• Nov. 10, 2022

    Junior selected for language program

    Aarav PatilAn Upper St. Clair High School student has been accepted to the West Virginia Mandarin STARTALK program at West Virginia University. Junior Aarav Patil is one of only 40 high school students selected to participate in the 16-month program that begins this spring.

    “Aarav’s application materials were impressive, and his strong motivation for learning is admirable,” said Ching-Hsuan Wu, associate professor of applied linguistics in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at West Virginia University.

    The STARTALK program at WVU is open to ninth, 10th and 11th grade students from West Virginia and its neighboring states. The program’s curriculum focuses on Chinese language and culture learning through topics related to science, technology, engineering, art and math.

    Aarav, an International Baccalaureate student, is in his second year of instruction in Chinese at Upper St. Clair High School. In addition, he has studied Japanese and French.

    “I have taught Aarav Chinese for more than a year. He is one of my most motivated and talented students in Chinese language, and I'm sure he will be a wonderful addition to STARTALK,” Lixia Kang, Upper St. Clair High School world language teacher, said.

    The year-around program begins in early spring 2023 and runs through the spring of 2024. Students participate in four terms: 15 weeks/ 30 hours online in the spring of 2023; a 16-day residential camp at WVU during the summer of 2023; 15 weeks/ 30 hours online during the fall of 2023; and 10 weeks/20 hours online during the spring of 2024.

    Funded by the National Security Agency, the STARTALK Mandarin program is a new educational extracurricular initiative to promote critical language learning in youth in the United States.

    For more information about the program, visit https://worldlanguages.wvu.edu/students/undergraduate-students/chinese-studies/startalk