High school students have the opportunity to embark on a virtual journey to Beijing and learn about Chinese language and culture through Appalachian State University’s STARTALK Program.
Dr. Xiaofei Tu, assistant professor in Appalachian’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, received a grant from STARTALK — a project funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center — to host the Chinese immersion program (virtually this year) by Appalachian State University from July 12 - July 30, 2021. The funding, $89,964, was received last year but the program was postponed due to COVID-19.
Tu has collaborated with Dr. Wendy Xie, associate professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures for this project, which will be the third summer Appalachian will host the program.
Students in the program will receive a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, learn to use Chinese to perform basic functions and tasks in real life scenarios, and engage in Chinese cultural practices such as singing and dancing, calligraphy, painting and crafts/paper cutting.
Rising 9th through 12th grade students with limited or no previous exposure to Chinese are eligible for participation in the program. Local high school students are the original target for this program, but with a virtual format this year, the program is open to any high school student to apply. To apply, students must complete an online application form, including a statement of interest (200-250 words) and ask for a teacher, instructor or counselor letter of recommendation.
The STARTALK grant covers all program costs for selected students. Although the program will be offered online this year, tuition will be covered. Learning materials and art supplies will be provided and mailed to students' homes.
STARTALK is a project funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. 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
About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at https://dllc.appstate.edu in language teacher development.