DOI: 10.24411/2470-1262-2019-10062  


A group of American and Russian professionals within seven STARTALK grants devotes this article to the analysis of six years of work.

STARTALK is a U.S. government initiative to promote and improve the teaching of strategically

Important foreign languages.

From 2012 to 2017, the University of Iowa conducted seven training programs for instructors of the universities and colleges, and schoolteachers of Russian language in the US.

The programs contained three theoretical and practical parts.

  1. Teaching methodology: a combination of U.S. and Russian teaching standards and practices; building a communicative curriculum and the lessons based on backward design; testing.
  1. Technology training: working with computer programs to create a library of educational materials.
  2. Distance learning: strategies and teaching foreign languages in online format.

As a result of the work were created: a virtual library of educational materials; working materials for heritage learners; training video games for a course in Russian folklore; lessons designed for use in different areas of communication – presentational, interpretive, interpersonal.

We managed to build a network of more than 80 educators from the United States and Russia and to improve the training of instructors and teachers.

Keywords: STARTALK, methodology, standards, curriculum, ACTFL, backward design, testing, certification, levels, speaking, technology, distance learning, learning objects, visual library


  1. American Council of Teachers of Russian, Washington DC, 1997
  2. ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012, ACTF. Inc. 2012
  3. ACTFL Russian Proficiency Guidelines. Thomas Beyer and others. Foreign Language Annals, Volume 21, issue 2, April 1988.
  4. Backward design:
  5. Carreira M., Kagan O., The Results of the National Heritage Language Survey: Implications for Teaching, Curriculum Design and Professional Development, Foreign Language Annals, vol 44, NO.1, Spring 2011.
  6. Clementi D. Terrill L., The Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit, and Lesson Design, The ACTFL Guide for professional language educators November 10, 2013.
  7. Liskin-Gasparro, J. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines: A Historical Perspective. ERIC 1984.
  8. Merill P, Lekic Maria, Levine James, Kagan O. Russian Language Programs in the United States. A Language Learning Framework for Secondary and Post-Secondary Education.1995.
  9. Rifkin B. Mentoring Foreign Language TA’s, Lecturers, and Adjunct Faculty: AAUSC 2000 Volume (Aausc : Isslues in Language Program Direction), Heinle, 2001.
  10. Sandrock P., Using STARTALK Curriculum and Learning Templates to plan Assessment for Learning, Startalk Spring Conference, May 6-7, 2016.
  11. Sandrock P. Developing Higher Levels of Performance in each mode of communication. Startalk Spring Conference, May 6-7, 2016.
  13. Ukhimenko N., Leshutina I., Elnikova S. Problema integratsii distanzionnogo obrasovaniya v pedagogicheskiye tekhnologii russkogo yasyka kak inostrannogo, Institit russkogo yasyka im. A.S. Pushkina, 2018.

Information about the authors:

Irina Kostina (Iowa, USA), The University of Iowa, Ph.D., Associate professor of Instruction, Director of the Undergraduate Russian program,, about 30 articles in the field of education and methodology of teaching, including the textbooks “Perspectiva” and “Russian class”.

Tamara Kornilova (Moscow, Russia), PRUE (Plekhanov Russian University of Economic),

Professor, Department of Russian Language and Culture of Speech, Plekhanov University of Economics, e-mail:, about 10 articles in the field of Russian language for Foreigners and testing.    


We are grateful to the STARTALK organization, the University of Iowa, the creators and participants of seven programs for teachers and teachers, without which the success of our work would not have been possible.

Мы благодарны организации СТАРТАЛК, университету Айовы, создателям и участникам семи программ для преподавателей и учителей, без которых успех нашей работы был бы невозможен.

For citation: Kostina Irina, Kornilova Tamara, (2019). Startalk – Start Talking! Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science. Vol. 4, Issue 4 (2019), pp. 58-64 (in USA)

Manuscript received 29/10/2019

Accepted for publication: 25/11/2019           

The authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

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