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STARTALK Program Design Institute

Do you have a weekend or summer language program in your local community? Do you serve native or heritage learners? Would you like to expand your program capacity to provide year-long instruction?

About the 2016 Institute

The second annual STARTALK Program Design Institute: New Languages-New Opportunities provides the coaching and guidance necessary to help you navigate the challenges of long-term program growth, with all Program Design Institute funding generously provided by STARTALK.

Through strategic planning sessions, the institute seeks to improve your program in four core areas:

  • Recruiting and Developing Effective Teachers
  • Planning for Program Growth
  • Connecting Effective Curriculum Content with Best Practices
  • Measuring Your Progress

What the Institute is

The Program Design Institute is a three-day, grant funded professional learning institute for teachers and administrators of education institutions or community-based organizations teaching one or more critical-needs STARTALK language(s). It is an opportunity to gain specialized knowledge and to set programmatic goals to expand your language learning program. The three-day institute includes lodging, meals (breakfast and lunch), and materials. Also there will be follow-up live webinars and online discussions with institute consultants.

The culmination of the institute is a personalized Action Plan that you will design and create during the institute. On-going consultations will provide coaching after the institute to ensure that your Action Plan is effectively implemented for your specific programmatic goals.

What the Institute is not

  • It is not intended to coach the writing of grant applications for summer STARTALK programs.
  • It is not for organizations or institutions that already have year-long instructional programs.



Teams must be:

  • With community-based organizations serving mostly heritage and/or native speakers of one or more STARTALK critical languages at any level, at any grade(s) K-12
  • Teaching STARTALK Critical languages, which is one of these less commonly taught languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Farsi, Portuguese, Swahili, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu. Unfortunately, no other language programs can be accommodated through this STARTALK grant.
  • Seeking the opportunity to extend the length of the learning program from a weekend or summer program to a year-round language program.
  • A group of 2 people, no exceptions (preferably an administrator and a teacher)
  • A program that has hosted a STARTALK summer language program within the last three years (preferred, but not required)


Teams must have participated in the October 2015 institute and submitted their revised Action Plans.


All teams (new and returning) must complete an online application. Be sure to have your two team members selected. It will take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete the application. Note the separate set of short answer questions based upon your team type. The submission deadline is Monday, June 6th, 11:59PM. Click on the button below for the online application.



New participants arrive Friday, August 5th and depart Sunday, August 7th. Returning teams (participated in the October 2015 institute) arrive Saturday, August 6th and depart Monday, August 8th.

    Fri., Aug. 5th Sat., Aug. 6th Sun., Aug. 7th Mon., Aug. 8th
AM Arrival Institute Institute  
PM Institute Institute Departure  
AM   Arrival Institute Institute
PM   Institute Institute Departure


The institute will be hosted in Alexandria, Virginia. The closest airport is the Reagan National Airport (DCA).


Registration fees are waived and attending the STARTALK Program Design Institute is free! However, if selected, participants must cover certain meals that are not provided and all travel costs to and from the institute.

Two nights are provided free-of-charge for lodging. More details regarding the hotel accommodations will be provided once you are selected.

The majority of meals during the institute are included at no cost. Dinner, however, is not provided. The meals include:

  • Breakfast will be provided August 6-8
  • Lunch is provided August 5-7
  • Afternoon receptions will be hosted on August 5 and 6


If selected, you agree to the following criteria:

  • After the institute, submit the final draft of your Program Action Plan (designed and created at the institute) by August 22nd, 2016.
  • Attend and participate in four, 45-minute instructional webinars after the institute in September, October, November, and December (specific dates/times TBD).
  • Participate in at least four of the eight discussion videoconferences post-institute in September, October, November, and December (specific dates/times TBD).
  • Submit two progress reports based on the goals of your original Action Plan, the first one in October and the final one in January.
  • Commit to begin year-long language instruction by Fall 2019.

Thank you for your interest in the second annual STARTALK Program Design Institute: New Languages-New Opportunities! Apply Today! The submission deadline is Monday, June 6th, 11:59PM.


Apply Now


Questions? More information? Contact Program Assistant, Trey Calvin via email ( or phone (703-894-2900 x103).