Chinese Programs

Chinese Culture and Language Immersion Through Gaming and Storytelling

Course Description

This course is offered under the auspices of Startalk Chinese Culture and Language Immersion through Gaming and Storytelling program. STARTALK offers students (K–16) and teachers of these languages creative and engaging online learning and summer experiences that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development.

The programs use the themes of storytelling and gaming to engage students in a highly motivated learning experience.  The programs allow students to explore their own interests and self-understandings within a framework of cultural comparison and deepening cross-cultural competence while completing a series of exciting, creative projects.


Course Objectives

The goal of the program is to enable students at a low-intermediate level to progress to intermediate-high or higher in a single year.  It is perfect for anyone taking AP Chinese or ECE CHIN 1114.  The program will focus especially on areas that students typically struggle to master. It will also concentrate on the different needs of heritage speakers and those learning the language for the first time by individual coaching and small-group enrichment, especially during the summer portion of the program. By the end of this program students should consolidate a very solid base as they transition to more advanced content-oriented classes in literature, culture, and media (typically the equivalent of minor- and major-level courses) or other advanced language acquisition opportunities including study abroad.



Instructor-made materials, supplied by online videos and shows, and real-world materials, such as menus, newspapers, magazines or level-appropriate books.

The program is divided into three modules, each of which is built around storytelling and gaming themes that connect one to each other.

Module 1 (Spring 2022):

Identity; One credit (entirely online, in a hybrid modality that meets Saturdays for 1 hour of synchronous learning; also include 1 to 2 hour4 of online activities/project building per week)

Module 2 (Summer 2022):

Two-week residential summer program, from July 24 to August 6, 2022: Summer 2022: Gaming and culture immersion: students will create a gam4 design template, develop their own story-worlds, avatars, and game rules even as they explore the styles and roles of gaming and storytelling in Chinese culture.

Module 3 (Fall 2022)

Digital storytelling; two credits (entirely online). Students apply the techniques of digital storytelling as they create their ow4 documentary, podcast series, extension of the gaming project, or works of short fiction (1 hour synchronous contact, plus 1-2 hours of individual project work).


Spring 2022 Tentative Schedule

Week 1: Orientation and getting to know each other

Weeks 2-5: Trip to Father’s hometown

Weeks 6-9: New identities

Weeks 10-14: Social media, gaming and online identity


Summer 2022 Tentative Schedule

Week 1:

July 24 and July 25: Introduction and planning a trip

July 26: On Yin-Yu Tang and Chinese architect; Drama Love O2O;

July 27: Chinatown; Drama Love O2O;

July 28: Chinese food; Drama Love O2O;

July 29: Field trip to Yin Yu Tang house in Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA and Chinatown

July 30th: Local excursions


Week 2

July 31 and August 1: Journey to the West and Romance of Three Kingdoms: Language Learning and Game playing

August 2 and 3: Online and youth culture and gaming

August 5th: Final oral presentation and game show


Fall 2022 Tentative schedule

Students create their own documentary, podcast series, extension of the gaming project, or works of short fiction and meet with instructors twice a week.


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