Resources for Chinese Language Teachers

Chinese ProcessionChinese Food and TeaChinese BuildingSTARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland which supports teacher professional development, student language learning, and instructional resource development for critical less commonly taught languages in the United States.

For over a decade, STARTALK has developed a robust collection of resources to support language teachers across the United States. On this page, you will find different categories of resources specifically for Chinese language teachers and programs. Whether you are teaching now, preparing to become a world language teacher, or training and mentoring teachers, we feel certain that you will find these resources beneficial to your work in the field of world language education.

Model Curricula

STARTALK has created model curricula to provide support for Chinese language programs in the curriculum development process. These model curricula are intended as examples. Teachers will have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of their students. The model curricula available for download below provide include each stage of the backward design process (Learning Outcomes, Assessment Tasks, Learning Experiences) and may be adapted to any language.

Each of the model curricula here identify and describe Key Learning Experiences for teachers and learners. Defining the Key Learning Experiences for a language curriculum allows instructors to take large program (course) learning goals and key performance assessments and use them to develop lesson plans and episodes—further unpacking each learning goal into daily lesson can-do statements, identifying the check(s) for learning that will take place, and outlining the vocabulary and language chunks that correspond to each lesson can-do statement.

▼ Click to view Model Curricula

Let’s Meet Some Animals
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Students will take virtual trips to see animals in their natural habitats. First, they will get to know their classmates and will find out which animals they like and don’t like, and will talk about the pets they have. They will describe their favorite animals and will be able to say where they live, how they move, and what they eat. They will also be able to describe animals that are unique to Chinese culture. They will be able to say what all animals need to survive and thrive. At the end of the program, they will share what they have learned about animals with their parents.
Grade Range: K-2
Performance Target: NM- NH
Let's Go Somewhere (Novice)
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This curriculum captures best practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment in a backward design process. It is meant to guide the discussions that will take place as teachers plan quality programs. It identifies the connections between learning goals (program Can-Do Statements), performance assessment tasks, daily learning targets (lesson Can-Do Statements), and key learning experiences. STARTALK model curricula are intended to be examples. The intention is to offer representative samples of learning experiences, with the understanding that teachers will adapt the sample experiences to meet the various linguistic and cultural requirements of their individual classrooms. A program will still have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of its students.
Grade Range: 3-5
Performance Target: NM- NH
Personal Identity
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This curriculum captures best practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment in a backward design process. It is meant to guide the discussions that will take place as teachers plan quality programs. It identifies the connections between learning goals (program Can-Do Statements), performance assessment tasks, daily learning targets (lesson Can-Do Statements), and key learning experiences. STARTALK model curricula are intended to be examples. The intention is to offer representative samples of learning experiences, with the understanding that teachers will adapt the sample experiences to meet the various linguistic and cultural requirements of their individual classrooms. A program will still have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of its students.
Grade Range: 6-12
Performance Target: NM- NH
Let's Go Somewhere (Intermediate)
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This curriculum captures best practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment in a backward design process. It is meant to guide the discussions that will take place as teachers plan quality programs. It identifiesbthe connections between learning goals (program can-do statements), performance assessment tasks, dailyblearning targets (lesson can-do statements), and key learning experiences. STARTALK model curricula arebintended to be examples. The intention is to offer representative samples of learning experiences, with thebunderstanding that teachers will adapt the sample experiences to meet the various linguistic and cultural requirements of their individual classrooms. A program will still have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of its students.
Grade Range: 6-12
Performance Target: IM- IH

Sample Curricula

STARTALK has collected curricula utilized by STARTALK programs to serve as samples and provide support to other educators in their curriculum development process. These samples were provided to STARTALK Central by programs serving a variety of age groups and proficiency levels and were recommended for sharing by STARTALK team leaders. These curricula are intended as examples only. They have been collected over the course of several years and may not utilize current STARTALK curricula formats or models.

