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Coaching for
Innovative Lesson Design
A 2023 STARTALK Teacher Program at the University of Maryland Apply Today
Coaching for
Innovative Lesson Design
A 2023 STARTALK Teacher Program at the University of Maryland Apply Today

LEARN

Participate in a Year-long Professional Learning Experience.

CONNECT

Connect With Other Educators of Less Commonly Taught Languages

LEAD

Become a Model Classroom for the STARTALK Community

A Free Professional Learning Program for Teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian

Virtual Roundtable DiscussionsSTARTALK Information Sessions To Learn More About The Program

Join interested colleagues in a series of virtual roundtable discussions with Instructional Lead, Laura Terrill. Roundtable discussions briefly preview topics that will be addressed in the STARTALK program. At the end of each session there will be an opportunity to ask questions about the STARTALK program. Each session will be offered twice in an effort to accommodate busy educator schedules in different parts of the country. Click the dates to reserve your seat for these informational sessions facilitated via Zoom.

4 PM (ET) 3 PM (CT) 2 PM (MT) 1 PM (PT)
7 PM (ET) 6 PM (CT) 5 PM (MT) 4 PM (PT)

Principles of Unit Design

Preview the core principles of thematic unit design and consider how they are applied in your teaching. Consider how use of a unit planner supports the key elements of backward unit design with a focus on lesson implementation.

4 PM (ET) 3 PM (CT) 2 PM (MT) 1 PM (PT)
7 PM (ET) 6 PM (CT) 5 PM (MT) 4 PM (PT)

Principles of Assessment

Preview alignment between performance objectives and assessment tasks in each mode of communication. Analyze the key components of an effective performance task that targets the appropriate  performance range.

4 PM (ET) 3 PM (CT) 2 PM (MT) 1 PM (PT)
7 PM (ET) 6 PM (CT) 5 PM (MT) 4 PM (PT)

Principles of Lesson Design

Preview how performance objectives are unpacked into specific learning targets that align to the performance tasks. Consider how effective lesson design focuses on input in the interpretive mode before expecting production in the interpersonal and presentational modes.  

program overview

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Pre-CampMarch 2023 - June 2023

Pre-camp activities will include 20 hours of synchronous and asynchronous learning designed to build your background knowledge before the residential summer camp.

Connect with Other Educators

Participate in a series of online meetings and meet language teachers from around the country to build a community of learners.

Analyze Model Curricula

Acquire knowledge about effective unit and lesson design. Analyze and modify sample units to ensure that they have clearly identified performance objectives and performance tasks in the three communicative modes. Develop or revise a unit that you intend to work with during the summer session.

Review Recorded Lessons

Analyze prerecorded video lessons for elements of effective lesson design and reflect on the unit and lessons you will work with in the summer.

TELL Collab

Summer CampJune 22-June 29, 2023

Engage in a 60-hour residential program on the campus of the University of Maryland. Participate in a variety of workshops, language-specific small group sessions, and collaborative work sessions to develop lessons.

Connect with Other Educators

Benefit from focused time on your professional goals with other educators who share similar goals. Participate in focused workshops and discussions to advance your understanding of lesson design. Give yourself quality time to connect with other educators teaching the same language.

Observe Demo Lessons

Work collaboratively to create demo lessons. Teach and receive feedback on your lessons. Observe and provide feedback on demo lessons taught by other teachers. Interact with language-specific coaches.

Develop a Growth Plan

Work with other educators and a language coach to determine personal next steps for implementation of new learning in your classroom.

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Post-CampSeptember 2023 - April 2024

Engage in 40 hours of synchronous and asynchronous learning designed to support your continued professional growth.

Design & Implement Lessons

Participate in online small group sessions to clarify understanding of new learning. Apply new learning by creating two complete lesson plans.

Work with a Language Coach

Share each lesson plan with your learning coach, receive feedback, and revise prior to teaching each lesson.

