I joined the STARTALK program right after completing my first year teaching Chinese in three middle schools. I was very excited and grateful for having this opportunity to be trained as a Chinese teacher. Learning how to teach Chinese in the target language and also exploring SLA theories and current best practices were two of my main objectives for this three-week course.
Before coming to Charlottesville, I was told the training was very intensive and fast-paced. I found myself very excited sitting among many seasoned teachers and listening to their ideas and experiences shared in the class discussion. These were a few things I found very interesting and I would like to implement in my classroom teaching: creating authentic tasks, incorporating technology into teaching, designing performance-based and authentic assessments, and also creating standard-based curriculum and thematic units through backward design. I was very satisfied with the training I received so far. The practicum as the most challenging part of the whole program, but it was the part where I learned the most.
Actually, “a little bit over-whelmed and exhausted” would best describe my mood on the last day of the program. After taking this program, I felt I was more prepared and equipped with different tools to do my job as a Chinese teacher. My mind has been opened to many new ideas and resources. I am looking forward to the coming new school year and practicing what I have learned from STARTALK.