STARTALK Lead with Russian

Trainee Courses

The Application deadline is April 15, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Jimmy Wildman, Program Director.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED!

Please check below for information about our 2019 programs.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScUibh9ZO20MYvnDf9dtsqMXUcL-Kcut0VodqW1_Lfr5ZCfIQ/viewform

Click here to download the Supervisor Recommendation Form.

Please scroll below for information on courses offered this coming year, and for our full course list which is offered on a rotating basis each year.

2019 Lead with Russian Professional Development for Teachers of Russian

June 23* – July 3, 2019 (GLASTONBURY HIGH SCHOOL, GLASTONBURY, CT)

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

See Information below about this course.

*This program will begin on Sunday, June 23 with classroom sessions, participants will need to arrive on Saturday, June 22nd.

July 8** – 19, 2019 (GLASTONBURY HIGH SCHOOL, GLASTONBURY, CT)

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

See Information below about this course.

**This program will begin on Monday, July 8, with classroom sessions, participants will need to arrive on Sunday, July 7th.


Full Course List

Course 1: Standards-Based Instruction in Russian Language: From Theory to Practice

This course is designed to provide the theory associated with effective classroom instruction to develop students' communicative competency in Russian. There will be an emphasis on the role of the teacher as an instructional planner in a student-centered classroom that effectively matches curriculum, instruction, and assessment to identified learner outcomes. Course participants will learn the current theories and research to support an integrated skills approach to foreign language instruction. Participants will apply this knowledge to their Russian language instruction by creating and adapting materials that focus on language acquisition through content and real-life communication, and will use these materials in real-life teaching situations. In addition, participants will develop an e-portfolio that provides evidence of their ability to deliver a standards-based program.

Course 2: Creating Teacher Leaders in the Russian Classroom

Pre-requisites – prior participation in the Discover Russian STARTALK Course: Standards-Based Instruction in Russian Language: From Theory to Practice is recommended or experience teaching in a standards-based curriculum

This course is designed for Russian teachers who have worked a number of years in classrooms and have a desire to become leaders in their profession. The focus of the workshop will be to develop participants’ understanding of what it takes to become a leader, how to develop a vision of what good classroom performance is, how to communicate that vision to other teachers, and finally how to assist other teachers in implementing that vision in their classes. During the course, teacher trainees will focus on developing a vision, diagnosing difficulties, and promoting ways to manage the learning process. They will learn how to provide feedback and coaching to other teachers so that instruction is maximized. Technology will be an integral part of the course and will be used to gather evidence of student and teacher performance. Teachers will have an opportunity to practice their leadership skills while engaging in activities in the co-located student program. They will practice their leadership skills by serving as co-leaders of different levels in the program. They will read research on classroom leadership while they practice their leadership skills onsite. They will assist their colleagues in refining classroom practice and in working more collaboratively. They will work with classroom teachers to modify teaching plans and use peer coaching to improve instruction. They will “band together” with other teachers to promote professional growth while improving educational services (Troen & Boles, 1992). Teachers will also have time to reflect on the role that they can play in their home schools when they return in the fall. The course will allow teachers to “stretch” their knowledge base as they grow into future leaders.

Course 3: Foreign Language Assessment

This course is designed to provide information on aspects of assessing foreign language learning by creating performance tasks. Teachers will also see how to take traditional paper and pencil tests and transform them into real-world, relevant tasks that test student proficiency. The class will learn and discuss the value of both formative and summative assessments. Other learning will center on creating integrated performance assessments that will provide tasks in all three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentation. Teachers will also learn how to write rubrics for the evaluation of special projects. Participants will be involved in discussing how to make up good test questions and alternative types of assessments. Because many tests are now being given online, technology will be an important part of the course. Teachers will learn to create projects that both teach new material and assess the learning. They will have an opportunity to put into practice the new techniques they learn through micro-teaching and will be afforded time to critique and improve their lessons. In addition, participants will share their materials with other members of the class and with the field through the development of an e-portfolio that provides evidence of their learning.

Course 4: Focus on Foreign Language Literacy

This advanced course will focus on promoting and understanding the role that literacy plays in foreign language learning. In today’s world, literacy is fundamental to all learning – it is the means through which all further education is made possible. Even an individual who wishes to pursue study in the field of technology must possess advanced skills in literacy. Therefore, the focus of this course will be on how to promote literacy in the foreign language while still advancing students’ skills in oral communication. This course will center on helping teachers choose texts that are both readable to students (readable at their instruction level not their frustration level) and interesting. Teachers will also learn to use various tools to help students dissect texts. Teachers will also learn how to teach “habits of mind” and other comprehension strategies to help students interpret meaning from texts. Teachers and students in the co-located student program will correspond using a daily mail system so that students practice their literacy skills with another real live human being. The practicum part of the course (microteaching) will consist of teachers providing private sessions on literacy with the group of students they are communicating with.