Record Model Lessons

Teach and record the two lessons. Share the recorded lessons. Reflect on the lesson documenting your professional growth journey in the STARTALK program.

residential experience

June 22-29, 2023University of Maryland, College Park

Residential learning experiences provide busy educators time to focus in on their professional growth. Be part of a group of educators who share common goals. Live in residential housing on the University of Maryland campus where you will have the opportunity to communicate over meals and to engage in extended conversations. Meet colleagues and take the time needed to develop professional relationships that are likely to continue beyond the week of camp. Take advantage of meal and travel stipends that will make this program a no or very low cost program.

Participants will stay in double-occupancy suite-style lodging on the University of Maryland campus. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided to participants during the program, and participants will be reimbursed with a set per diem amount to purchase dinner on their own each evening.

program staff

Thomas SauerProgram Director

Thomas_Sauer_0

Thomas Sauer is the codirector of PEARLL, a Title VI language resource center at the University of Maryland, where he has facilitated face-to-face and online annual professional development for language teachers. He previously worked as an independent consultant and a K–12 world language specialist for several school systems in Kentucky. Mr. Sauer taught German at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, the Kentucky Institute for International Studies, and Kentucky Educational Television. He is a sought-after workshop facilitator, curriculum developer, and keynote speaker. He previously served as an instructional lead for several successful STARTALK teacher programs. Mr. Sauer holds an MA in instructional leadership and school administration from Bellarmine University.

Alejandro Pérez BeldaProgram Co-Director

Alejandro

Alejandro Pérez Belda is the world language/dual language programs coordinator at UMD. He earned his PhD in multilingual education at the University of Iowa. He also has an MA in applied linguistics (Universidad de Jaén) and an MA in Hispanic linguistics (University of Iowa). During the last five years, he taught and supervised for the Division of World Languages and the College of Education at the University of Iowa. During that time, he was responsible for the preparation of professional development designed to improve instruction and support emergent bilingual students in Iowa through a $2.2 million Title III grant on bilingual education.

Laura TerrillInstructional Lead

Laura Terrill

Laura Terrill is a nationally recognized independent consultant who recently worked as the senior associate for professional development for the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. She taught French at all levels for 21 years before becoming the coordinator of foreign language and English as a second language and then director of curriculum for a school district in Missouri. She has taught methods courses in St. Louis and Indianapolis and continues to present at the local, state, regional, and national levels. She has served on the board of directors for the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and ACTFL. She coauthored the second edition of The Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit, and Lesson Design. Ms. Terrill holds a BA in French from the University of Missouri and an MA in secondary administration from Northeast Missouri State University.

Sharon SolerProject Manager

Soler_Sharon

Sharon Soler’s work at the National Foreign Language Center since 2009 has included guiding the creation of language learning materials in over 30 languages, ensuring the quality and timely delivery of all project deliverables, and managing critical processes for the NFLC in its administration of the STARTALK federal grant program. Prior to her work at the NFLC Ms. Soler was an Assistant Director with the Office of Professional Studies at the University of Maryland, where she oversaw enrollment and student services for post-graduate programs targeted to working professionals. Ms. Soler holds a BA in Government from Georgetown University.

application

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 STARTALK Teacher Program “Coaching for Innovative Lesson Design in STARTALK Model Classrooms” at the University of Maryland. Please note that this program is designed for current U.S. based teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian with at least three years of teaching experience! Participation is FREE due to funding from STARTALK.

Part I

Complete the google form below. Your responses will be automatically recorded and can be edited any time before you hit the “submit” button. As part of the form you will need to submit a link to a current lesson plan and a personal statement of up to 500 words describing how you would benefit from participating in the STARTALK program.

Part II

Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in an interview and submit additional evidence from their current practice. Invited participants will need to submit a recorded video of a lesson they recently taught and submit a letter of support from their administration.

Participation is very limited! Please complete your application as soon as possible!

about the STARTALK program

STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund several types of innovative programs that create strong language learning outcomes for K-16 students, provide in-depth, quality teacher development, and develop support materials and resources for educators in order to meet the goals for critical need languages in the United States. STARTALK’s overall mission is to increase the number of young Americans learning and speaking critical need foreign languages by offering creative and engaging learning experiences for K-16 students.

STARTALK provides the funds to offer this program FREE for eligible participants.

For more information about STARTALK, please visit their website.

frequently asked questions

Please review answers to the following frequently asked questions. Should you have additional questions please contact us at pearll@nflc.umd.edu

STARTALK

What is STARTALK?

STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund several types of innovative programs that create strong language learning outcomes for K-16 students, provide in-depth, quality teacher development, and develop support materials and resources for educators in order to meet the goals for critical need languages in the United States. STARTALK’s overall mission is to increase the number of young Americans learning and speaking critical need foreign languages by offering creative and engaging learning experiences for K-16 students.

STARTALK provides the funds to offer this program FREE for teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian.

What is the goal of this STARTALK program?

The Coaching for Innovative Lesson Design in STARTALK Model Classrooms will provide a professional development experience for 20 teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian. Educators enrolled in the program will design, teach, and record lessons that are aligned to performance objectives and assessments. Participants who successfully complete the program will be designated as educators in STARTALK Model Classrooms.

When will this program take place?

The camp blends synchronous and asynchronous virtual pre- and post-camp experiences with face-to-face instruction in a residential camp:

Pre-camp outreach – March 2023 – May 2023

  • focuses on the development of meaningful unit and lesson goals that are appropriate for the ages and proficiency levels of the learners, while building community among participants. 

Face-to face camp – June 22-29, 2023

  • participants work collaboratively to create lessons aligned with the STARTALK Principles before delivering those lessons to peers and student groups. 

After-camp activities – August 2023 – April 2024

  • focus on transferring learning to participants’ classrooms through the development of lesson plans appropriate for their instructional setting.

How can I learn more about the program?

The University of Maryland will host a series of virtual roundtable discussion sessions that will focus on the camp’s instructional goals and respond directly to questions about the camp. Roundtable discussions will be held from September to January. Sign up for the roundtables here.

How much does the program cost?

The STARTALK summer camp is FREE. Participants will receive stipends to cover the cost of travel. Housing, meals, and parking on campus is included. It is possible that the travel stiped may not cover all travel costs depending on the cost of individual travel.

Can I participate in just one or two parts of the program?

No, participants must commit to participate and successfully complete all three phases of the program (i.e., pre-camp activities, summer camp, and post-camp activities). 

Eligibility

I currently teach a language other than Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian. Am I eligible to apply?

No, the Coaching for Innovative Lesson Design in STARTALK Model Classrooms will provide a professional development experience for 20 teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian, ONLY. Unfortunately, teachers of other languages are not eligible to participate.

I have been teaching for more than three years in a private school, but I don’t have a teaching certificate. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, this program targets K–16 teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian who work in public, private, or heritage schools or universities. Participants must have at least three years of prior teaching experience, but prior experience in STARTALK programs is not required. 

I am an experienced teacher of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, or Russian, but I currently teach in a country other than the United States. Am I eligible to apply?

No, only teachers currently teaching in the United States are eligible to participate in this program.

I have a degree in teaching education, and more than three years of teaching experience, but I have never taught Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, or Russian. Am I eligible to apply?

No, this program provides a professional development experience for 20 teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian, with at least three years of prior language teaching experience. Unfortunately, other teachers are not eligible to participate.

Application

How do I apply?

Complete the application online: Fill out the STARTALK application form that can be accessed here. Your responses will be automatically recorded and can be edited any time before you hit the “submit” button. As part of the form you will need to submit a link to a current lesson plan and a personal statement of up to 500 words describing how you would benefit from participating in the STARTALK program.

What is involved in the application process?

The initial application solicits information on the participants’ background, language, and type of instructional setting, including student demographics. This is all submitted through the online application form. Applicants also submit a link to a current lesson plan.

Qualified applicants will participate in an online interview to determine their level of commitment and to gain an understanding of their current level of expertise as they enter the program.

What does the application process look like?

Participants complete a multipart application process to ensure participants are committed to meeting the goals, while at the same time being representative of both the STARTALK languages and the diversity of the students who study them. 

