"The intensive training at the StarTalk program of UVA StarTalk Teachers Academy is a rewarding experience. I updated my knowledge of teaching principles and practiced the principles through three practicum opportunities. The highlight of this StarTalk program is to apply what we learned into classroom teaching. In each practicum, I was observed and videotaped, and got valuable feedback. Through the teaching practicums, I better understand where and how to sharpen my teaching strategies."
We often talk about using authentic materials and target language to teach. It is easy to talk, but hard to do. That’s why most teachers including me talk more but act less. Participating in the StarTalk program of UVA StarTalk Chinese Teacher Academy is a very rewarding experience. The program focuses on six significant practices in foreign language teaching: incorporating the standards into curriculum, making classes students-centered, using authentic materials, integrating culture, using target language to teach, and employing task-based performance assessment. I knew these practices theoretically before the training. Upon finishing the training, I learned critical practical skills to implement these principles into my real classroom teaching. I also acquired some ready-to-use authentic materials, mostly shared by Dr. Tseng. This program rigorously sticks to the StarTalk foreign language education principles. Dr. Tseng’s selfless sharing of her materials and methods allowed us to see how principles are applied step by step. I hope this program will have far reaching effects on the participants’ teaching philosophy and practices.