An 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 WVU.
The STARTALK program at WVU is open to ninth-, 10th- and 11th-grade students from West Virginia and neighboring states. The program’s curriculum focuses on Chinese language and culture learning through topics related to science, technology, engineering, art and math.
An International Baccalaureate student, Aarav is in his second year of instruction in Chinese at USC. In addition, he has studied Japanese and French.
“I have taught Aarav for more than a year and he is one of my most motivated and talented students in Chinese language. I’m sure he will be a wonderful addition to STARTALK,” said USC world language teacher Lixia Kang.
The year-round program begins in early spring and runs through 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.