to College" organized by Coordinating Council of Russian Americans in the U.S.A.
UW STARTALK organisers had an oportunity to go to STARTALK Fall Conference to celebrate the programs just completed and participate in continued professional development.
UW STARTALK organizers participated in the COFLT-WAFLT bi-state Fall Conference 2012, held in Vancouver, WA. Michele Aoki, Svetlana Abramova, and Veronika Egorova presented a workshop "STEM and Heritage Speakers"