STARTALK Institute for Teachers: Proficiency-Based Pedagogy for Russian

The STARTALK Institute at Middlebury is intended for current and prospective teachers of Russian. The principles of second language acquisition and proficiency-based instruction will serve as the foundation for this intensive pedagogy program.

The Institute includes 10 days of online classes and a residential session on campus, both required.

Online Session: June 22 - July 1, 2020 (required)

Residential Session on Middlebury Campus: July 5 - 19, 2020 (required)

The program curriculum is designed to give participants a solid understanding of the ACTFL proficiency guidelines and proficiency-oriented teaching. Over the course of 20 days (90 instructional hours), which are split between the on-line and on-site parts, the participants will acquire and/or expand the knowledge and understanding of basic tenets of second language acquisition and proficiency-based pedagogy, as well as practice the application of newly acquired concepts in real classroom.

Participants will learn how to choose appropriate pedagogical strategies and apply effective teaching and assessment methods that will develop students' linguistic proficiency in Russian. Participants will incorporate everything they have learned by designing and implementing a number of classroom activities and mini-lessons.

During the program, participants will have an opportunity to experience first-hand the intensive immersive environment of the Russian School as they will be required to take the Language Pledge and maintain communication in Russian during the STARTALK activities and in all interactions with students and faculty. They will also have an opportunity to interact with the Middlebury Russian School’s instructors and students. When not in class, in the evening and on weekends, participants will have access to the robust, immersive, co-curricular programs an important component of the Middlebury Language Schools. By living in the language, participants themselves will observe how a learning community of people who speak Russian with varying levels of fluency can be built and sustained.

Evgeny Dengub, PhD, director of the Russian program at Smith College, UMass Amherst, and Mount Holyoke College, will serve as the program director. Olesya V. Kisselev, PhD, assistant professor at University of Texas at San Antonio, will serve as the lead instructor. Irina Dubinina, PhD, director of the Russian program at Brandeis University, and Yekaterina Severts, PhD, University of Texas at Austin, will serve as instructors.

Tuition, lodging expenses, meals, textbooks, and classroom materials will covered by grant funding. Participants receive one course unit of graduate credit (equivalent to three semester hours).

Eligibility requirements: Candidates must be currently teaching or planning to teach Russian in the United States. Russian language proficiency must be at the level Advanced Low or higher.

For more information, please consult our FAQs.