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Chinese Studies

STARTALK

 StarTalk loho

STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund several types of innovative programs that create strong language learning outcomes for K-12 students, provide in-depth, quality teacher development, and develop support materials and resources for educators in order to meet the goals for critical need languages in the United States. Those goals include increasing the number of students enrolled in critical language studies, increasing the number of highly effective critical language teachers in the U.S., and increasing the availability of quality teaching and learning materials. STARTALK grants currently support programs offered in the following critical need languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian. Learn more.

 In West Virginia, we offer you a Mandarin Chinese year-round engagement program at West Virginia University.

 Program summary

●       Pre-college learning experiences with professors on WVU campus!

●       WVU college credits can be earned if students meet the eligibility (https://www.access.wvu.edu) and are willing to follow the college course requirements. The tuitions will be waived by our STARTALK program. Please contact Dr. Wu (chinghsuan.wu@mail.wvu.edu) for more details.

●       The STARTALK curriculum is focused on Chinese language and culture learning through topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

●       Forty 9th, 10th, and 11th graders (in Fall 2022) in West Virginia and neighboring states will be selected.

●       No prior Chinese language learning experience is required.

●       This year-around program starts from Spring 2023 to Spring 2024. Students need to commit to participating in ALL four terms: (1) Spring 2023 (15 weeks/ 30 hours online), (2) Summer 2023 (16-day resident camp at WVU), (3) Fall 2023 (15 weeks/ 30 hours online), and (4) Spring 2024 (10 weeks/20 hours online).

●       For the virtual learning, students need to have a stable internet connection and a computer with a camera and microphone to join the online classes.

●       The 16-day summer residential camp is hosted at WVU 6/18-2023-7/3/2023. Campers need to be dropped off at noon on 6/18/2023 and then picked up at noon on 7/3/2023.

●       An iPad will be provided to each of the campers for educational use during the residential camp. Room and board will also be provided.

●       WVU residential hall: Stalnaker Hall 

●       Selected students will enjoy the entire learning experiences (2023-2024) at no charge.

 

Contact information

●       Dr.Ching-Hsuan Wu

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics

Chinese Studies Program Coordinator

West Virginia University

Co-Principal Investigator of the STARTALK grant by National Security Agency

STARTALK Instructional Lead

chinghsuan.wu@mail.wvu.edu

 

●       Mrs. Debbie Nicholson

Coordinator of World Languages

International Teachers 

Credit Recovery

Middle and Secondary Services

The West Virginia Department of Education

STARTALK Program Director

dlnichol@k12.wv.us

 

  • General questions about our STARTALK program at WVU

startalkwv@gmail.com

 ●       Facebook

 When our program starts, we will post pictures on our Facebook page.

FAQs

What is STARTALK?

  • STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund several types of innovative programs that create strong language learning outcomes for K-12 students, provide in-depth, quality teacher development, and develop support materials and resources for educators in order to meet the goals for critical need languages in the United States. Those goals include increasing the number of students enrolled in critical language studies, increasing the number of highly effective critical language teachers in the U.S., and increasing the availability of quality teaching and learning materials. STARTALK grants currently support programs offered in the following critical need languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian.
  • In West Virginia, we offer you a Mandarin Chinese year-round engagement program at West Virginia University.

 What does your program offer?

  •  Pre-college learning experiences with professors on WVU campus!
  • WVU college credits can be earned if students meet the eligibility (https://www.access.wvu.edu) and are willing to follow the college course requirements. The tuitions will be waived by our STARTALK program. Please contact Dr. Wu (chinghsuan.wu@mail.wvu.edu) for more details.
  • The STARTALK curriculum is focused on Chinese language and culture learning through topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
  • Forty 9th, 10th, and 11th graders (in Fall 2022) in West Virginia and neighboring states will be selected.
  • No prior Chinese language learning experience is required.
  • This year-around program starts from Spring 2023 to Spring 2024. Students need to commit to participating in ALL four terms: (1) Spring 2023 (15 weeks/ 30 hours online), (2) Summer 2023 (16-day resident camp at WVU), (3) Fall 2023 (15 weeks/ 30 hours online), and (4) Spring 2024 (10 weeks/20 hours online).
  • For the virtual learning, students need to have a stable internet connection and a computer with a camera and microphone to join the online classes.
  • The 16-day summer residential camp is hosted at WVU 6/18-2023-7/3/2023. Campers need to be dropped off at noon on 6/18/2023 and then picked up at noon on 7/3/2023.
  • An iPad will be provided to each of the campers for educational use during the residential camp. Room and board will also be provided.
  • WVU residential hall: Stalnaker Hall 
  • Selected students will enjoy the entire learning experiences (2023-2024) at no charge.
Why should I be in this program?

