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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

actfl starktalk multi-state pathways to teaching

Will I be granted teacher certification s​imply as a result of this program?

This program is meant to help you in planning for the requirements of alternative teaching licensure in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Completion of the on-site summer institute and online sessions does not by itself automatically make you eligible for teacher certification. However, we are committed to supporting you as you fulfill the remaining requirements for certification once you have completed Phases 1-3 of the program.

What credits ​can I earn by completing this program?

Completion of Phases 1-3 equals 70 contact hours or 7 CEUs (Continuing Education Units), which can contribute to teacher certification requirements. There will also be an opportunity to obtain graduate level course credits at several universities that are partnering with this STARTALK teacher program by completing the assignments and requirements of this program.

Do I have to be a citizen or perm​anent resident of the United States to apply for this program?

Yes, you must either be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident (Green Card holder) in order to apply.  If accepted into the program, you will need to provide documentation of this status.

Will I be considered for admission to the pr​ogram if I live outside of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia?

Yes, however ACTFL is partnering with 4 state Departments of Education (VA, NC, SC, GA) to provide this program, so priority will be placed on applicants from these four states. We will seriously consider applicants from other states if we have remaining spots available in the program (maximum of 50 participants).

I already teach in a publ​ic school. Can I participate in the program?

It depends. The focus of the program is to assist individuals who are not already eligible to teach in public schools.  If you are teaching in a public school through a temporary permit, you may be eligible for this program – please submit a description of the type of permit you currently hold.  Then we will be able to determine your eligibility for the STARTALK program. 

I already teach in a private schoo​l.  Can I participate in the program?

Yes. If you do not already have a state teaching license but want to acquire one to teach in public schools, then you may participate in the program.

I already have a teaching ​license/certification. Can I participate in this program for professional development?

No. The focus of the program is to enable individuals without teacher certification to obtain it and secure a teaching position in a public school.

My bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctorate degree(s) are not from the United States. Can I still apply for the program?

Yes! If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., but your degrees are from other countries, you can apply for the program. However, you must obtain an evaluation of your transcripts from an approved agency to submit along with your application. An example of such an agency is World Education Services:

My degree (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) is not in education or the language I want to teach. Can I still apply for the program?

Yes! Your degree does not have to relate to teaching or the language you wish to teach for you to apply. We do, however, favor some form of teaching experience for acceptance into the program.

I am not a native speaker of the language I want to teach. Can I still apply for the program?

Yes! Most states require an Advanced Low or higher proficiency rating on the ACTFL language assessments (Oral Proficiency Interview-OPI and/or Writing Proficiency Test-WPT) to be eligible for teacher certification.

I have not taken the OPI or WPT in the language I want to teach. Can I still apply for the program?

Yes! If you meet all other program requirements, you may be provisionally accepted into the program, in which case you must complete the OPI and WPT in your STARTALK language and be rated at the Advanced Low or higher proficiency level in order to be fully accepted into the program. The program will cover the costs of the OPI and WPT if you are provisionally accepted.

Do I have to take the OPI and WPT in English to participate in the program?

No. Completion of the OPI and WPT are only required in your STARTALK language (Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu).

What is the cost of participating in the program?

The only cost for the program is your travel expenses to and from the on-site summer institute (flights, gas costs if driving, etc.), location to be determined within VA, NC, SC, or GA. Lodging, meals, parking, and program supplies/materials are all provided by the program.

How long does the program last?

Phases 1-3 are the formal and structured phases of the program.

Phase 1 is from June 17 – July 15, 2020 (online every Wednesday excluding July 1),

Phase 2 is from July 22 – July 29, 2020 (8 days), and

Phase 3 is from August 12, 2020 – February 10, 2021 (online every second Wednesday of the month, excluding November).

Phase 4 includes independent work to complete certification requirements with support from program staff and will last as long as is necessary for your individual circumstances.

Can I participate in only one Phase of the program?

No. We cannot permit participants to attend only the 8-day summer institute, for example. If accepted into the program and you agree to participate, you are committing to all four Phases of the program.




For other questions, please contact ACTFL Education Project Coordinator, Kate McCrea,