▼ Student Language Learning

Life as an Exchange Student
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In this curriculum, learners interpret and compare how the lives of teens have changed over time as it relates to school and family life, and social endeavors (including friendships and pastimes). Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6 – 12
NM - NH
149
Non-Heritage
2017
Wofford College
Our Identities, Our Heroes
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In this curriculum, students learn to introduce themselves, give biographical details and talk about their interests and activities. By working with authentic biographical materials about heroes or important people that really matter to them both at home and in Chinese culture, students explore who they are, where they live, their nationalities, and their heritages. They work together to tell the story of a modern-day hero from a community or region where the target language is spoken. They also take part in a simulated field trip to meet individuals involved in the local community and identify how various individuals are working to create a better community. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6 – 12
NH - IL
149
Non-Heritage
2017
Wofford College
STARTALK STEM-Integrated Chinese Learning Program (Novice)
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will meet water baby (an imaginary figure from the story of “The journey of water babies,” symbolizing water) from China, and experience water baby’s fun life (friends and family), magic show (three states and water cycle), and adventures (different water bodies and water pollution). Non-heritage students who complete this curriculum will be able to greet each other, exchange simple information about such topics as weather, family members, colors, water-related sports, three states of water, and water pollution in memorized phrases or language chunks, and follow basic scientific experimental directions in Chinese. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
2-5
NL-NM
98
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2014
Huayuan Chinese Academy, Inc.
STARTALK STEM-Integrated Chinese Learning Program (Intermediate)
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will meet water baby (an imaginary figure from the story of “The journey of water babies,” symbolizing water) from China, and experience water baby’s fun life (friends and family), magic show (three states and water cycle), and adventures (different water bodies and water pollution). Heritage students who complete this curriculum will be able to communicate in simple sentences and develop interpretive reading and presentational writing skills in intermediate-low level about such topics as weather, family members, colors, water-related sports, three states of water, and water pollution. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
2-5
IL - IM
98
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2014
Huayuan Chinese Academy, Inc.
STARTALK Penn High School Chinese Academy
Download PDF
This curriculum engages students in meaningful communication using modern social media platforms, especially China’s version of Twitter, called Weibo. Learners develop the ability to introduce themselves and provide basic personal information and describe their daily lives in order to communicate with peers and other “exchange students” as well as their “host families”. Learners use Weibo to interact in the three modes of communication, and will also prepare a presentation to introduce and compare Chinese and American social media platforms of their choice. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NH - IL
115
Non-Heritage
2014
University of Pennsylvania
Journey on the Silk Road
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In this curriculum, students will learn how to express like/dislike/preference of weather and food, talking about a particular task, asking for directions, buying and exchanging goods, buying gift for a birthday party and using different transportation in an imaginary language journey on the Silk Road. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NM - NH
96
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2014
Howard Community College
Must-go Cities in China! (Novice Mid)
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In this curriculum, students plan a family trip to a city in China. Working in small interest groups, they will be assigned a destination, then make preparations including securing travel documents, creating an itinerary, and planning how to travel within the city. Students will begin with practicing greetings and introducing their family members so that they can address people they meet using appropriate register, titles, courtesy expressions, and gestures. They will set a date for the trip and plan a schedule that outlines tasks that need to be completed prior to the trip. They will identify resources needed to complete a timeline and itinerary, and then agree on the person responsible for each task. Students then will spend time researching various locations, visiting websites, and watching videos from the region. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
8-12
NM - NH
90
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2014
Arizona State University
Must-go Cities in China! (Novice High)
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In this curriculum, students plan a family trip to a city in China. Working in small interest groups, they will be assigned a destination, then make preparations including securing travel documents, creating an itinerary, and planning how to travel within the city. Students will begin with practicing greetings and introducing their family members so that they can address people they meet using appropriate register, titles, courtesy expressions, and gestures. They will set a date for the trip and plan a schedule that outlines tasks that need to be completed prior to the trip. They will identify resources needed to complete a timeline and itinerary, and then agree on the person responsible for each task. Students then will spend time researching various locations, visiting websites, and watching videos from the region. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
8-12
NH - IL
90
Non-Heritage
2014
Arizona State University
Building Teacher Capacity, Generating Student Interest
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This curriculum brings the students into an imaginary cultural experience as visitors to Beijing High School. The five subthemes will engage the students in the three modes of communication for daily greetings, introducing people, and exchanging information about their families, daily schedules, and hobbies. In addition, while learning about Chinese students’ families, school lives, and cultural activities in Beijing, the students will make comparisons and reflect on their own. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NM
51
Non-Heritage
2014
University of Vermont
Explore Water, an Essential Element of Life
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will meet water baby (an imaginary figure from the story of “The journey of water babies,” symbolizing water) from China, and experience water baby’s fun life (friends and family), magic show (three states and water cycle), and adventures (different water bodies and water pollution). Non-heritage students who complete this curriculum will be able to greet each other, exchange simple information about such topics as weather, family members, colors, water-related sports, three states of water, and water pollution in memorized phrases or language chunks, and follow basic scientific experimental directions in Chinese. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
