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ACTFL STARTALK Multi-State Pathways to Teaching

What is the Multi-State Pathways to Teaching?

Are you:

  • A teacher of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu in a heritage/community/weekend school?
  • A teacher of Spanish looking to work in a dual language immersion program?
  • An individual ready to work toward certification to teach in K-12 public schools?

The STARTALK Multi-State Pathways to Teaching Institute focuses on closing the gap for heritage school teachers by creating a Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) to earn state certification.  The goal is to prepare more language teachers that are ready to be placed in a K-12 public school classroom as an alternative entry or provisionally licensed teacher. This teacher training program will support up to 50 prospective teachers in 10 targeted STARTALK languages to address the critical need for K-12 language programs in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.  In addition, a limited number of Spanish teachers may participate to prepare to serve in dual language/immersion programs in those states.

This focus is to prepare teachers to meet the licensing requirements of the state where they will be teaching and enter the classroom as effective educators with the skills to plan, deliver, and assess instruction using the STARTALK-Endorsed Principles and research-based strategies for language learning.

The partners in this program are committed to supporting each participant to achieve alternative teaching licensure with the Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia state departments of education.

Four Phases of Pathways to Teaching

The Institute design includes 75 hours of instruction delivered online and face-to-face in four phases through a variety of learning experiences:

  • Phase 1: Pre-Institute (6 hours online over a one-month period) – June 12 through July 17, 2019
  • Phase 2: Summer Institute (45 hours on-site over 7 days) – July 24 through July 31, 2019
  • Phase 3: Post-Institute (24 hours online over a seven-month period) – August 12, 2019, through February 20, 2020
  • Phase 4: Extended Institute (additional individual work to complete certification requirements as outlined in each participant’s Personalized Learning Plan).

Each participant must commit to participate in all four phases of the program.

Summer Institute Location and Cost

WHERE:  University of North Carolina – Charlotte


  • The institute, including all teaching, support, and materials (before the on-site institute, during the on-site institute, and after the on-site institute through February 20, 2020)
  • On-site lodging (7 nights, from arrival July 24 through departure July 31)
  • On-site meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • On-site parking (if needed)
  • Assessment of language proficiency if required by state for teacher certification (Oral Proficiency Interview and Writing Proficiency Test)


  • Travel to/from Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Any meals that are not part of the institute
  • Personal expenses

Who May Apply?

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

1.  Teaching BackgroundAny of the following:

  • Currently teaching the language in a heritage/community/weekend school; or
  • Currently teaching without full teaching certification from a state department of education or state licensing agency; or
  • Currently enrolled in a university/college language teacher preparation program; or
  • Have obtained up to 7 years of teaching experience in any content area; or
  • Native or heritage speaker of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu without teaching experience; or
  • Native or heritage speaker of Spanish with interest in earning the license to teach in dual language/immersion programs

2.  Qualification for alternative certification in Georgia, North Carolina, or Virginia – All of the following:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. If an individual attended a college/university outside of the United States of America, an evaluation of the individual’s transcripts must be completed by an approved agency (if this evaluation is not yet available, apply now and you may receive a “provisional” acceptance)
  • Rating of at least Advanced Low proficiency on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview and (if available in the language) the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. {Note: if you have not yet taken the OPI or WPT assessments, see #3 in the “Application Process” to qualify to have the program pay for your OPI and WPT)

Note: If you currently reside outside of Georgia, North Carolina, or Virginia, please indicate which state you are from on the application form, and, if space is available, you may be admitted.

3.  If you are unsure of your eligibility, please send a message to

Application Timeline

Deadline Extended:  June 1, 2019

Applicants will be notified of their full or provisional acceptance into the STARTALK Multi-State Pathways to Teaching Program within four weeks of applying: by April 15, or May 15, or June 15.

Application Process

1. Complete the application form to provide background information for eligibility.  You will be asked to fill in the following information:

  • Basic background and contact information
  • Current residency status (including state of current residence)
  • Indication of the types of public school teaching placements you want to pursue (Elementary – Middle School – High School; dual language/immersion/bilingual program)
  • Prior teaching experiences (formal or informal)

2.  Provide proof of possessing at least a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent degree from another country – see “Who May Apply” #2 for details on providing a transcript evaluation)

3.  Provide proof of Advanced Low proficiency on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and (if available in the language) Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). 

Note:  if you have not yet taken these assessments, provide evidence that you are confident you are at least at the Advanced Low level, by comparing your evidence to the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for conversation and writing. If you are accepted into the program, you will take the OPI and WPT assessments to prove you are at the Advanced Low level.

4.  Complete the written interview questions (in English).  These questions are to identify level of interest in pursuing teacher certification and to help design your Personalized Learning Plan for the institute.

The application is now closed.