The STARTALK@NYU Teacher Training Institute is conducted online and face-to-face and it is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of school, community and college teachers of Hindi and Urdu. The program is offered by the  Hagop Kevorkian Center, NYU and is funded by the STARTALK grant from the National Foreign Language Center, University of Maryland. For admissions and other information click here.

Time Schedule:

  • 4-15 June — two weeks online on Google Classroom (about 15-20 hours each week)
  • 16-23 June — one week residential on NYU campus — program starts on Saturday June 16 at 1:00pm to 7:00pm and ends on June 23 at 3:00pm (8 daysX 6 hrs = 48 hours). Note: Participants arrive Saturday morning on June 16 and leave Saturday afternoon June 23)
  • 24 June-30 June — one week online on Google Classroom (about 5 hours)

Location of On-Site Program:

The Richard Ettinghausen Library at the Hagop Kevorkian Center, 50 Washington Square South, New York, NY 20112 (entrance is at 255 Sullivan Street)

Daily Schedule during On-Site Week:

  • 9:00am-3:00pm — classes (except on Saturday, June 16, 1:00-7:00pm)
  • 8:30am-9:00am — breakfast
  • 10:30am-10:45am — tea/coffee break
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm — working lunch


Online segment: It is conducted in a Google classroom, for which each participant receives an individual invitation to register. It includes several modules (each about 3 days long). Each module is introduced with a powerpoint, it also includes specific deadlines, reading assignments, reaction/journal entries, viewing and critiquing video-recorded classes, development of tasks and activities, etc. Teachers work individually or in small groups, depending on the task at hand. It is asynchronous with optional 2 live chat sessions per week. Teachers are encouraged to contact members of our NYU team with any questions or reactions to the materials and tasks assigned.

On-site component: It runs for five hours daily (9:00am — 3:00pm) for 7 consecutive days. Every session consists of interactive presentations and modeling of best practices by a second language acquisition specialist and of hands-on language-specific applications supervised by language experts. The NYU team is available 3-5pm daily for extra individual and/or team time to support work on assignments. The language-specific activities address communicative ways of teaching and use of authentic materials, as well as the designing of culture-based authentic and quasi-authentic activities. 

Participants learn the most up-to-date student-centered, project and performance-based, standards-based teaching methodologies in a learning-by-doing environment. They are required to develop, observe and critique classroom procedures, strategies and teaching techniques.

The program includes a cultural component whereby participants learn how to use the resources available in the community environment.

Final week online: It is used to complete the work on the final products and for submission.

The program is based on a state-approved course which is a part of the regular curriculum of the Master’s program in Foreign Language Teaching at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, modified for the needs of the institute. It is offered as non-credit option.

Objectives: After this institute, teachers will be able to:

  • discuss principles related to backward lesson design, 21st century World Readiness Standards and performance tasks development based on real-life;
  • identify and adapt authentic materials appropriate for the proficiency levels in their instructional context;
  • reflect on the effectiveness of current learning objectives, lessons, and assessments vis-a-vis heritage vs. foreign language learners;
  • apply principles related to backward design and literacy-based pedagogy to their own courses; 
  • create learning objectives and teach a  part of a lesson that effectively engages students with authentic materials and tasks.

No Fees

The program provides 65 contact hours, equivalent to a one-semester course. Participants can take it as a continuing education course. The program aims to recruit and support instructors at small colleges and departments, and community schools and organizations. It provides training and network information to members of the heritage community with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and superior or higher language skills considering a career in the language-teaching field.

It is also an opportunity for practicing school teachers of South Asian descent who teach other disciplines to consider developing an additional skill in teaching their native language and eventually to pursue a foreign language teaching certificate. Accommodation, learning materials and textbooks, breakfast, lunch and coffee break expenses are covered by the grant.

Facilities and Accommodations

The Kevorkian Center is housed in its own building, designed by Philip Johnson and located on Washington Square in Greenwich Village, one of the cultural centers of New York City. Its facilities include the Richard Ettinghausen Library, seminar and screening rooms, equipped with audio-visual aides and internet-connectivity and a computer language lab. Out-of-town participants in need of accommodation reside at the NYU residence halls (more information), which are conveniently located on campus.