Course 5: Creative Techniques for Engaging All Students

Creative Techniques for Engaging All Students is designed to provide information on aspects of creating Russian classes that are standards-based and engage all students with 21st century skills. Participants will learn techniques for helping students become more proficient as they continue their language study and learn how to integrate engaging activities in all three modes of communication (interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive). There will be discussion as to how to create comprehensible input that leads to comprehensible output on the part of the students. Trainees will apply this new knowledge to their Russian language instruction by creating and adapting materials that focus on language acquisition through real-life communication. Participants will have an opportunity to put into practice the new techniques while doing micro-teaching lessons in the co-located student program.

Course 6: Writing to Read: Literacy in the Russian Classroom

The Lead with Russian: Writing to Read is a course designed for experienced teachers and will continue the 2016 focus on building literacy skills across the Russian curriculum. This “advanced” course will focus on promoting and understanding the role that literacy (both reading and writing skills) plays in foreign language learning. Because literacy is fundamental to all learning, we will continue to explore ways to enhance students’ literacy skills in the Russian classroom. The focus of this course will be on how to promote literacy in the Russian class while still advancing students’ skills in oral communication. The course will center on teaching students to use the oral skills that they have developed to enable them to read and write texts in the target language. The theme of the co-located student program is “Discover Russia through Authentic Tales.” The practicum part of the course (microteaching) will consist of teachers providing lessons on “writing to read” to a group of students in the co-located student program. In these sessions, teachers will use the techniques learned in the course to see how well these techniques assist students in learning the target language; teachers will also have the opportunity to talk with students confidentially about how productive and useful these techniques were. Finally, teachers will document the students’ learning through presentational and interpretive tasks and reflect on the course in their journals. Teacher trainees will also correspond with the students using a daily mail system so that students have additional practice in reading and writing through correspondence with a real live person.

Course 7: Using Authentic Tales to Advance the Three Modes

This course will focus on understanding the role that literacy and authentic tales play in foreign language learning. The focus will be on promoting literacy in the Russian class through authentic tales. Teacher trainees will explore new tales and develop tasks that promote communication in all three modes. The course will center on teaching students to use all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) when studying authentic texts. The theme of the co-located student program is “Discover Russia through Authentic Tales,” and the practicum part of the course (microteaching) will consist of teachers providing lessons on authentic tales. In microteaching, teachers will apply techniques learned in the course and determine the efficacy of these techniques. Trainees will create a “Russian reading room” where students will be able to go to do free, voluntary reading and extensive reading. Finally, teachers will document literacy students’ gains and reflect on the course in their e-portfolios.

Course 8: Creating a Learner-Centered Classroom by the Gradual Release of Responsibility

This course is designed to provide information on aspects of creating Russian classes that are standards-based and encourage students to take ownership of their own learning. Participants will learn techniques for changing their classrooms from teacher-led classes into student-centered classes. They will help students become more effective learners and take ownership of their individual learning. They will discuss how to create comprehensible input that leads to comprehensible output on the part of the students. Trainees will apply this new knowledge to their Russian language instruction by creating and adapting materials that focus on language acquisition through real-life communication. Participants will have an opportunity to put into practice new techniques while doing micro-teaching lessons in the co-located student program. The teacher trainee course will tie into the theme of the co-located student program, “Discover Russia through Authentic Tales,” by having teachers focus their engaging activities and microteaching on authentic cultural stories. Trainees will be afforded time to critique and improve their lessons. Finally, participants will write daily reflections and share their materials with other members of the class through the development of an e-portfolio that provides evidence of their learning.

Course 9 – Coaching Practicum for Teaching Languages

The “advanced” course will focus on how to create a “coaching model” for both teachers and students in order to enhance the learning of the target language. The major pedagogical focus will be on creating “educational coaches,” who will take a leadership role in helping others. Toll (2018) states that “Educational coaches partner with teachers for job-embedded professional learning that enhances teachers’ understanding of students, the curriculum, and pedagogy for the purpose of solving problems that impeded teacher success and pursing interesting that enhance teacher success.” In this course, the trainees will partner with the classroom teachers in a cooperative and collaborative teaching mode to practice doing instructional coaching (Lang, 2018), thus improving both their own teaching effectiveness and the effectiveness of the individual classroom teacher. The overall effect will be an understanding of how collaboration improves student achievement and performance. They will plan lessons with the teachers and create a cooperative environment to increase student proficiency. Participants will also examine how coaching integrates with and furthers the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model (GRR). Participants will work with teachers in the regular program by observing classes and providing feedback on what students learn. Participants will be expected to keep a log of their experiences and document the learning that they observe.


Course 10 – Creating Proficiency-based Foreign Language Assessments

This course is designed to provide information on aspects of assessing foreign language learning by creating performance tasks. Teachers will also see how to take traditional paper and pencil tests and transform them into real-world, relevant tasks that test student proficiency. The class will learn and discuss the value of both formative and summative assessments. Other learning will center on creating integrated performance assessments that will provide tasks in all three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentation. Participants will be involved in discussing how to make up good test questions and create alternative types of assessments. Because many tests are now being given on line, technology will be an important part of the course. Participants will also participate in a Modified Oral Proficiency Interview workshop. Teachers will learn to create projects that both teach new material and assess its learning. They will have an opportunity to put into practice the new techniques they have learned through micro-teaching and will be afforded time to critique and improve their lessons. In addition, participants will share their materials with other members of the class and with the field through the development of an e-portfolio that provides evidence of their learning.