K-5
NM-NH
91
Non-Heritage
2017
Huayuan Academy
Explore San Francisco Chinatown (Immersion)
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In this curriculum, students will explore authentic practices and products in the San Francisco Chinatown community. They will learn about the history of Chinatown and Angel Island where a significant diaspora of Chinese occurred and their cultural relevance to community standards. They will practice greetings so that they can address people they meet using appropriate register, titles, courtesy expressions, and gestures. They will explore, order and taste different regions of Chinese cuisine and teas. The students will compare and contrast historical and contemporary Chinatown with regions in China and the U.S. through spontaneous dialogues with their personalized tutors in China. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-12
IL-IM
90
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Mandarin Institute
Explore San Francisco Chinatown (High School)
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will explore authentic practices and products in the San Francisco Chinatown community. They will learn about the history of Chinatown and Angel Island where a significant diaspora of Chinese occurred and their cultural relevance to community standards. They will practice greetings so that they can address people they meet using appropriate register, titles, courtesy expressions, and gestures. They will explore, order and taste different regions of Chinese cuisine and teas. The students will compare and contrast historical and contemporary Chinatown with regions in China and the U.S. through spontaneous dialogues with their personalized tutors in China. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NH-IL
90
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Mandarin Institute
STEAM: Beat the Heat with Ice Cream (G3-4)
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In this STEAM curriculum, students explore the world of science by making their own ice cream. In addition to learning to to ask and answer simple questions about their identity (name, age, grade, background) and describe their preferences on certain subjects (likes, dislikes, etc.), they will also be able to follow directions to perform science experiments in the target language and produce the target language to describe the content knowledge they learn about (e.g. the three states of matter and its properties, what causes matter to change its state, etc.) Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
3-4
NL-NM
94
Non-Heritage
2017
Prince George's Arts and Humanities Council
STEAM: Beat the Heat with Ice Cream (G5-6)
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In this STEAM curriculum, students explore the world of science by making their own ice cream. In addition to learning to to ask and answer simple questions about their identity (name, age, grade, background) and describe their preferences on certain subjects (likes, dislikes, etc.), they will also be able to follow directions to perform science experiments in the target language and produce the target language to describe the content knowledge they learn about (e.g. the three states of matter and its properties, what causes matter to change its state, etc.). Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
5-6
NL-NM
94
Non-Heritage
2017
Prince George's Arts and Humanities Council
Learn Chinese Through Beijing Opera (New, Novice)
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will explore the artistic and realistic aspects of arts in China through a hands-on approach through the appreciation and practice of Beijing Opera. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-12
NM-NH
120
Non-Heritage
2017
Binghamton University
Learn Chinese Through Beijing Opera (Returnng, Novice)
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In this curriculum, students will explore the artistic and realistic aspects of arts in China through a hands-on approach through the appreciation and practice of Beijing Opera. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-12
NM-NH
120
Non-Heritage
2017
Binghamton University
Learn Chinese Through Beijing Opera (New, Intermediate)
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will explore the artistic and realistic aspects of arts in China through a hands-on approach through the appreciation and practice of Beijing Opera. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-12
IH
120
Heritage
2017
Binghamton University
Learn Chinese Through Beijing Opera (Returning, Intermediate)
Download PDF
In this curriculum, students will explore the artistic and realistic aspects of arts in China through a hands-on approach through the appreciation and practice of Beijing Opera. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-12
IH-AL
120
Heritage
2017
Binghamton University
I Can Count and Sing in Chinese
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This blended curriculum focuses on developing conversational skills and building pronunciation and literacy foundations for beginning level students. Upon completing this curriculum, each student will be able to count, identify colors, fruits, and family members. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
K-2
NL-NM
35
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Hunter College
Hello, Can We be Friends
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This blended curriculum aims to help students learn Chinese in a meaningful way and enforces interaction with their peers and native speaker online instructor through a “Getting to Know My Friends” project. Each student will be engaged in communication tasks to find out personal information about their peers and their online instructor. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
3-5
NM-NH
35
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Hunter College
Explore Our Multilingual and Multicultural Community
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The theme of this curriculum, “Explore Our Multilingual and Multicultural Community”, aims to help students learn Chinese in a meaningful way and enforces interaction with native speakers through an “Introduce My Community” project. Each student will be engaged in tasks to find out the community demographics, businesses, and organizations run by different ethnic groups, and the languages and culture represented in the area through interviews. Students will be guided to interview local Chinese people for the project. Students will keep their findings in a blog and share their findings with their peers to introduce heritage languages, foods, customs, and festivals. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-8
NM
35
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Hunter College
Who is my Pen Pal?
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This is a blended (face-to-face and online) curriculum. The theme of the face-to-face session is: “Who is my Pen Pal?” and involves a “Mystery Pen Pal” project which allows learners to engage in meaningful interactions with native Chinese speakers. Each student will be assigned a mystery pen pal who is a native speaker of Chinese. Students and pen pals will exchange letters. Each student’s objective is to obtain as much information as possible to successfully guess the identity of their pen pal. On the last day of the face-to-face session, mystery pen pals will be revealed. During the online sessions, students will work with their online instructor on a project to plan a trip to visit a city in China. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NM-NH
110
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Hunter College

