Paul Aoki
Principal Investigator

Paul Aoki is a native of Seattle and is Director of the University of Washington Language Learning Center which works collaboratively with more than fifty language programs that are offered at the UW. His PhD is in theoretical linguistics and has been able to study a half-dozen languages from around the world including German, Japanese, French, and Russian. Before coming to work at the UW in 1988, he worked for the federal government on a variety of joint agency projects focused on language pedagogy, assessment, maintenance, and technology. Over the past 25 years at the UW, he has been Principal Investigator on over a dozen grants and contracts ranging from Bangla to Farsi to Russian totaling over $1.5M. He considers himself very fortunate to work with an exceptionally talented and collaborative team of experts for the third summer Startalk Russian programs for teachers and students at the UW.

Michele Aoki
Startalk Program Consultant on Integration and Innovation

Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki, World Languages Program Supervisor for the State of Washington, has a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics and taught Russian at the University of Washington for a number of years. For the past dozen years she has been actively involved in the planning, implementing, and evaluating of K-12 language immersion pror since 2008, she has served as World Languages Program Supervisor at the Washington State Office of Public Insruction, where she provides world language support to 295 public school districts and professional development for world language teachers across the state. During that time she has worked with the Professional Educator Standards Board on the implementation of new state tests for teachers to earn world language endorsements, and with the State Board of Education and Washington State School Directors Association on developing and implementing a model policy and procedure for Competency-Based Credits to award high school credits to students with demonstrated language proficiency. In 2009, Dr. Michele Aoki worked with the ACE STARTALK project on teacher preparation for planning and implementing curricula aligned to STARTALK goals in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. In 2011, she was the Program Director for the UW Russian STARTALK Teacher and Student Programs and in 2012, Program Director for the Teacher Program.

Svetlana Abramova
Student Program Lead Instructor

A native speaker of Russian. Svetlana Abramova received her Ph.D. in Russian Language and Methodology from the Moscow State Pedagogical University. She is an experienced teacher, who has taught Russian to both native and non-native Russian students in Russia and the USA. For more than ten years she has worked as a teacher with high school students specializing in physics and mathematics, which sets high requirements on students’ competence in wide range of social registers of Russian, including the academic style. Her teaching practice, as well as her research interests, are specifically oriented to learner-centered pedagogical techniques, such as research projects in Russian language, which are the main subject of her Ph.D. thesis and a monograph, published by the major Russian educational publishing house “Prosveshchenie”. Constantly interested in her professional development, she has been participating in many conferences, seminars, and trainings. In 2011, Svetlana had a unique opportunity of becoming a student in the STARTALK Teacher Program, “Preparing Russian Teachers for the 21st Century” at the University of Washington. This program gave her a chance to apply her teaching experience, as she successfully taught most of the STARTALK Student Program lessons related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In 2012, she was the Lead Instructor of the STARTALK Student Program, which she almost single-handedly redesigned to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Russian culture.

Marina Zamarashkina
Math Instructor

A native speaker of Russian, Marina Zamarashkina is a professional astronomer. She got her Ph.D. in Math/Physics from Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia), Department of Mathematics and Mechanics. For more than twenty years she has been working in one of the most famous astronomical institutions in Russia – Institute of Applied Astronomy (Saint-Petersburg). Her research is related to the problems of computational celestial mechanics. Her teaching interests are focused on STEM programs. She has extensive experience in public speaking and participation in a large number of scientific conferences. The list of her scientific articles consists of more than thirty items in Russian and English languages. She has considerable knowledge of Space Exploration, Space Flight, Satellite Dynamics and Planet Science. Moreover, she is a specialist in modern Math and programming. Her knowledge and experience are a great addition to the STARTALK Student Program. In 2013, Marina completed the STARTALK Teacher Program and taught daily in the STARTALK Student Program. Her knowledge and experience are a great addition to the STARTALK Student Program.

University of Washington Language Learning Center Seattle, WA 98195-4340    Phone:     Email: