We're thrilled to share the exciting happenings of the third and penultimate week at our immersive Chinese, Russian, and Arabic language learning summer program. As we edge closer to the end of this incredible journey, our passion for languages and cultures continues to grow. In this update, we'll delve into the many enriching experiences of the week.
This week students throughout the program learned about a wide variety of traditional souvenirs and items that one might come across while traveling in other countries as well as culturally important foods that would be important to know and recognize. Students of Arabic negotiated prices in a mock marketplace, trying to get the best price for the items they were interested in. Students of Chinese learned about activities and hobbies while also painting pandas in their art class. Students of Russian had the pleasure of witnessing a spectacular performance of traditional Russian dance. Some wonderful guest performers from the community, along with some of our own talented instructors, introduced us to the graceful movements, vibrant costumes, and the storytelling aspect of this captivating art form. Thursday also brought an entire mock café of traditional Russian food for our Russian students to try in an environment where they could sit, order and eat, all in the target language. Students of all three languages have also been hard at work preparing their special presentations for the closing ceremony next Tuesday, July 18.
Stay tuned for our final week, where we will celebrate the culmination of our immersive program and reflect on the incredible progress made by our learners. Please join us at our closing ceremony on Tuesday, July 18 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Tallwood High School auditorium. Until then, let us continue to immerse ourselves in the beauty of languages and cultures.
شكراً ! Спасибо ! 谢谢 ! Thank you!
Greetings language enthusiasts and curious guardians! We're excited to share the highlights of our second week at the STARTALK Chinese, Russian, and Arabic Academies. While we took a short break at the beginning of the week to celebrate the 4th of July, we returned with even more enthusiasm to delve into the fascinating world of languages and cultures. So, let's embark on this journey together and discover the exciting activities and experiences that shaped our memorable second week!
This week students throughout the program took their knowledge and began applying it outside the realm of introductions. Students of Chinese, Russian, and Arabic all began investigating the topic of travel, including clothing that they would bring, what the weather is like, and famous cities and landmarks. Arabic students created miniature clay pyramids during their art time. Students of Chinese painted paper lanterns with traditional images as well as words that they had learned in class. Russian students painted wooden spoons in the traditional style while adding in their own flair. Arabic students had the opportunity to hear from a Tallwood HS Global Studies Academy graduate who is about to begin a master’s program at the University of Texas Austin in Middle Eastern Studies and Global Politics. She shared her travel experiences in Arabic-speaking countries and how learning Arabic has shaped her future career path.
As we bid farewell to the second week of our Chinese, Russian, and Arabic language learning summer program, we can't help but reflect on the incredible progress made by our learners. From classes and cultural exploration to crafts and other fun activities, our learners embraced the beauty of languages and the wealth of cultures that accompany them.
شكراً ! Спасибо ! 谢谢 ! Thank you!
你好 [nihao]! Привет [privyet]! مرحبا [marhaba]! Hello!
We hope that you’ve heard these words and more over the past week as students begin their study of a new language. Our entire staff was thrilled to welcome all of the new students into our program and help them to get acclimated to the language and culture they’ll be studying over these next few weeks.
This week students in each class learned to greet each other and introduce themselves as well as some common school-related expressions. Students learned to identify their names written in their language’s script with some learning to write it themselves. Chinese students dipped their toes into Chinese calligraphy in their art class. Students of Russian learned about and colored traditional Matryoshka dolls, and Arabic students played games and began learning numbers up to 15!
Parents, thank you so much for your support and understanding this initial week as we all got used to our new surroundings and transportation. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns going forward.
Reminder that we will not be having classes this coming Monday and Tuesday (July 3 - 4) due to the Fourth of July holiday.
We hope that you are looking forward to these coming weeks as much as we are and to all the wonderful learning opportunities to come!
As we continue our language learning adventure through the second week, we find our students already feeling comfortable responding to common classroom directions that they just learned last week! Hopefully, you are hearing stories at home of the fun games they've been playing and the cool things they've learned how to say.
Chinese students have been talking about where they're from and where they want to go! They met Dr. Su, who introduced to the Chinese tradition of Tai Chi, and just today, they were working on painting pandas in art class.
Russian students learned to talk about where they want to go and have just begun talking about clothing! They've been working in art class on paintings of traditional Matryoshka dolls and have been learning some classic Russian dances in their movement class.
We will be adding more pictures and videos to the Photos & Videos section of the website as the program continues, so please check back!
cпасибо! [spasibo] 谢谢! [xiexie] Thank you!
We were thrilled today to have our students back for the first two days of class here our Chinese and Russian STARTALK Academies. Students met their teachers and got familiar with the school building, and in the last two days have learned basic language skills like:
In addition, Russian students had their first traditional dance and movement class, learning the beginnings of the famous Russian folk song, Kalinka!
Chinese students wrote their first Chinese characters in calligraphy in their art class, starting with sun, moon, mountain, fire, and water, and worked today on traditional drawings of bamboo.
On a logistical note, if you would like to receive updates/announcements for this year's program via Remind, you can text @startalkvb to the number 81010, and you'll receive text messaged updates when we have important info to get to you.
We're looking forward to many more wonderful days of learning and exploration here at STARTALK!
PS. Pictures and videos will be updated soon in the photos section! Keep a look out!
This will be the largest VB STARTALK ever, with four elementary Russian classes and one advanced Russian class now on a par with the five Chinese classes. Before the first day on 6/24/19, students and parents should attend the Open House 6/20 6:00 PM to meet teachers and become familiar with this wonderful program. Let the fun begin!
Check out the Thursday, 7/19/18 Virginian-Pilot Beacon.This article was featured by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in its 7/19/18 SmartBrief!
STARTALK 2019 applications available. Deadline is May 24.
Fifth grade students who attended the 2018 STARTALK Academy may apply online for the Advanced class.
Current VBCPS fourth grade students may apply online or via paper. Selection is made by lottery. Download and complete the brochure below or apply online at