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The two-week STARTALK program ran from June 18 - June 29 and had 18 participants. The focus of the program was to understand the nature of culture, culture learning, and the interrelatedness of language and culture for improving Chinese language teaching. The program used the proficiency-oriented principles of language teaching, which are aligned with national standards, and included a variety of activities.
One popular activity that ran the throughout the program was the cultural quilt project. Everyone was encouraged to add to the quilt things such as comments, artifacts, and drawings each day. It was a way to document the development of understanding culture over the two weeks. On the last day, each person reflected on their cultural quilt and explained what it meant. This activity was very popular among the participants and they were happy to see the changes in themselves and see how their classmates interpreted culture. Other activities included facilitated discussions, fish bowl activity, skits, role-play, class letters and many sharing experiences.