Hamilton Awarded STARTALK Grant for 4th Year

For the fourth year, Hamilton College is the recipient of STARTALK funding to operate two programs for Chinese language this summer—a Chinese teacher development program and a week-long intensive learning Chinese immersion course for students in grades 8 and 9. 

This year’s grant of $125,000 will fund the ACC-STARTALK Teacher Program for non-native K-12 Chinese Teachers and ACC-STARTALK Youth Camp for Utica BOCES students on the Hamilton campus June 30 through July 12.

The grant proposal was submitted to STARTALK by William R. Kenan Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature Hong Gang Jin and Associate Director of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations Amy Lindner. Jin is the Hamilton STARTALK program director.

The workshop is being offered by Hamilton in conjunction with Associated Colleges in China (ACC), an educational consortium of more than 50 colleges and universities administered by Hamilton and hosted by Minzu University of China, and Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) a preeminent organization for secondary and elementary-level teachers of Chinese.

Jin reports that 13 in-service and pre-service teachers have been admitted and 18 students from Central N.Y. will be participating in the programs.

STARTALK Teacher Program

The Hamilton-ACC Chinese Language Teachers Institute is a two-week teacher development program for 12 non-native in-service and pre-service K-12 Chinese teachers entering the program at intermediate high and advanced level of proficiency in Mandarin. This residential program offers professional development opportunities in two areas: language and pedagogy, in order to help participants develop their teaching skills while becoming more proficient.

Focused on standards-based instruction, the participants will engage in three hours of daily language training, three hours of daily pedagogy workshops and discussions, and 30-minute one-on-one Skype tutorials with an ACC- trained teacher in Beijing, with all activities being conducted in Chinese. At the conclusion of the program, it is expected the K-12 teachers will make gains in their language proficiency -- their linguistic repertoire is both improved and extended to a professional level that enables them to discuss in Chinese such topics as the national standards, proficiency guidelines, both general and specific to Chinese, and backward design, curricular design, lesson planning and assessment. Participants will be able to design and deliver standards-based curriculum using different types of technology.


STARTALK Student Program 

The Hamilton Summer Student Program of Central New York (CNY) is a week-long day camp held in conjunction with the Teacher Program, operating from July 7 to 12. It will provide a highly rewarding summer immersion experience for 16 motivated 8th and 9th grade students who have taken at least two years of Chinese through their local BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) while offering valuable opportunities for our teacher participants to conduct hands-on teaching.

The program has four goals: 1. Provide students with a language immersion experience to further improve their Chinese; 2. Improve students’ linguistic proficiency and cultural competency through an outcome based blended-learning curriculum, task-based instruction, authentic cultural experience, and individualized online tutoring and peer interaction; 3. Develop interactive distance learning technology to expose students to authentic Chinese language, people and culture through participatory online learning tools; and 4. Provide STARTALK teacher participants opportunities to engage in standards-based micro teaching during the program.

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