2015 Infrastructure Grant Resources

These resources were created in 2015 for STARTALK through our Infrastructure Grant program. They are designed to fulfill critical needs in the world language community and are freely accessible to all language teachers.


The NOVASTARTALK eTower is an open, web-based educational resource designed to help Chinese students continue their language studies when face-to-face options are not readily available. The technology powering the learning modules is designed for seamless access, allowing users to access the content from computers and mobile devices alike.

e-Tower Module

STARTALK Hindi Audio-Visual Module Project

The STARTALK Hindi Audio-Visual Module Project introduces 36 thematic modules, which are based on real life situations with varied linguistic, social and cultural contents. The modules include situations in urban and rural locations with native speakers of different background, age and gender. Shot in Jaipur, its neighborhoods and Pushkar in July 2015, these video clips provide authentic samples of native speakers’ speech. They are unscripted, unrehearsed and non-sequential. The clips are short (one to three minutes), and offer samples of Hindi speech in the presentational and interpersonal modes of communication.

Hindi Audio-Visual Module

University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Learner Centeredness Module

In this module, the concept of learner centeredness is introduced and modeled in a video-taped Learner Centered Workshop for STARTALK teacher leaders of critical languages. Based on research conducted in previous STARTALK workshops, three areas were identified by STARTALK teachers as challenging: creating a learner centered classroom, classroom management, and using the target language in the language classroom. This video focuses on the first two challenges and is intended to serve as one model of professional development for STARTALK teachers that illustrates the how and why of creating a learner centered classroom that minimizes classroom disruptions.

Materials included in this module:

  • Video of a model Learner Centered Workshop conducted for STARTALK teacher leaders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Suggested reading about learner centeredness
  • PowerPoint presentation to be used in conducting a Learner Centered Workshop with STARTALK teachers of critical languages
  • Handouts to accompany the Learner Centered Workshop PowerPoint in the form of sample instructional tasks

Learner Centeredness Module

University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Exploratory Practice Module

In this module, the concept of Exploratory Practice (EP) is introduced and a model for the implementation of Exploratory Practice in the STARTALK classroom is presented. Exploratory Practice is a framework for conducting practitioner research in the field of language education developed by Richard Allwright in the early 1990’s by which teachers identify “puzzles” related to teaching and learning that are relevant to their particular classroom situations. Exploratory Practice techniques are used to explore and reflect upon those puzzles in a variety of ways.

Materials included in this module:

  • Video of a model Exploratory Practice professional development workshop conducted for STARTALK teachers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Three articles about Exploratory Practice
  • PowerPoint presentation to be used in conducting Exploratory Practice workshops with STARTALK teaching staff
  • Handout to accompany the EP workshop PowerPoint
  • List of Exploratory Practice resources
  • Sample Exploratory Practice projects conducted by STARTALK teachers

Exploratory Practice Module

The LMU STARTALK Professional Learning Module for Instructional Leads

The Professional Learning Module for Instructional Leads is a hybrid set of resources, activities and structured procedures that can be used to enhance, extend, and build the capacity of STARTALK Instructional Leads prior to conducting teacher professional learning sessions for STARTALK Student program teachers. This Professional Learning Module addresses the following four priority STARTALK-Endorsed Principles:

  1. Implementing a Standards-Based and Thematically Organized Curriculum
  2. Facilitating a Learner-Centered Classroom
  3. Using the Target Language and Providing Comprehensible Input for Instruction
  4. Conducting Performance-Based Assessment

Professional Learning Module for Instructional Leads

HADI-CLASSRoad’s LangCred

LangCred is a first of its kind interactive website designed forUS teachers of less commonly taughtlanguages(LCTLs) that functions as a clearinghouse of up-to-date information and reliable guidance on obtaining a teaching certificate/credential. The second phase of LangCred includes a NEW searchable list of state-approved language teacher preparation programs in the US with additional resources to aid language teachers in designing their own personalized roadmaps for certification, highlighting known pathways, procedures, requirements, exams and advisory sources in individual states.


Master’s Degree Program in Hindi/Urdu Language Pedagogy at Kean University

Kean University’s Master’s Degree Program in Hindi/Urdu Language Pedagogy will address the current lack of a strong infrastructure at national and state levels to support Hindi/Urdu teacher development and research in the area of Hindi/Urdu-specific second language pedagogy. The program is designed for cohorts of Hindi/Urdu Native/Advanced-Mid(or higher) speakers who reside in the U.S., possess a Bachelor’s Degree, and wish to teach Hindi/Urdu at the K-12/post-secondary level or to continue study and research on Second Language Acquisition and foreign language pedagogy at the graduate level.

Master’s Degree Program in Hindi/Urdu Language Pedagogy

Occidental College’s Putting the Standards Front and Center

Occidental College’s Putting the Standards Front and Center: An Infrastructure Project for Teacher Development provides program directors and lead instructors with multiple resources that can be used individually or collectively.

The materials present concepts simply, are reflected in instructional materials and video-clips of on-target practice, provide participant-centered activities that stimulate reflection and the use of tools to gauge on target practice, focus on the delivery and differentiation of model materials, and offer a modular approach that can be used to construct a variety of professional development experiences.

Putting the Standards Front and Center

Advanced Learning's Professional Learning Resources to Support STARTALK-endorsed Principles

Designed to support professional learning in STARTALK teacher development programs, professional development in STARTALK student programs, as well as independently by any language teacher, these resources address instructional topics found in STELLA modules and support the STARTALK-endorsed Principles for Effective Teaching and Learning and Characteristics of Effective Language Lessons. Topics addressed include: “Teacher Target Language Use” “Student Target Language Use”, and “Learner Engagement.”

Professional Learning Resources to Support STARTALK-endorsed Principles

K-5 Word Frequency Dictionary for Chinese L2 Learners

The principal goal of the Mandarin Institute-Loyola Marymount University (LMU) STARTALK Infrastructure Building the K-5 Chinese Readability Scale for Assessing Early Literacy is to build the foundation for early Chinese reading instruction by creating lexiled vocabulary levels and assessments.

Given the lack of assessments, measures and tools to support teachers in selecting grade-level reading materials and texts appropriate in a variety of Chinese immersion programs, the first baseline word frequency dictionary for K-5 Chinese L2 learners has been developed. These leveled lists can be used to determine text difficulty of a particular literature or informational reading materials/texts along with an online searchable database tool. 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.

K-5 Word Frequency Dictionary

New Languages, New Opportunities. STARTALK Program Design Institute

As part the New Languages, New Opportunities: STARTALK Program Design Institute 2015, ACTFL produced four instructional webinar presentations aimed at delving deeper into the topics discussed at the conference in Oct. 2015 in Minneapolis. Each topic forms part of the larger programmatic development effort for organizations, institutions and community schools looking to expand their STARTALK summer programs into year-round programs. These webinars are recorded live with participants from the Program Design Institute asking questions, discussing issues, and providing examples.

STARTALK Program Design Institute Webinars

Instructional Resource(s): 

  • Student
  • Teacher

Material Type(s): 

  • Assessment
  • Curricula
  • Instruction

TELL Domain(s): 

  • Environment
  • Planning
  • The Learning Experience
  • Performance Feedback
  • Learning Tools
  • Collaboration
  • Professionalism

STARTALK Principle(s): 

  • Standard-Based Curriculum
  • Learner Centered
  • Target Language
  • Integration of Culture, Content, Language
  • Authentic Material
  • Performance-Based Assessment