▼ Teacher Professional Development

STARTALK Chinese Teacher Training Program at Hunter College: A Blended Model

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This teacher training curriculum utilizes a blended model with face-to-face and online sessions. In this program, teacher trainees experience (1) a three-day preparation workshop that introduces and practices STARTALK Principles for effective teaching and learning, (2) a one-day workshop that focuses on task-based online teaching, (3) a three-day seminar that discusses proficiency-based planning, teaching, and assessment, and (4) a four-week micro-teaching and practicum. During the micro-teaching and practicum, participants will observe the lead teacher of our STARTALK student program, teach one or two 50-minute lessons to actual students, and conduct daily tutorial sessions with the students. The teaching will be videotaped with follow-up critique sessions held with the lead teacher and the fellow workshop participants.
Year: 2015
Origin: Hunter College
Hunter College Summer STARTALK Program Teacher Curriculum

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This teacher training program includes three components: (1) three full-day workshops that focus on intercultural communication and classroom management, task-based online teaching, and teaching in the target language respectively; (2) a three-day seminar that introduces and practices STARTALK principles for effective teaching and learning, and guides the program participants to design and draft lesson plans for their student teaching in the subsequent practicum; (3) a four-week micro-teaching and classroom-based practicum.
Year: 2017
Origin: Hunter College
Read On: Teaching Reading Literacy in Chinese

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As a result of this training program, teachers will know how to design and implement research-supported activities that develop character literacy, and will be able to situate literacy instruction within Standards-based, student-centered, thematic units that are appropriate for different grades and proficiency levels.
Year: 2017
Origin: College of the Holy Cross
Building Teacher Capacity, Generating Student Interest

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During this program, teachers engage with the STARTALK Principles and the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements to design standards-based learning experiences for students and then have the opportunity to deliver instruction in a micro-teaching setting.
Year: 2015
Origin: University of Vermont
Teaching and Assessing Chinese Culture and Language

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This training program challenges participants to consider what authenticity and culture mean in the process of learning language, across age levels (e.g., elementary, middle, high school, college), in a variety of school settings (e.g., traditional foreign language teaching, immersion), and with different learner populations (e.g., heritage learners). They will explore a number of relevant questions relating to the role of culture in language teaching and learning.
Year: 2017
Origin: University of Minnesota
Advancing TELL Online with Comprehensible Input

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This fully online program allows experienced language teachers to refine their skills in designing and delivering online lessons that use comprehensible input strategies to stay in the target language for 90% of instructional time, while utilizing suitable digital tools to implement planning steps and activities.
Year: 2017
Origin: HADI CLASSroad
STARTALK Chinese Teacher Institute

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This teacher professional development program is designed for new teachers and has three intended outcomes: a) the development of a research based pedagogy and examination of beliefs about language learning and teaching, b) skill development and integration of technology in language teaching, and c) creating a student centered learning environment that provides a language/culture rich learning experience.
Year: 2014
Origin: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The Berkeley STARTALK Mandarin Language and Culture Teacher Program

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This blended training program for new and pre-service teachers focuses on developing an understanding of the National Standards, California state standards, the STARTALK Principles and lesson planning and delivery.
Year: 2014
Origin: University of California
Hamilton ACC STARTALK K-12 Chinese Language Teacher's Program for Non-Native Speakers

