STARTALK was launched as a new component in the programs of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) announced by former President Bush in January of 2006. The initiative seeks to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important world languages that are not now widely taught in the US. Other programs under the NSLI umbrella include Title VI/Fulbright Hays programs of the US Department of Education, The National Security Education program of the National Defense University, and study abroad and exchange programs of the US Department of State.

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.

http://startalk.umd.edu/about (accessed 11/2017)

Learn more about STARTALK programs around the U.S. from previous years:

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

Washington state specific programs:

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Resources from STARTALK

A major deliverable from STARTALK has been resources for teachers and students to promote effective language learning and teaching. Here are some links to check out:

University of Washington Language Learning Center Seattle, WA 98195-4340    Phone:(206) 543-0536     Email: startalk@uw.edu