Hawai‘i Chinese STARTALK 2013

STarTalkThe classrooms and labs of the CLT will ring with the voices of middle and high school students learning Mandarin Chinese during Hawai‘i Chinese STARTALK 2013, a grant-funded language immersion summer camp and teacher training institute offered by the University of Hawai‘i Confucius Institute and Center for Chinese Studies. STARTALK, part of the National Security Language Initiative, aims to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking, and teaching critical need foreign languages by offering students (K–16) and teachers of these languages creative and engaging summer experiences. Students in the three-week residential program will acquire basic listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture skills in Mandarin Chinese. Participants learn language along with sports such as martial arts, and engage in a variety of activities focusing on Chinese culture. Language lessons consist of learner-centered, interactive, task-based activities designed to encourage learners to communicate in Chinese. Weekend excursions to sites around scenic Honolulu led by native speakers of Chinese provide additional practice, and the Chinese ethnic presence links classroom practice with real-world usage of Chinese. Teacher trainees will learn alongside master teachers through a parallel STARTALK program of professional development for K-12 teachers of Chinese.

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