2015 STARTALK Mandarin Language Summer Camp

For an eighth year, UMass Boston and STARTALK offer a 15-day, intensive Mandarin Language Summer Camp to Massachusetts students in grades 6-12. Four levels of Chinese language classes are led by experienced instructors and held at Bentley University, Waltham, MA. Applications are required for participation.

Camp-wide Theme for Summer 2015

This year we will focus the language curriculum around the theme “My Past, Present and Future in Mandarin” to build on students’ everyday knowledge, daily experience, and individual interests. The summer language courses will prepare students to converse about school life, compare their schedules and activities, and prepare for future studies in the U.S. and in China in terms of language, culture, and content. Each class’s sub-theme will provide vocabulary, dialogue topics and group and independent projects that will enable students to learn quickly and at an appropriate level, while the camp-wide theme and activities will facilitate students speaking Mandarin to each other and with native speakers. The academic language content is complimented by “electives” such as Chinese art, folk dance, skits and performances; food, games, and ping pong. A coordinated series of language-exchange meetings with high school students from Beijing who reside on the summer campus will provide opportunity to converse and participate in school/language-based activities (without having to travel to China). The exchange of language combined with creative cultural activities is intended to get students to start-talking and promote motivation to become life-long learners of Mandarin.

Novice Chinese, Part 1
"At School with Friends"

This course is designed for students with little or no Chinese language learning experience. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to properly introduce themselves to teachers and friends. Students will learn school schedules, the calendar and telling time, and will converse about the subjects they like in simple conversations. Students will make comparisons between customs and activities of schools in China and America. A summer goal is to develop basic skills in listening and speaking, and to begin character recognition and writing using the correct stroke order.

Novice Chinese, Part 2 (Mid-High level)
"School and Leisure Activities"

This course is designed for students with 1-2 years of prior Chinese language experience. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to converse with basic fluency about extra-curricular activities, hobbies and personal interests. They will be able to express their individual choices and experiences, as well as investigate relevant cultural differences of school choices and students in China. In addition to improving skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, this course will strengthen student language capacity by increasing vocabulary and expanding topics to promote conversational speaking.

Intermediate Chinese, Part 1
"School and Community"

This course is designed for students with 2-3 years of prior Chinese language experience. Upon the completion of this course students will be able to share school and community resources (such as programs, facilities, libraries, businesses) in comparatively fluent conversational manner at near to normal speed. In addition to improving skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, this course will strengthen students’ language capacity by using broader topics to promote an exchange of information and conversational speaking. Students will share the unique elements of individual academic and extra-curricular preferences, their schools’ offerings, amenities and recognized programs, and their experiences or options in community service to learn about each other as well as well-known schools and programs in China.

Intermediate Chinese, Part 2 (Mid-High level)
"School Plans to Study Abroad"

This course is designed for students with 3-4 years of prior Chinese language experience in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate their ability to conduct meaningful communication in real-world situations in given contexts. Since many students who study Chinese often have the opportunity to study abroad, the course scenario will be planning to go abroad to study and live in a Chinese city. With cultural objectives fully integrated, and a focus on personal interests, students will be able to express their prospective plans, make suggestions, compare living in the two countries, share and discuss important ideas while investigating and planning their personal goals.

Post-Daily Program Offering

From 4:00 - 5:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday, we offer after-school activities to support learning Chinese culture, sports, games and projects. Our hope is to extend learning as well as accommodate family commuting schedules.

Note: Friday dismissal time is 4 p.m., with no after-school classes.

Please indicate on page 1 of the application if you will enroll your child in the post-daily program, the cost is an additional $100.

Schedule & Fee

July 6 - 24, 2015
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Bentley University campus, Waltham MA

Program Fee: $350

More Information

Renee Covalucci
Associate Director

The China Program Center
University of Massachusetts
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125-3393

Tel: 617.334.9348
Fax: 617.287.7922


Funded by

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