General

1) What is STARTALK?

STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund several types of innovative programs that aim to support strong language learning outcomes for K-16 students, provide in-depth, quality teacher development, and develop materials and resources for educators in order to meet the goals for critical need languages in the United States. This year, the critical need languages designated by STARTALK are Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian. STARTALK’s overall mission is to increase the number of young Americans learning and speaking critical need world languages by offering creative and engaging learning experiences for K-16 students and teachers. To learn more about STARTALK, visit https://www.startalk.info/.

2) What is the goal of this STARTALK program?

The Georgetown University-STARTALK Program Task-based Training for Critical Language Teachers aims to provide 25 teachers of critical need languages with training and experience in Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), including its grounding in second language acquisition (SLA) research. 

3) When will this program take place?

This hybrid program has three parts. The pre- and post-camp activities will take place through synchronous and asynchronous virtual experiences. The week-long camp will be in-person at a residential camp hosted at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
      1. Pre-Camp: 6/28 - 7/28 (30 hours)
        • During the pre-camp, teachers will explore topics in second language acquisition research, the foundations of task-based language teaching, and the STARTALK principles to understand why TBLT is an effective teaching framework and how it can be particularly supportive for critical need language instruction.
      2. Camp: 7/24, 7/31-8/4, 8/11 (60 hours)
        • Camp provides teachers with an interactive, hands-on opportunity to create authentic and linguistically appropriate tasks and task cycles for their classrooms that align with their students’ real-world needs. 
        • Camp includes an introduction day (7/24) and conclusion (8/11) which will both be held virtually and include homework assignments to prepare teachers to develop and implement task-based resources in their own classrooms.
      3. Post Camp: Fall 2022 (30 hours)
        • Through a series of reflective activities, teachers will connect with their Camp learning communities to discuss their experiences implementing TBLT in their classes. The program’s Instructional Team will provide ongoing professional support through feedback on lesson plans and other curricular resources in a series of troubleshooting workshop sessions.

4) Where will this program take place?

The hybrid program will take place both online and at in-person locations. The online components will be held on the platforms Zoom and Canvas (Pre-Camp, Introduction and Conclusion days, and Post-Camp activities). The in-person camp experience will be held at Georgetown University’s main campus in Washington, D.C.

5) How much does this program cost?

The program is free to teachers of designated critical need languages.

6) Can I participate in just one or two parts of the program?

No, admitted teachers are expected to participate in all three components. You will be asked to confirm this upon accepting the invitation to participate.

7) How can I learn more about the program? 

The Instructional Team will host several information sessions in December and January about the program’s goals and respond directly to content and logistical-questions about the camp. Check back regularly for the information session sign-up information.

Eligibility

1) I teach a language other than Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian. Am I eligible to apply?

The GU-STARTALK program is only open to teachers of the critical need languages listed above. If you currently teach one of these languages in addition to another language not on the list, you are still eligible to apply.

2) I teach at a private school. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes! We welcome educators from a wide range of backgrounds!

3) I don’t have a teaching certificate. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. If you are a teacher of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian and/or Russian and are currently teaching at an institution in the U.S. you are eligible to apply.

4) I teach outside of the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) metro region. Am I eligible to apply?

Presently, the program has been designed for teachers who reside inside the DMV region. However, we are considering expanding our reach to teachers who teach outside the DMV through converting the entire program to an online delivery method. If you teach outside of the DMV region and would be interested in an 100% online delivery method should the program format change, please fill out our application and indicate you prefer a virtual format when prompted.

5) I teach outside of the United States. Am I eligible to apply? 

No, only teachers currently teaching in the United States are eligible to participate in this program. However, you do not need to be a US citizen to be eligible.

6)  I have already participated in a STARTALK camp, or I have already participated in a STARTALK camp at Georgetown University. Can I still enroll in this STARTALK program?

Yes! Having participated in a prior STARTALK camp, at Georgetown University or elsewhere, does NOT disqualify eligible teachers for participating in our camp. We welcome alumni of any STARTALK programs to attend our summer camp!

Application

1) How do I apply?

Complete our online application.

2) What documents or information do I need to apply?

In addition to filling out the application form, you will also need to submit the most recent copy of your resume or CV. You can submit it as an attachment to the application form or you can e-mail to our Instructional Team at GuSTARTALK@georgetown.edu. You application will not be considered complete until your resume/CV has been received.

3) What is the application deadline?

The application deadline is due February 6th. 

4) When will I hear back about the status of my application?

Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 2023.

5) If I am invited to participate, what is the next step? 

If you are invited to participate, you will need to accept the invitation by confirming your availability for all three components of the program. The Pre-Camp course will begin June 28th, 2022. You will receive updates via e-mail from the Instructional Team during the month of June 2023 prior to the opening of the shared Canvas site. 

6) How many participants will be selected?

The Instructional Team aims to enroll 25 teachers in this program.

Pre-Camp

1) When will the pre-camp course take place?

The Pre-Camp course runs from 6/28 to 7/28.

2) Where will the pre-camp course take place?

The Pre-Camp course will be held virtually on Canvas and Zoom. The course will be predominantly asynchronous, with several synchronous office hours and review sessions held throughout the month. 

3) What is the purpose of pre-camp?

The purpose of the pre-camp course is to familiarize you with most recent theories and research findings in the field of second language acquisitions. Through exploring this research, we will examine how task-based language teaching was created and why it is uniquely equipped to support teachers and students of critical need languages.

Summer Camp

1) When is summer camp?

The summer camp includes one introduction day (7/24), a week-long Camp experience (7/31 – 8/4), and one conclusion day (8/11).

2) Where will summer camp be held?

The introduction and conclusion days will be held on Zoom. The week-long Camp experience will be held in-person at Georgetown University’s main campus.

3) What is the purpose of summer camp?

Camp will prepare teachers with the resources, skills, and knowledge to begin to implement elements of TBLT in their classes in the fall semester (and beyond!).

4) Where will I stay during the summer camp?

During summer camp, participants can elect to live in residential, apartment-style housing on Georgetown University’s main campus. It is our hope that a residential learning experience will provide you will the opportunity to focus on your professional growth and make connections with fellow educators with shared interests and goals. However, residing on campus is not a requirement of the program.

5) What amenities are provided for participants during summer camp?

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided during our daily workshops. Participants will be reimbursed with a set per diem amount to purchase dinner on their own during the evening. Travel stipends to cover expenses in getting to and from Georgetown’s campus (e.g., rideshare, train tickets, parking costs) will also be provided.

6) What should I bring to camp?

You will be provided with all the tools you will need to take notes including a notebook, pen, and (importantly!) a coffee mug. You will also be provided with a custom workbook of resources to use during the camp. You may bring whatever other resources best support your learning and will be most helpful when you return home after camp! 

7) Will we have free time to explore Georgetown’s campus and Washington DC?

The daily workshop will run from 9am to 5pm each day, leaving the early mornings and evening free to explore the surrounding areas.

Post-Camp

1) When will the post-camp activities take place?

The post-camp activities will take place at mutually convenient times scheduled with your teacher learning community and your mentor during Fall 2023. There will be three group trouble-shooting sessions and two one-on-one meetings. You will also be asked to submit a series of reflective assignments, scheduled around the dates of your group and individual sessions.

2) Where will the post-camp activities take place?

The post-camp activities will take place virtually on Canvas and Zoom.

3) What is the purpose of the post-camp activities?

Post-camp activities will provide real-time, individualized support for your teaching context as you begin to implement elements of TBLT in your program.