The principal goal of the STARTALK-CHELER (Chinese HEritage Language Education and Research) project is to provide resources and support for the professional development of teachers of community-based Chinese heritage schools/programs (a k.a. weekend schools) in the United States. The purpose of the STARTALK-CHELER Chinese Heritage Language Learning and Teaching project is to fill the gap in professional support and resources between the Chinese programs in K-12 public and private schools and in the Chinese heritage sector, in which more than 1,000 weekend schools rely on limited resources and voluntary services from parents and local community. In an effort to align the instruction and curriculum of weekend Chinese schools and the STARTALK endorsed principles, the professional development units presented in this project were designed to meet the needs of Chinese school teachers, who are mostly native Chinese speakers with limited background or training on world language education in the United States.
The professional development units are self-paced and consist of videos, readings, and exercises. There will not be any live interaction with an instructor. The sample learning plans were developed for the needs of Chinese heritage learners in the context of Chinese weekend schools.
Unit 1: Chinese Literacy Development
Considering the needs of many Chinese heritage speakers in Chinese weekend schools, this unit presents a workshop on Chinese literacy development. At the end of each video, there are exercises of comprehension check questions.
Unit 2: Integration of Technology into Chinese Heritage Classes
Community-based Chinese heritage schools in the United States usually offer classes on weekend with limited instructional time. This unit provides resources and tutorials of many free programs or tools to appeal to the interests in technology of young learners nowadays and to provide learning opportunities beyond class time on weekend.
Unit 3: Planning for the Learning of Chinese Heritage Learners
Away from traditional teacher-centered lectures, this unit introduces the goal areas of World-Readiness Standards for the Learning of Languages and the steps of backward design planning with examples situated in the context of Chinese heritage schools.
Additional Resources: Sample Learning Plans
The sample learning plans present units/lessons designed for Chinese heritage learners and implemted successfully in Chinese heritage schools. The sample learning plans includes lessons for learners at different age groups using various textbook series commonly used in Chinese weekend schools.
- Learning Tools
- Standard-Based Curriculum
- Integration of Culture, Content, Language