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The 2018 STARTALK STUDENT PROGRAM, offered by the School of Global Education & Innovation, is a three week standards-driven, blended language learning program designed for secondary/ early college heritage language learners who wish to gain higher levels of language and intercultural proficiency through the study of Hindi/ Urdu in real world contexts and in contemporary learning environments.

“Lifting the Veil of Ignorance: Education for All in India and Pakistan” serves as the 2018 theme for this Global Project-Based Learning Program, which focuses on the integration of language, culture and content regarding perspectives and practices impacting the education of “all” children in India/Pakistan. This theme will guide instruction and learning that will enable students to use the Hindi/Urdu language to gain new knowledge about education equity as a global issue and as a UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” while further developing oral communication and literacy skills.



  • Use culturally authentic Hindi/Urdu resources to acquire knowledge on a range of issues related to education equity in India/Pakistan

  • Investigate the reasons for education inequities specific to India/Pakistan and propose possible solutions for a global audience

  • Further develop Hindi/Urdu literacy skills, as well as interpersonal and presentational
    communication skills at the Advanced level

  • Use culturally appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviors and knowledge gained about cultural  perspectives and practices for effective interaction with Hindi/Urdu speakers.


Throughout the program, learners engage in daily cross-cultural interactions with students from The Mayoor School in Ajmer, India and The Happy Home School in Karachi, Pakistan, using videoconferencing/Web-based applications. Together, heritage and native learners frame researchable questions about issues related to education equity using a variety of sources, leverage their knowledge of language and culture to develop positions based on evidence that considers multiple perspectives, and then draw defensible conclusions leading to collaborative actions to address the issue on a local/regional/global level.


Upon completion of the program, students will be able to document gains in proficiency through the NYU Proficiency Test and earn high school / college credits.   Subsequent to the summer program, students will have the opportunity to enroll in Kean University Hindi or Urdu courses and/or to serve as student teaching assistants in the 2018 program.

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