2023 Program Overview

2023 Program Overview

The integration of theory and practice will be delivered through a combination of online and in-person instructional models before, during, and after the summer program. Peer teaching during summer and teaching in a real classroom in the fall is crucial for developing competence and confidence in online teaching. Teacher participants will closely work with the technology team and their mentors to complete teaching requirements in a multifaceted reflective cycle. During the peer-teaching phase, teachers will have ample opportunities to apply effective pedagogy principles and receive systematic coaching for lesson planning and online teaching, preparing them for fall teaching in a real classroom. With the versatility of advanced technologies and innovative pedagogy, teacher participants will fully engage in active learning through user-friendly online platforms that enable frequent interactions among instructors, assistants, and peers, and they will build strong rapport within the productive and rewarding learning community. 

The 2023 Virginia STARTALK Chinese Teacher Academy (VSCTA) aims to recruit 12 passionate teachers nationwide. The recruited teachers will actively engage in synchronous and asynchronous interactive platforms. The three-week online teacher program begins with one week of ONLINE asynchronous training (June 26–30), followed by two weeks of IN-PERSON training (July 2–14) at the Academic Village of the University of Virginia. Intensive summer training is followed and strengthened by post-program coaching activities in the fall. 

The teacher training program offers a graduate-level course for three to five credits in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Teacher participants should demonstrate competence in teaching Chinese language and culture in secondary and post-secondary educational settings, have prior knowledge and skill in implementing online technology tools in teaching, and demonstrate their willingness to collaborate with teaching fellows to explore the online teaching model in the UVA STARTALK online community. The capstone in the development of trainees’ competence will be the completion of an e-portfolio that documents their extensive learning experiences in launching or advancing their careers in teaching online and hybrid Mandarin Chinese courses.

Number of Teachers Recruited 

The program aims to recruit 12 Chinese language teachers nationwide. College faculty and teachers in secondary schools are encouraged to apply. In past years, there have been roughly equal numbers of post-secondary and secondary school teachers.   


Chinese language teachers who currently teach face to face, hybrid, or online in secondary and post-secondary settings in the US are eligible to apply. They must be American citizens or permanent residents (green card holders). Graduate students are not eligible. Targeted teacher participants should show willingness to work collaboratively in advancing their careers through online teaching as a predominant or supplementary delivery mode. Teacher participants should be fully committed to intensive training before and during summer and post-program coaching activities in fall 2023.


Please click here to complete the online application. The review committee will review applications on a rolling basis. A telephone or online interview may follow the review of online application materials. First come, first reviewed. Spots will fill up very quickly. Interested participants should apply as soon as possible.

Program Cost

Teacher participants do not need to pay any program fee. All will be covered by the STARTALK grant. During the two-week residential program, lodging and food are covered. 

Course Credit & Tuition

The program offers 3–5 credits for the graduate-level course on teaching Chinese as a foreign language offered by the School of Arts and Sciences at UVA. The program will pay 2-3 credits of tuition on needs-based for teacher participants. Those who need more credits should pay additional tuition at their own expense. 

Discount tuition rates for K–16 educators are as follows: 

K–16 Virginian graduate student: $465 per credit
K–16 Non-Virginian graduate student: $880 per credit 

Syllabus & Curriculum

The course syllabus will be released to recruited teachers after the recruitment process is completed in May. Daily training sessions are conducted in Chinese and English. The required readings are in both English and Chinese. Participation in virtual classes may be in English or Chinese. Teacher participants should be competent in English in order to be able to grasp training materials in a timely fashion and successfully complete daily tasks and the e-portfolio.

Travel Reimbursement

Travel costs will be reimbursed up to a total of $680, including airfare, car mileage,  and miscellaneous transportation expenses.   

Residential Site & Hotel (July 2–14, 2023)

The two-week residential program takes place after a one-week online training (June 26–30). The training site is located at the Nau and Gibson buildings in the south lawn of UVA. During the two-week residential program, teaching fellows will stay in The Draftsman Hotel located at the Corner, just steps away from the UVA Medical Center. The hotel is surrounded by many restaurants and is within a 10-minute walking distance to the training site on campus. Two teaching fellows will share a double room during the two-week residential program. Single rooms are not available. 

