The Virginia STARTALK Chinese Teacher Academy (VSCTA) at the University of Virginia has enjoyed an established reputation of excellence since 2008. Working in conjunction with the Virginia STARTALK Chinese Student Academy (VSCSA), the 2019 program marks its fourth year in leading national pioneering work on creating an innovative, blended training model to prepare Chinese language teachers to educate online.  Its proven record of accomplishment, along with teacher participants’ testimonials that acclaim the program’s content, training and rigor, have garnered it national recognition and enabled the program to attract a large application pool from diverse geographical areas. 

For 2019, the VSCTA program will recruit 12 passionate teachers nationwide. The recruited teachers will actively engage in synchronous and asynchronous interactive platforms created for the two-week pre-program online training modules as well as be present during the three-week residential onsite training at the University of Virginia (UVA). The program begins with a two week online training (June 17- 28), followed by a two-week residential training (July 1-13), and conclude with a one-week online training (July 15-18). The twelve-day student program will run virtually from July 5-18 (excluding July 7 and 14).

This year, the teacher program will offer the three or five credit graduate level course in teaching Chinese as a foreign language, which features a well-sequenced curriculum with online, and onsite training. Teacher participants should demonstrate competency in teaching Chinese language and culture in a K-16 educational setting.  They should have proven knowledge and skills in implementing online tools in teaching, and show a willingness to collaborate with teaching fellows to explore the online teaching model in the VSCTA/VSCSA community. The capstone for the course will be the completion of an E-portfolio that documents trainees’ extensive learning experiences in launching or advancing their careers through teaching online Mandarin Chinese courses.

 The integration of both theory and practice will be delivered through a blended instructional model before, during, and after the program. Practicum is a crucial component of the teacher program. Teacher participants will work closely with the technology team and practicum facilitators to complete practicum requirements in a multi-faceted reflective cycle. During the practicum phase, teachers will have ample opportunities to apply effective pedagogy and STARTALK-endorsed principles effective for teaching rising 9-12 graders online. With the versatility of advanced technologies and innovative pedagogy, students in the STARTALK student program will fully engage in active learning through powerful and user-friendly online platforms, frequently interact with instructors, assistants, and peers, and build a strong rapport within the online learning community. 

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