STARTALK 2014 Honors Chinese Program for High School Students at Hunter College

Please note that all the seats in our 2014 Chinese Summer High School Program

have been filled, and we are no longer accepting applications

 We encourage students to apply next year. Applications usually become available in March of each year.

Program Duration

A. Summer Session (Non-credit)

  • Face-to-face Session: July 7 to July 24 Location: Hunter College Campus   
    *No class on Fridays.
  • Online Session: July 28 to August 6 Location: Student's home
  • Last Day of the Summer Session: August 7(Thursday). Students return to Hunter College Campus for final assessments and end-of-program celebration

B. Post-summer Session (Upon completion, select 11th and 12th graders may earn 3 college credits and a scholarship to cover tuition expenses.)

  • Online Session I: September – December
  • Online Session II: End of January – May  
    Specific dates will be announced by the end of the summer session.

Applicant Eligibility

A. Summer Session

We will be enrolling 15 – 20 high school students, with preference given to rising juniors or seniors. NO prior Chinese language learning experience is necessary. Students with prior experience will be placed in a higher level class and/or receive small group and/or individual tutorial sessions tailored to the student's proficiency level.

B. Post-summer session

  • Students must successfully complete the summer session in order to apply to join the post-summer session.
  • Only rising juniors and seniors (11th and 12th grade students) are eligible to earn college credit during the post-summer session.
  • If space is available, 9th and 10th graders may apply to participate in the post-summer session, but they cannot earn college credit.

Program Cost: FREE

Participants will have to pay for field trips, meals, and transportation to Hunter College during the summer program. Out-of-state students are responsible for arranging their own housing.


Students who successfully complete the post-summer program can earn a scholarship that will cover the tuition. The number of students who qualify is dependant on the availability of funding. Please note that due to funding limit, we can only cover in-state tuition for non-NY residents.

Hunter College Chinese Flagship Center

We welcome rising seniors who apply to Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College orHunter College and obtain admission to apply as incoming freshmen.

Incoming freshmen to Hunter College who have been accepted into STARTALK summer program will have priority to apply to Hunter College Chinese Flagship Centerto continue their Chinese studies. The Chinese Flagship Center provides generousstudent support for study abroad, one-on-one instruction, and opportunities forinternships in NYC and China.

For more information about the Chinese Flagship Center, please visit: or call: 212-396-6595.

For more information about the Macaulay Honors College, please visit:

For more information about Hunter College, please visit

Proficiency Tests

A. Lingua Folio

Students will be instructed how to do self-assessment using the online tool Lingua Folio. Students™ learning portfolios will be used to evaluate their progress at the end of each session.

B. Standards-based Measure of Proficiency: STAMP Tests

Students will take STAMP proficiency tests on the following dates at Hunter College:

  • July 7: Students with previous learning experience take the test as pre-assessment
  • August 7: All students take the test as post-assessment
  • Dec. 7: Students participating in the post-summer session take the test as post-assessment

The pre- and post-test results will be used as partial criteria for eligibility for receiving post-summer program scholarships. Click here to learn more about the STAMP tests.

A successful participant needs to demonstrate at least one-level of proficiency growth (i.e. from Level 1 to Level 2) in both speaking and reading of Chinese at the end of the summer and the post-summer programs respectively. Students who miss the STAMP tests will not be considered for scholarships.


Hunter College credits are transferable to other American colleges and universities. Students can request a copy of their transcript from Hunter College and arrange to transfer credits to their chosen institutions. More information about records and transcripts can be found on the Registrar's website.


All students completing the summer program successfully will receive a certificate.

Program Dates and Schedule

July 7 to July 24 Face-to-face instruction on Hunter College campus (4 days a week)
July 28 to August 6 Online instruction at home (5 days a week)
August 7 On-campus STAMP test
September to November Post-summer session instruction
December (TBD) On-campus STAMP test

Schedule of Activities

Time Activities
July 7 9-3 Orientation and pre-test followed by language classes. (All students must attend.)
3-4 Opening Ceremony (Time and location to be announced via e-mail. Parents are welcome to attend.)
July 8 to July 24
Monday-Wednesday Schedule
Face-to-face session
9-9:50 Group Class 1
10-10:50 Group Class 2
11-11:50 Lunch (self-prepared)
12-12:50 Group Class 3
1-2 One-on-one session
2-3 Group Class 4
July 8 to July 24
Thursday Schedule
Face-to-face session


9-9:50 Group Class 1
10-10:50 Group Class 2
11-12 Lunch (self-prepared)
12-1:30 Presentations
2-4 Field trip (Details will be announced)
July 28 to Aug. 6
Online instruction
One hour tutorial per day, Monday to Friday. Onlinematerials for individualized, self-paced learning.
Aug. 7
Final Assessment for summer session
9-12 Take STAMP reading and speaking tests at Hunter
12-2 Lunch & End-of-Summer Session Celebration (Location will be announced via e-mail. Parents are welcome to attend)
Sept. - Dec.
Post-summer session
For selected students only. Schedule determined by students and instructors. Ten-weeks of one-on-one online conversation practice and instruction.
Dec. (TBD)
Post-summer session final assessment
9-12 Take STAMP reading and speaking tests at Hunter
12-2 Lunch and End of Post-summer session presentations (Location will be announced via e-mail. Parents are welcome to attend.)

Highlights of Program Curriculum

The curriculum features language immersion with a theme-based and task-basedapproach, and utilizes authentic materials in the target language. The theme is “My Mysterious Pen Pal.” The tasks will involve practicing communication, learning aboutculture, creating connections, making comparisons, and performing community service.

Students will practice speaking in class, on the phone, and online. They will read andwrite e-mails, blog posts, and comments, and share them with language partners fromChina as well as their instructors and peers. Students will practice calligraphy and be introduced to the works of famous Chinese artists. Students will also work on a culturalproject on a topic of their choice. Students will learn about the evolution of Chinesecharacters from a historical perspective in relation to the Chinese dynasties, and aboutthe invention of paper and printing. Students will compare their lives with those of highschool students in China. They will play Chinese chess and discuss the similarities anddifferences between Chinese chess and Western chess. For community service, theywill travel to Chinatown for a day of volunteer work to benefit Chinese immigrants andlearn about the history of Chinatown.

Selection Criteria and Application Requirements

  • Students should have a long-term plan for learning Chinese and a genuine interest in using Chinese in their intended professions.
  • Students must have a record of outstanding academic performance and leadership.
  • Students should have a track record of success in learning foreign languages.

Application Steps

  1. Fill out the program application form. (See below.)
  2. Obtain a letter of recommendation from either a school teacher or principal. The recommendation can be submitted via email to
  3. Provide a copy of your academic transcript.
  4. Write an essay (500 words, typed) about why you should be accepted.
  5. Qualified candidates will be contacted for a 5-minute phone interview.

You may send in the application form and statement of purpose first if you need extra time to obtain your transcript and recommendation letter.

You may submit your application and other document by email or by mail.

Email to:

Mail to:
High School STARTALK Program
Hunter College HW1425
Department of Classical and Oriental Studies
695 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10065

You will be notified within three weeks after your phone interview whether or not you have been accepted into the program.

Application Deadline

Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until all the seats are filled.

Application Forms

Download: Application Form for High School Students (PDF)

Questions? Call (212) 396-6595 or send an email to:

2012 Photo Slideshow:

2011 Photo Slideshow:

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