Address: 1106 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Telephone: (434) 984-8000 
Website: https://thedraftsmanhotel.com

Credit Transfer Toward the Teacher Certification 

University of Virginia is a one of the top-rated public universities in the nation. In the past nine years, participants who wanted to transfer credits did so successfully. However, we recommend that you explore regulations in your state. You are fully responsible for credit transfer toward your teacher certification. 

Program Schedule

The summer program features one week of online training and two weeks of in-person training at the University of Virginia over the summer. National recruitment begins in fall 2022. Outreach activities will take place in spring 2023. Intensive summer training lasts for three weeks, followed by post-program activities in the fall semester of 2023. 

2022 Fall: National advertisement and recruitment (ONLINE)

The program aims to recruit secondary and post-secondary Chinese language educators who will deliver online teaching as a supplementary or predominant format in their local classrooms in fall 2023. 

2023 Spring: Outreach activities (ONLINE)

In spring 2023, we will hold the “Leaders for Tomorrow” series to launch online outreach activities. In this series, returning 2021 UVA STARTALK Teaching Fellows will showcase their online teaching models and demonstrate satisfactory outcomes of six STARTALK teaching principles. New participants will attend four presentations and have opportunities to interact with teaching fellows from the 2021 program. Participation in the series helps teacher participants get a good sense of end-of-program learning outcomes and see examples of fulfilled individualized goals.   

Following the “Leaders for Tomorrow” series are three pre-program icebreakers and social gatherings geared toward individual goal-setting and strategic grouping in transition to and preparation for online mini-teaching.

2023 Summer: Intensive Training (ONLINE & IN-PERSON)

Week 1: June 26 - 30 (Monday–Friday) ONLINE Training

Online training during this week includes a good balance of theory and practice in curriculum design and effective principles for online teaching and learning. It mainly involves asynchronous self-learning, discussions, and assessment. Two short synchronous interactive sessions are scheduled in the afternoon or evening to accommodate teacher participants in different time zones. The time commitment for synchronous training that allows trainees to interact with trainers and their peers ranges from three to four hours during this week. Tutorial sessions and office hours will be offered to facilitate individualized learning. By the end of this week, teachers will complete a mini-teaching video according to given instructions.  

Week 2: July 3–8 (Monday–Saturday) IN-PERSON Training

Teacher participants revisit effective principles for online teaching and start planning and implementing peer teaching, which is systematically facilitated and supervised by mentors and trainers. The peer teaching closely aligns with the can-do statements of the fall semester curriculum in each individual participant’s local school, and prepares them to teach with developing readiness skills and competence in a real classroom.

Week 3: July 10–14 (Monday–Friday) IN-PERSON Training

Teacher participants apply their new knowledge and understanding to continue planning and implementing peer teaching, which is systematically facilitated and supervised by mentors and trainers. The peer teaching closely aligns with the can-do statements of the fall semester curriculum in each individual participant’s local school, and prepares them to teach with developing readiness skills and competence in a real classroom. By the end of Week 3, teachers will have created three lesson plans and materials to be used in real classrooms in the fall semester.    

2023 Fall: Post-Program Activities (ONLINE)

Post-program activities are integral to the training curriculum as they create opportunities for participants to teach in local school settings, receive coaching from mentors, and reflect on their experiences to enhance teaching effectiveness. These activities are conducted in a feasible and flexible schedule, in combination with timely individual mentorship and consultation as needed. The activities mainly include several mentoring meetings and a closing ceremony to share summative reflections and celebrate professional advancement. The timeline and specifics will be discussed and finalized by the end of the summer program. 

Contact Information

Please send further inquiries to the VSCTA Assistant Director, Dr. Pei-Ying Gosselin, at uva-startalk@virginia.edu. We look forward to working with you soon.