Educational Innovation – Startalk Teaching Culture
Neetu Sharma and Varsha Gupta, Atlanta, GA
Startalk is a federally funded (USA) summer program that strives to exemplify best teaching practices in foreign languages like Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, etc. It is a holistic teaching methodology that integrates the five C’s (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons & Communities) and STEM (Science, Technology and Math) education with the multilingual and multicultural context of today’s global society. For instance, a medical student might learn about modern surgical procedures as evolutionary products of techniques used by the ancient Hindu surgeon, Shushrut; similarly students could learn scientific concepts while learning Hindi language stories of Veer Hanuman.
Since its introduction in Atlanta Balvihar in 2010, over 700 students have benefitted from the StarTalk program. Field evaluation by independent observers has shown marked improvement in speed of learning as well as student engagement relative to standard teaching methods.
About the presenters…
Neetu Sharma is an assistant librarian for the county government. She has been involved in VHPA activities for last several years. She is a coordinator and a teacher volunteer of Cobb Balvihar Atlanta and an instructor in the Startalk Hindi program.
Varsha Gupta has been volunteering in VHPA Balvihar as Hindi Language Teacher for last several years, and is a StarTalk instructor. Varsha is also an active volunteer in her local schools and library. She is currently working as a part-time administrative assistant in a local software consulting company.
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com