  • Funded by the National Security Agency, our 2023-2024 STARTALK Mandarin program is a new educational extracurricular initiative to promote critical language learning in youth in the United States. Our program is managed through the West Virginia Department of Education West Virginia and the Chinese Studies Program at West Virginia University. It is a year-round engagement program and consists of a virtual classroom in February 2023, a residential camp on WVU campus in summer 2023, and a virtual classroom the in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024. Qualified high school students can receive college credits through the WVU Access Program (https://www.access.wvu.edu ). Successful participation in this program can bring students global experiences and add to students’ credentials in their college applications in relation to intercultural competence! Prior Mandarin learning experience is not required.

 Am I eligible?

  • We are recruiting 40 motivated students who live in West Virginia and neighboring states and are interested in this competitive opportunity to advance their academic studies through our federally funded language and cultural enrichment program! Students will need to have a computer and reliable Internet to succeed in our program, but all the tuitions and fees are funded through our generous STARTALK grant. You need to be in the 9th, 10th, or 11th graders in Fall 2022.

 Are there multiple tracks in your STARTALK program?

  •  There are two tracks in our STARTALK Program:

        1. Regular STARTALK track without credits. 

        2. WVU-credit-earning track through WVU ACCESS program (see Question 10 for more detail)

  •  For Spring 2023, both tracks require students to attend 30 online Zoom meetings during the weeks 2/26-5/25. However, the WVU-credit-earning track students will follow the WVU academic calendar and start the course on 1/9, whereas the regular track does not start until 2/26. That is, the two tracks have different start dates, but both tracks end on 5/25

 What are the dates of the program for regular and credit-earning tracks?

  •  Our program is a year-round engagement program with four terms:
    • Virtual-Spring 2023 (online during the weeks between 2/13-5/26/2023, 1 hour each session, two sessions a week for 15 weeks)
    • In-person-Summer 2023 (residential camp 6/18-7/3/2023)
    • Virtual-Fall 2023 (online during the weeks between 8/14-12/1, 2023, 1 hour each session, two sessions a week for 15 weeks)
    • Virtual-Spring 2024 (online during the weeks between 1/15-3/22/2024, 1 hour each session, two sessions a week for 10) weeks.
  • Generally, students in our WVU-credit-earning track will follow the WVU calendar and attend our STARTALK learning sessions. They will have 17 weeks of learning in each term with most of them overlapped with the regular track students.
Why does the STARTALK regular track start in the middle of the semester?

  • We understand it is unconventional to have the start date of our virtual class in the middle of the semester.  Our intention is to have STARTALK students settled in with their regular high school work prior to beginning this additional learning opportunity. 

 What is my virtual class schedule in Spring 2023?

  • On the application, students will have an opportunity to share their SP 2023 availability. Once we have selected the students by the end of October 2022, we will then work with our professors to finalize the class schedule around early November. Students can choose which class they would like to enroll in based on their availability. Once the class is selected, students will stay in the same class throughout the term to maintain the learning consistency and continuum. The scheduling plan is to have different classes on different days of the week to accommodate our students’ schedules. A tentative sample schedule is as follows.
    •  Class A: 7:00-8:00 pm Mondays and Wednesdays
    • Class B: 7:00-8:00 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • Class C: 7:00-8:00 pm Wednesday and Fridays
    • Class D: 7:00-8:00 pm Thursdays and Saturdays
    • Class E: 7:00-8:00 pm Fridays and Sundays
    • Class F: 6:00-8:00 pm Sundays

 How much Mandarin will I learn in Spring 2023?

  • The textbooks we use are Integrated Chinese Level One Part One in Traditional Characters (textbook and workbook) and will be provided by the grant.
  • Students in the regular track (non-credit) will complete four chapters in the book during Spring 2023. The topics include self-introduction, family, calendar, and hobbies.
  • Students in the WVU-credit-earning track will follow the college curriculum and complete five chapters in the book. The topics include self-introduction, family, calendar, hobbies, and visiting friends.

