Since 2006, STARTALK has provided learning opportunities in critical languages for students (K-16) and professional development for teachers of critical languages, primarily through summer programs. The project will continue through 2013 with the goal of establishing programs in all 50 states. Currently, programs are being implemented in Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Persian, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. STARTALK participation has grown to over 5,000 students and over 1,500 teachers as it continues its mission of offering creative and engaging summer experiences that exemplify best practices in language education and language teacher development. Since its inception, STARTALK has formed an extensive community of practice that seeks continuous improvement in such criteria as outcomes-driven program design, standards-based curriculum planning, learner-centered approaches, excellence in selection and development of materials, and meaningful assessment of outcomes. For more information, visit the STARTALK Web site at

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