  1. The initial application solicits information on the participants’ background, language, and type of instructional setting, including student demographics. Applicants also submit a link to a current lesson plan. 
  2. Qualified applicants participate in an online interview to determine their level of commitment and to gain an understanding of their current level of expertise as they enter the program. A pool of applicants will be preselected based on the review of application materials and the online interview.
  3. Preselected applicants must then submit a letter of support from the applicants’ direct supervisors. This letter will confirm institutional support for the expectations of the summer camp as well as pre-camp and post-camp activities and will indicate that the institution fully supports the  commitment required by the participant and the school.

What should I include in my sample lesson plan?

Participants are asked to submit a lesson plan in the format that they normally use. This lesson plan provides a staring point for instructors and coaches and will allow instructors to plan for differentiation as needed. Remember that the purpose of the camp is to grow professionally in the area of lesson design and your lesson plan simply gives an indication of your starting point.  

If I am pre-selected, what would be the next step?

Pre-selected applicants will be asked to submit a letter of support from the applicants’ direct supervisors. This letter will confirm institutional support for the expectations of the summer camp as well as pre-camp and post-camp activities and will indicate that the institution fully supports the commitment required by the participant and the school.

Do I need to schedule an interview?

No, if your application meets all requirements, we will contact you via email to schedule a virtual interview.

Do I need to schedule an interview?

No, if your application meets all requirements, we will contact you via email to schedule a virtual interview.

How many participants will be selected?

Enrollment is limited to 20 educators to allow participants to form a community invested in sharing expertise with others through the development of STARTALK model classrooms. The enrollment limit also creates an instructor-to-participant ratio that supports a coaching environment that is responsive to individual participant needs

What is the deadline for applying to the program?

Applications will be accepted until February 10th –or until all openings are filled with qualified candidates.

Pre-Camp Activities

When will pre-camp activities take place?

Pre-camp activities occur from March 2023 to May 2023.

What is purpose of pre-camp?

Pre-camp activities will include 20 hours of synchronous and asynchronous learning designed to build their background knowledge before the residential summer camp. Participants analyze model curricula to ensure that they have a solid understanding of thematic unit design in order to ensure that they arrive at summer camp ready to move forward with lesson plans.

Summer Camp

When is the summer camp?

The summer camp is a residential experience on the campus of the University of Maryland taking place June 22-29, 2023.

What is the purpose of the summer camp?

Participants will focus on building their effectiveness in designing lessons. They will create, teach and receive feedback on demo lessons. They will have the opportunity to work with colleagues who are teaching the same language and with a language-specific coach. They will work with their coach to create a post-camp professional development plan.

Why is the summer camp a residential experience?

Residential learning experiences provide busy educators time to focus in on their professional growth. Be part of a group of educators who share common goals. Live in residential housing on the University of Maryland Campus where you will have the opportunity to communicate over meals and to engage in extended conversations. Meet colleagues and take the time needed to develop professional relationships that are likely to continue beyond the week of camp.

Will the program provide housing for participants?

Participants will be staying in double-occupancy suite-style lodging on the University of Maryland campus.

Will the program provide meals for participants?

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided during the program, and participants will be reimbursed with a set per diem amount to purchase dinner on their own each evening. 

Will the program provide participants’ parking?

Yes, on campus parking will be covered. 

 

Post Camp

When will post-camp activities take place?

Post-camp activities occur from September 2023 – April 2024.

When is the purpose of post-camp activities?

Post-camp activities focus on transferring learning to participants’ classrooms through the development of lesson plans appropriate for their instructional setting. Participants then record two lessons and receive feedback on those lessons.

When is the purpose of post-camp activities?

Post-camp activities focus on transferring learning to participants’ classrooms through the development of lesson plans appropriate for their instructional setting. Participants then record two lessons and receive feedback on those lessons.

The University of Maryland STARTALK Program is a collaboration between the College of Education and Professionals in Education Advancing Research and Language Learning (PEARLL), a Title VI language resource center at the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland.