Help multilingual students learn the language of their school

Support Teach For Bulgaria and EducArt in the development of learning resources and teaching methodology for Bulgarian as a second language

Donate for Bulgarian Education 


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Meet Roza*

She is in fourth grade and lives in Sheker Mahala in Plovdiv. She doesn’t speak Bulgarian at home and rarely leaves the neighborhood because she is too afraid. She has been insulted and attacked in the center of Plovdiv before. Roza speaks only Romani and she is struggling at school. She sits in the back and never participates in class. She is trying to copy the letters from the board, but her teacher usually erases everything before Roza has a chance to catch up. She has learned a few words in Bulgarian at school, but she is having a really hard time. However, everyone around her simply acts as if she just has to be fluent in Bulgarian and that’s it.
Many children in Bulgaria go through something similar…

* Roza’s name and location have been altered in order to protect her identity

The Statistics in Bulgaria

0 %

Of all first-graders do not speak Bulgarian as a first language

0 %

Of Roma families do not speak Bulgarian at home

0 %

Of Roma people do not get any education

0 %

Of Roma adults are illiterate

Sources: the Ministry of Education and Science, Konrad Adenauer Foundation

Why Children Lag Behind

Teach For Bulgaria teachers work with students whose mother tongue is not Bulgarian in almost all of our partner schools.The majority of these students are Roma, but our participants also work with refugees and with children whose mother tongue is Turkish. They agree that almost all of their students whose mother tongue is not Bulgarian need additional Bulgarian language training. All subjects are taught in Bulgarian, so more often than not poor Bulgarian language skills cause children to lag behind their peers. These students have difficulties mastering their lessons and learning new skills, they feel misunderstood and unsuccessful. This often puts them at a great risk of dropping out. 

How can we change this narrative?

We Need Special Methodology

There is no teaching methodology for Bulgarian as a second language for primary school students in Bulgaria. This presents a serious challenge for teachers who work with bilingual students. This is why Teach For Bulgaria has partnered with EducArt. We have already started developing the methodology and practical toolkits for teachers and students. The first stage of the project has already been completed - the diagnostic tools will soon be tested with actual students. Our current focus is the development of specialized learning resources for primary school students. Our goal is for these instruments to be accessible to all teachers who face the same challenge daily. Our products will be of great help to Bulgarian families who live abroad and whose children can only communicate in Bulgarian at home and need additional language support.

People Are the Key

We believe that people are the key to change. For the past 10 years Teach For Bulgaria has been working towards providing equal access to quality education to every child in Bulgaria. Teachers are the ones who can motivate their students to learn even when things are tough at home. They are the ones who discover their students’ strengths and develop their agency in order to help them become independent learners and responsible citizens. This is why besides the methodology and learning resources for bilingual students, Teach For Bulgaria and EducArt are developing special trainings for teachers and schools. These trainings help schools combine all different forms of language support in order to become true language inclusive schools. We have already completed the first training with the participants in our new program Model Schools.

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I had a teacher who completely changed my life. Many children do not have such teachers and this is a problem worth investing in. I firmly believe in the goals that Teach For Bulgaria has set and would like to use my bicycle journey as a way to gain more support for Teach For Bulgaria’s work.

Yavor Atanasov
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I decided to support this particular project because I think it is ambitious, long-term, and crucial. Developing a toolkit to teach Bulgarian as a second language to bilingual students will undoubtedly help solve the integration problem in Bulgaria, but it is also going to broaden these children’s opportunities for success in the future.

Nguyen Le European Bank for Reconstruction and Development