The 2017 STARTALK Fall Conference was held in Portland’s Hilton Downtown in Oregon from November 3 to 4, 2017. This summer 11 different languages including Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu were offered to various levels of students from elementary to high schools throughout 124 programs in the U.S.A. The STARTALK Program also offered teacher-training programs of these 11 languages online as well as offline.
This past summer (June 26 ~ July 28, 2017) the UW-Madison STARTALK Korean Language & Culture Academy offered its first summer Korean language and culture program to 21 high school students in grades 9 through 12 from the Southern Wisconsin areas. As the only STARTALK Korean program offered in the Midwest, BJ Lim (Program Director), Wendy Johnson (Program Coordinator), and Jaerin Ahn (Lead Instructor) shared with the conference participants the Korean academy’s unique and innovative approaches to learner-centered curriculum designed for the Wisconsin high school students. By actively sharing our best examples of practices in using backward design to formulate a lesson in the 90% target language (i.e., Korean) classroom, we also contributed to learner-centered pedagogy which aims at empowering our high students with world-readiness and global competence in world language classrooms.