It is my honor to attend the awesome UVA startalk program in 2019, and I spent a pleasant and productive summer. Previously I went to other startalk programs in New Jersey and Connecticut, but the one at UVA is the most intensive, special and meaningful one. Before I came to the program, I think I was pretty familiar with Startalk principles and foreign language teaching methodologies. But through this program I realized there are still a lot of areas for improvement in my teaching practices. We learned a lot from graduate school, certification programs, but I learned tremendously from this unique 5-week training, which is a perfect combination of teacher program and student program. We are provided with opportunities to communicate with excellent teachers from all over the country, we receive immediate feedback/advice about our online instruction from master teachers like Lin laoshi and Cai laoshi, we have great lectures and guidance from Professor Tseng and Gao laoshi. The balance of theoretical knowledge and hands-on training help us grow as a language teacher quickly and efficiently.
Teaching online is a completely new domain for me, at first I did not feel comfortable about online instruction. But gradually with the help of master teachers and my colleague, I began to enjoy online teaching and felt like it is “real teaching without walls”. The 5-week experience is rewarding and memorable, and I will highly recommend it to other language teachers.