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This two-week residential and Chinese-only immersion program at Hamilton College is specifically designed. This program was designed for pre-service and in-service K-16 nonnative Chinese language teachers seeking (1) language training at the professional level and (2) professional development on standards-based instruction. Participants apply knowledge gained from pedagogical workshops, presentations, and discussions on the following topics: standards-based instruction, backward design, thematic unit design, comprehensible input, and performance assessment. Additionally, participants will observe classes for middle school Chinese language learners and will conduct micro-teaching for a week to a group of students.
Year: 2014
Origin: Associated Colleges in China (ACC) at Hamilton College
Bryant STARTALK Chinese Language Teacher Program

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This training program focuses on target language use and comprehensible input in the classroom. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to: (1) understand why students need to receive comprehensible input, (2) use various strategies to apply comprehensible input, (3) demonstrate how and explain why the strategies for comprehensible input are used, and (4) Create a classroom environment that is culturally-rich and encourages the use of the target language.
Year: 2014
Origin: Bryant University
STARTALK IMPACT (Immersion Mandarin Professionals Acquire Coaching and Training)

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The Yinghua Academy STARTALK IMPACT Program builds professional capacity by providing practical immersion teaching strategies and classroom solutions for new and novice Chinese immersion language teaching professionals. This teacher training focuses on immersion teaching with in-depth exploration of developing students' Chinese literacy, vocabulary, and Chinese language arts fluency. The participants will be able to create content-based, theme-based, and task-based lessons in accordance with best practices of language immersion teaching and language acquisition research.
Year: 2014
Origin: Yinghua Academy
STARTALK Vermont: Building Teacher Capacity, Generating Student Interest

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This pre-service and new-teacher training program leads participants from concepts to practice, exploring how to use the NCSSFL-ACTFL CAN DO statements to set up goals for instruction and assessment, how to design units and lesson plans using the backward design, and how to implement the plans using the target language.
Year: 2014
Origin: The University of Vermont

Videos

STARTALK has collected video footage from a variety of real classrooms and professional development presentations. These videos can be used alone or incorporated into more extensive teacher education materials as samples of a variety of best practices, including both the STARTALK Principles for Effective Teaching and Learning and the TELL (Teacher Effectiveness in Language Learning) Framework.

▼ Click to view Videos

Rutgers Video
Novice Chinese Lesson (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

This video shows a segment of a lesson in a classroom of 6th grade students at Novice Low level.
OWN Video
Novice Chinese Lesson (One World Now!)

This video shows a segment of a lesson in a high school Chinese 1 classroom of mostly heritage speakers of various dialects of Chinese.
Marty Chen teaching in a classroom
Teacher Demonstration of Target Language & Comprehensible Input - Marty Chen

In this video, Marty Chen demonstrates a series of strategies for teachers to stay in the target language and make input comprehensible, even for novice level language learners. Notice that even if you do not know a word of Chinese, you are still able to follow along with each step of the lesson, comprehend key information, and participate when asked to do so. All of these strategies are applicable to any teaching context and can help any teacher increase their target language use without worrying that students will not understand.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - Line Up (Rotating Partners)

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in a high school Chinese class. In Line Up, students form two parallel lines somewhere in the classroom or other open space in order to be able to exchange information by interacting with multiple partners for short durations of time. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - Inside Outside Circle

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in an elementary school Chinese class. Inside Outside Circles is a cooperative learning strategy that engages students as they work with multiple partners to ask and answer questions or discuss topics related to the lesson or unit. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - Four Corners

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in a high school Chinese class. In Four Corners, students move to different areas of the room based on their response to a prompt and then form groups to exchange ideas and opinions. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - This Or That

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in a university Chinese class. The purpose of This or That is to have students demonstrate understanding by making a choice and moving to different areas in the classroom while interpreting words or sentences as they hear or read information. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - Find Someone Who

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in a university Chinese class. Find Someone Who is an interpersonal activity in which students ask and answer questions with many different partners. Their goal is to meet and talk to as many people as possible within the time limit in order to identify classmates that meet specific criteria. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - Respond to a Survey

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in a university Chinese class. Respond to a Survey is an activity in which students read questions or statements and select the most appropriate answer from a list of options. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
Students doing activity
Classroom Activity - Recall Brainstorm

This video shows a learner-centered communicative activity filmed in a university Chinese class. In Recall Brainstorm, students may work as small groups, pairs, or individually as they work to recall information about a concept, a text, or a learning experience and associate it with other content. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.

