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STARTALK Language Program

NSA/CSS serves as Executive Agent for an exciting and highly acclaimed language learning program, STARTALK. Established by President Bush in 2006 as part of the National Security Language Initiative to expand national capacity in critical languages, STARTALK has received widespread praise from the national language teaching community, students, parents, and members of Congress. The STARTALK program provides innovative language learning experiences for students and professional development/certification opportunities for teachers (K-16) primarily during the summer months. STARTALK languages include; Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Korean, Persian Farsi, Portuguese, Swahili, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.

Working with the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland, NSA/CSS established STARTALK as a first-rate academic program that attracted the participation of top language educators across the country. Since its inception in 2007 the STARTALK program has awarded over 1000 grants reaching approximately 58,000 student and teacher participants with programs in all 50 states. In order to make these programs available to everyone, they are offered at low or no cost to participants with some of the programs granting college credit.

STARTALK is producing groundbreaking research conclusions on foreign language instruction, assessment, and blended learning. This program has been the catalyst for a revolutionary change in foreign language instruction in the U.S. educational system and promises to be a critical component in strengthening language capabilities across the nation.

Some of STARTALK's most significant impacts to date have been:

  • Stimulation of over 200 new school year programs in the STARTALK languages
  • Inspiring students to continue language study
  • Significant growth in the field of critical language teaching methodology and materials
  • Creation of a new national network of teachers of critical languages
  • Spurred the development of paths to state certification for teachers in the STARTALK languages

Please visit the STARTALK website for more information about the program.


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: July 10, 2015 | Last Reviewed: July 10, 2015