I am so glad to have had this opportunity to attend the 2010 Virginia STARTALK Chinese Teacher Academy program at the University of Virginia. Throughout the three weeks' teacher training and student practicum, a lot of teaching theories, guidelines, and National Standards had been reviewed and consolidated. Immediately followed one week of intensive teachers' program was the students' practicum. I applied all of the learned theories and guidelines into the practicum section. The students' performance gave me the direct feedback I needed to cross-check the theories I learned. I give the credit of my successful teaching to the combination of the teacher program and student practicum. I could have learned these theories by attending other conferences, professional workshops or even self-studying. However, this program provided a way to apply these theories in the practicum. This STARTALK program proved that the total immersion teaching method can work well in the novice level.
I also liked all the arrangements by VSCTA; the accommodation, classrooms, meals, and the program were all agreeable to me. The program was well-organized, including the pre-program communication, curriculum and syllabus; I knew what to expect from the program and how heavy the work load would be. This was very important for my pre-program preparation.