Lesson Plans

Sample Learning Plans
These sample lesson plans include multiple learning targets from the beginning, middle and end of various thematic units. Many activities outlined in the learning plans are accompanied by sample authentic resources and teaching materials. Each learning plan also contains videos of one or more activities being delivered in a real classroom. STARTALK thanks Kent State University for developing these materials.

Secondary - Roommate/Host Family


Secondary - Chinese University

Learning Plan Template(s)
STARTALK has developed a Learning Plan (lesson plan) template which guides teachers to plan their daily lessons connecting each activity and assessment to their curriculum using backward design. These templates are available for download in Word format in both color and black and white.

Template (color)


Template (b/w)

Learning Plan Development
To help teachers understand and use the STARTALK lesson plan templates, we have also developed a detailed learning plan guide outlining each step in the planning process, as well as a learning plan checklist designed for teachers to self-assess the lesson plans they develop.

Learning Plan Guide


Learning Plan Checklist


Additional Resources

These additional resources have been developed by various STARTALK projects and initiatives over many years and are potentially of interest to Chinese language instructors, language program administrators, instructional coaches, methods instructors, and others involved in Chinese language teaching and/or the training of Chinese language teachers.

Learning Modules Logo
Chinese Thematic Curriculum Modules
Each of these Chinese language learning modules is based in thematic cultural topics and is comprised of 3 lesson plans providing three or more hours of lessons and activities. Each module is augmented with a video of native speakers addressing one of the cultural topics, or being interviewed about the cultural topic being taught. In addition, each module is accompanied by hand-produced art illustrations for classroom use. These Chinese modules and supporting materials are focused on a trip to China. On the website for downloading teachers will find introduction to the project, an overview of all materials, 30 lesson plans, 10 art illustrations, 10 videos and several video documents. The intended level is Novice High to Intermediate Low.
Guiding Principles document
Guiding Principles for Early Literacy Experiences for Beginning Learners of Chinese (White Paper)
This white paper provides guiding principles for approaching and assessing literacy development in STARTALK Chinese language and teacher education programs.
Curricula Documents with Can-Do Statements
Sample Curricula: Academic Year Programs

Developed by Hunter College, these curriculum resources support the development of a proficiency-focused and performance-based Chinese language curriculum for the academic year. The curriculum guide provides step-by-step guidelines for Chinese teachers, especially for teachers of heritage Chinese weekend schools, to adopt STARTALK curricula and the STARTALK Principles into their own curricula and ease transition when students enter college level Chinese courses. The guide also discusses potential solutions to the challenges faced by K-12 programs and heritage Chinese weekend schools. The curriculum framework offers samples of proficiency-focused, theme-based, and age-appropriate learning materials, with the understanding that teachers will adapt the materials to meet the various linguistic and cultural requirements of their individual classrooms.

Curriculum Framework Guide

Curriculum Framework (English)

Curriculum Framework (Chinese)

Clock Checklist
CLOCK
The Classroom Language Observation Checklist Kit, or CLOCK, is a formative assessment tool designed for K-5 STARTALK teachers to periodically assess students’ speaking and listening comprehension skills based on observations of students’ use of the target language in a classroom setting. Developing proficiency in a language is a process that takes place gradually over time. The amount of progress a student makes over a set period of time depends on many factors, including the type of language program, the extent to which the instructor uses the target language in the classroom, the frequency and length of instruction time, the types of activities teachers provide for students to use the language for real purposes in the classroom, and student motivation. The CLOCK can help teachers track student language growth and inform instruction by documenting student performance during different classroom activities. The CLOCK provides important formative assessment data, but it is not a tool to assign a summative global proficiency level.
Word Frequency Scale
Word Frequency Dictionary
Given the current lack of available developmentally appropriate reading levels and assessments for K-5 students to support teachers in selecting grade-level reading materials and texts appropriate in a variety of Chinese programs, the first baseline word frequency dictionary for K-5 Chinese L2 learners has been developed. These leveled lists along with an online searchable database tool can be used to determine text difficulty of a particular literature or informational reading materials/texts. Together, the word lists and searchable database can be used to support teachers in the design of literacy instruction that addresses their students’ reading levels.
eTower logo
eTower
The NOVASTARTALK eTower is an open, web-based educational resource (OER) based on the most famous Chinese painting “Qingmingshanghetu,” (Along the River During Qingming Festival) for learners of Chinese. Currently, there are four modules: a sample summative module as well as three zero beginning level modules. These modules are available to individual student learners seeking independent or supplementary resources, but can also support Chinese instructors who are looking for interactive tasks to complement their curriculum.