Program Description:

STARTALK is a federally funded program to encourage the development of critical language skills.  The UNM Arabic STARTALK program is an intensive Arabic class that focuses on connections between New Mexico and Arab communities past and present.  Thirty students of varying ages and Arabic proficiency levels will be selected to participate in the program.  Selection will be based on evidence of interest in the program, prior academic performance, and teacher/counselor letters of recommendation. All program activities will be free of charge for students. 

Eligible Students: Students entering grades 6-12 as well as rising college freshmen are eligible  for participation in the program. 

STARTALK 2017 program dates: June 26-July 14

Important Dates:

  • Mandatory Orientation: Monday, June 12, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Summer Program: June 26-July 14, 2017, 9am-3:30 pm 
  • 4th of July Holiday: Tuesday, July 4th 
  • Closing Ceremony: Friday, July 14, 2:30-3:30 pm

Program Times:

The program will run from 9-3:30 Monday through Friday. Students should also expect to complete approximately two hours of homework a night for the program.  

Contact Information:

Please direct all questions to Dr. Emma Trentman, 2017 UNM STARTALK program director, 


When is the deadline to apply?

**Program is now full**

Applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis until the program is filled.

How much does STARTALK cost?

STARTALK is free of cost for students. The STARTALK grant covers books, extracurricular activities, lunch, and parking for students that drive themselves.  

What types of activities does the program include?

Each morning will consist of an intensive Arabic program taught by qualified instructors using modern pedagogical techniques.  There will be an equal focus on speaking, listening, writing, and reading Arabic and students will spend much of their time interacting with their peers in small groups.  Classes will be small and consist of 10-15 students.  Extracurricular activities will include visiting an Arab restaurant, mosque, and other culture and language focused activities.  


STARTALK is a federally funded program to encourage the learning of critical languages.  More information can be found at the STARTALK website:

How much Arabic will students learn?

Upon completion of the program, students are expected to be at the Novice High level of proficiency according to the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).  

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