The overall success of STARTALK depends on the success of each STARTALK program, and the site visit is intended to focus on program growth. Generally, a site visit team is composed of at least two site visitors, selected to ensure the visit is conducted by people with linguistic and pedagogical expertise. Government observers and staff members from the NFLC might also join the site visit team. The site visit team reviews program documentation, interviews program participants and staff, and observes teaching and learning experiences throughout the day of the site visit.
STARTALK requires all programs to host a site visit. Be sure to stay in communication with your team leader to coordinate your visit and to ensure that everyone at your program and on the site visit team are aware of any important details or changes in plans. On this page, you’ll find information that will help you plan and prepare for your site visit.
The Site Visit Date
As program director, you provide options for site visit dates to STARTALK Central. Those dates will be used by STARTALK Central to assign a team leader to your program and coordinate your site visit. Because of the complexity of the logistics involved, requests for a different site visit date will not be honored unless there are extenuating circumstances. If there is a need to change a site visit date, contact STARTALK Central immediately.
SOPHIE Information for Site Visits
Site visit team members will have read your proposal, curriculum, and the previous year’s site visit report (for continuing programs) prior to arriving at your site. All of these documents are available on your Site Visit Summary page in SOPHIE. You can also review biographical and itinerary information for each of your site visit team members in advance of the visits.
Site Visit Logistics
You enter logistical information into SOPHIE so that it can be used by the site visit team to make their travel arrangements. This information includes the most convenient airport or train station for your site location, the names of two hotels near your program site, directions from the two hotels to the program site, and the cell phone number for a program point of contact. You also enter the agenda for the day. You and your team leader should agree on the site visit agenda that you enter into SOPHIE and ensure that the agenda provides a comprehensive overview of the program by allowing visitors to observe all program activities during the site visit day.
Site Visit Interviews
Interviews will be conducted with the program director, program instructors, and program participants (students and teachers). The site visit team will need a private place to meet throughout the site visit day and before sharing its findings with the program director. You can preview the site visit interview questions by clicking the link below.
Site Visit Report
The site visit team will provide feedback on what is working well in terms of program management, logistics, and instructional design in your program during their visit. After the site visit, the team leader will submit a report that documents the team findings that were discussed with the program director on the site visit day. You will be able to comment on the report findings in SOPHIE. You can preview the LookFors that the site visit team will use, as well as the site visit report narrative questions, by clicking on the links below.Student program LookFors and narrative
Teacher program LookFors and narrative
Online program LookFors and narrative