The five weeks of professional development in the 2016 Virginia StarTalk Chinese Teacher Academy focused on applying effective pedagogy and StarTalk-endorsed principles for effective teaching and learning to teach rising 9-12 graders online.
During the two weeks of online training, I interacted with other teachers in synchronous sessions, asynchronous self-learning, assessment, and discussions. On July 5th, I started with my three weeks of onsite training. During the first week, Dr. Tseng and Ms. Chen provided professional development sessions on student-centered teaching methods, comprehensible target language input, performance-based assessments, world readiness standards, and technology tools and platforms for online teaching. During the following two weeks of onsite training, I taught daily two one-hour online practicum sessions in the mornings followed by consolidation and enhancement sessions. We had teaching rehearsals, group lesson planning, and reflections in the afternoons and evenings through collaboration with our group lead teacher Ms. Zhao and 11 Chinese teachers from all over the country.
I have strengthened the foundation of my education and learned the most updated and best research-based teaching practices in the first three weeks of the program. The two weeks of onsite practicum teaching sessions gave me opportunities to put these methods into practice through online teaching sessions. This program has transformed me to be a significantly more impactful teacher. I improved in applying backward design methods in lesson planning, using 100% of target language and authentic language materials in delivering a lesson, and creating student-centered interactive activities.
I will highly recommend the Virginia StarTalk Chinese Teacher Academy to other fellow Chinese teachers. This is one of the best StarTalk experiences that I have ever had!
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