 Students in both tracks will engage in STEAM-themed activities (sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and math).

How do I earn WVU credits through your STARTALK program? 

  • Your will identify your interest in earning WVU credits on your application. Eligible students can receive college credits through WVU ACCESS program. Please see detail here: https://www.access.wvu.edu  
  • In general, our STARTALK program offers students opportunities to earn college credits for Chinese. To be eligible, students will need to (1) be a high school or home-schooled sophomore, junior or senior during Spring 2023, Summer 2023, Fall 2023, or Spring 2024, and (2) hold a 3.0 GPA or higher. In addition, to receive WVU credits, STARTALK students should expect additional assignments (e.g., workbook pages, quizzes, and speaking practice with their instructor.) STARTALK high school students who are receiving WVU credits will follow our college curriculum with some modifications. A syllabus can be provided upon request.

Can I be absent?

  •  For the regular track students (non-credit), if there is occasional scheduling conflict, it is fine, but the number of absences should be no more than three in each term so students can fully benefit from our curriculum.
  • For the WVU-credit-earning track, students will follow the attendance policy in their class syllabus. In general, points will be deducted for absences.  

Who will be my teacher?

  •  The Instructional Lead for our STARTALK program is Dr. Ching-Hsuan Wu. Under her supervision, the instructional team will include experienced college professors from universities across the nation and local high school teachers. 
Can I get high school credit for taking the four semesters of Chinese?  

  • We are not offering a dual-credit course, but students are welcome to speak with their own school to determine if the system will provide world language high school credit.  All decisions will be made by the student’s high school. 

Where will I stay during the summer residential camp?

  • You will stay in one of the residential halls on WVU campus: Stalnaker Hall 

How do I apply for the program?

  • This year-round experience of a total of 175 instructional hours will be available to forty West Virginia students and students in the neighboring states, in grades 9-11 during the school year of 2022-2023. Our goal is to spark students' interest in learning about foreign languages and cultures. We welcome students of diverse language learning backgrounds to apply. Prior experience in learning Chinese is NOT required. We would love to admit students who have learned other foreign languages (e.g., Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese) to enrich our program!
  • Due date: Oct. 15, 2022  https://forms.gle/TPhnWF7S7N1uKmj2A

 Applications

We are now accepting applications from interested high schoolers, instructors, and camp counselors.

●     Application for high school students

 This year-round experience of a total of 175 instructional hours will be available to forty West Virginia students and students in the neighboring states, in grades 9-11 during the school year of 2022-2023. Our goal is to spark students' interest in learning about foreign languages and cultures. We welcome students of diverse language learning backgrounds to apply. Prior experience in learning Chinese is NOT required. We would love to admit students who have learned other foreign languages (e.g., Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese) to enrich our program!

 Due dateThe priority deadline is 10/15/2022. If you are interested in receiving college credits for your participation in our STARTALK program, you will also need to apply for the WVU ACCESS program in October 2022. After 10/15/2022, the STARTALK application review will be on rolling basis depending on the seats available in the program. 


 ●      Application for instructors

We are looking for instructors to join our team. We are particularly interested in experienced college and high school Mandarin instructors who are able to teach Mandarin through hands-on activities in the content areas of sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and math in both face-to-face and online settings. Selected candidates who do not reside in Morgantown will be offered room and board during the residential camp (6/17-7/3/2023) in addition to a stipend.

 Please note: STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency. All the faculty and staff members must be either US citizens or permanent residents.

 Due date: Aug. 15, 2022

 

●     Application for camp counselors

We are looking for passionate current college students or recent graduates to join our staff team. The primary responsibilities are to escort our campers around campus, supervise campers at meals and at night, and lead a variety of fun activities using Mandarin, such as board games and shopping in a night market. Intermediate-level Mandarin skills are required. Selected candidates will be offered room and board during the residential camp (6/17-7/3/2023) in addition to a stipend.

 Due date: We start our review of applications in Fall 2022 until the all the positions are filled. The last day to accept applications is Jan. 15, 2023.

 Sponsors:

●       The Chinese Studies Program at West Virginia University

●       The West Virginia Department of Education

●       National Security Agency