March 7, 2016

STARTALK, a Russian language intensive program, is being held again on July 11-29. The event is hosted by the Russian Language Program from the Modern Languages and Literatures department at UCF.

This three-week summer program is offered to students with no or a little knowledge of the Russian language. Students will meet for a total of ninety hours of instruction, extra-curricular activities, and field trips. The intention is to achieve a proficiency in the Russian language and an understanding of Russian culture necessary for a business trip to Russia.

STARTALK’s mission is 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 that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development, forming an extensive community of practice that seeks continuous improvement in such criteria as outcome-driven program design, standards-based curriculum planning, learner-centered approaches, excellence in selection and development of materials, and meaningful assessment of outcomes.

STARTALK is made possible due to the STARTALK grant awarded to Alla Kourova, Ph.D., in the amount of $88,778.28. STARTALK is the newest of the component programs of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) announced by former President Bush in January of 2006. The initiative seeks to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important world languages that are not widely taught currently in the US.

The teaching assistants for the event are students who joined Kourova in a study abroad program funded by an in-house research grant also awarded to Kourova.