Before this training did I believe that, hypothetically, “one can teach novice students to speak Mandarin after just 20+ hours of instruction”? I did, but not without doubts. Now that the practicum is over; yes, I do believe it’s attainable and am not skeptical anymore. And the best part of the teacher training course was that I gained so much knowledge about teaching Mandarin in a class setting, and it met my highest expectations. This intensive 3- week program surpassed any other graduate courses I have had from all the past summers.
The opportunity to network with other colleagues from different K-12 schools was a great benefit because I learned much from each and every one of them. I also tremendously enjoyed watching the rising 8th to 11th grade students put together skits of their own the last day. They organized and rehearsed before third period to show us how much they had learned. All of us teachers gained a sense of achievement that day as well as the students.
I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the facilitator Dr. Tseng and to the assistants Ms. Melnick and Regan Wu for their hard work and attribution to this program.
I owe millions of thanks to Dr. Tseng, Daphne and all the guest speakers. Their suggestions in the teaching rehearsals were so talented and insightful. I learned a lot from scrapping my traditional lesson design. I also owe my gratitude to the other 13 talented language teachers. I enjoyed co-working and discussing lessons with them in the classroom, hotel lobby, and every random place in Charlottesville. Their visions and experience gave me countless ideas for lesson plans and curriculum. Also, it is so impressive to see there are so many teachers working heart and soul to teach the Chinese language and culture in the US. They inspired me to continuously take part in professional training, try new teaching strategies in the classroom, and be more clear and dedicated to my career path after the STATALK program. I would recommend the UVA STARTALK program to both novice and experienced language teachers.