STARTALK Summer Institutes for Teachers of Chinese

STARTALK and the China Program Center at UMass Boston offer an experiential Summer Institute to current Chinese language instructors, students preparing to become language instructors, or those pursuing employment in public, private and independent schools.

UMass-STARTALK Institutional Goals

  • Familiarize participants with the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (2014), and current theories in second language acquisition
  • Promote understanding of American school culture and effective classroom practices
  • Learn student-centered pedagogy and apply it to the teaching of Chinese
  • Write curriculum units based the National Standards for Foreign Language Education and the STARTALK curriculum template

2015 STARTALK Summer Institute: Practical Strategies for Teaching Mandarin

Learn to put theory into action through task-based teaching, practicing student-centered instruction and meeting the National Standards for Foreign Language Education!

Non-credit: 70 PDPs
Credit: 3 Graduate credits from College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS)
Location: Bentley University, Waltham MA

This course will utilize second language teaching theories with an emphasis on their practical application to teach Mandarin. Participants will read and discuss Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, edition 2 and obtain numerous examples of how to put theory into practice. To realize all course goals, the summer institute has four components: to study and integrate the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages and STARTALK-endorsed principles to develop meaningful lessons, activities and assessment tools for language students; to participate in workshops with a small team of experienced Mandarin teachers, or “Model Instructors,” who will serve as presenters, coaches and evaluators throughout the institute; to observe examples of effective teaching in learner-centered classrooms at the concurrent STARTALK Mandarin Summer Camp; and to develop lessons for peer teaching, group practice teaching, and micro teaching to students in the Camp. A culminating project will be to write a Standards-Based and Thematically organized curriculum and present it for peer and faculty review in the fall.

By the end of the institute, participants will have the competence and skills necessary for leading a classroom and will be able to:

  • prepare and deliver classroom instruction using standards-based, thematically organized curriculum that connect to meaningful (real-life) situations for better student comprehension. 
  • develop a skill set and framework (for lesson planning and teaching) that can expand and adapt as teaching experience grows and classroom curricula topics expand.
  • facilitate learner-centered classrooms, maximize student outcomes, and design assessment tasks relevant to activity.


Yu-Lan Lin, PhD
Dr. Lin was a Chinese Language teacher and Modern Languages administrator for 34 years and retired in 2013 from the long held position of K-12 Senior Program Director of World Languages for the Boston Public Schools. She is currently the Executive Director of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS). Dr. Lin has served on the Chinese AP Task Force Committee for the College Board, as Content Advisor for the AP Chinese Program, and on the AP Chinese Curriculum and Assessment Development Committee. Currently she serves on the World Language Advisory Committee and the Academy Assembly Committee for the College Board. Her published work includes co-authorship of the CLASS Professional Standards for K-12 Chinese Teachers. She is the recipient of MaFLA’s Distinguished Service Award; NECTFL’s Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession and ACTFL’s Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in K-12 Foreign Language Education. Recently at UMass Boston, Dr. Lin designed and implemented a very successful professional development program for English language teachers from Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an China.

Yixing (Star) Lew
Star Lew currently teaches Mandarin at Newton North High School, one of the most developed programs in Massachusetts. With over 10 years of experience teaching in middle school and now high school, she has vast experience writing differentiated curricula that meets and models the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards. Ms. Lew was a recipient of the 2013 UMass Boston Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad where she demonstrated her leadership ability and established herself as a versatile, well-informed, exemplary teacher. She has been a frequent presenter in UMass Boston’s programs for teachers, specializing in Backward Design and producing student-centered learning experiences.


The UMass-STARTALK Summer Institute for Chinese Language Teachers are offered as residential programs for participants living 50 miles or further from Bentley University, Waltham, MA. A limited number of rooms have been reserved for participants requiring accommodations.

Schedule & Fee

July 7-17, 2015
Tuesday - Friday
(no class Jul 12)
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Follow-up Day:
October 3, 2015
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
UMass Boston

Non-credit: $275
Graduate credit: $350

More Information

Renee Covalucci
Associate Director

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

Tel: 617.287.7290
Fax: 617.287.7297



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