A School Radio for Children Whose First Language Is Not Bulgarian Is Set to Improve Their Language Skills

All radio shows of the program called “Recess” are written in Bulgarian by students with the help of their teachers

Училищно радио Стара Загора ученици с учител
Silvia Koleva with the young journalists from Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski”

Students and teachers at Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” in Stara Zagora started a school radio station. Their goal is to help children, especially those whose first language is not Bulgarian, develop their communication and language skills. Primary school teacher, Silvia Koleva, is one of the creators of the radio. She is also a second-year participant in Teach For Bulgaria’s program. 

Nearly all students at Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” do not speak Bulgarian at home (their first languages are mainly Romani or Turkish) and most of them struggle with the language. According to a survey conducted by the administration of the school, only 6% of all primary school students speak or hear Bulgarian at home. This revelation motivated the teaching staff to look for innovative solutions.


Did you know that there isn’t a good enough methodology for teaching Bulgarian as a second language?

Teach For Bulgaria and Educart are trying to change that. Find out more about the project for the development of educational resources for additional language training and diagnostic language tools for bilingual primary school students and support our efforts by making a donation. 


Radio program “Recess” is a step in the right direction. The radio shows are written by students and include a segment for Bulgarian music, a segment dedicated to curious facts called “Did you know…?”, and a poetry reading segment called “My favorite poem”. All radio hosts are students. The radio program has four main goals: to provide students with meaningful activities during recess, inspire their love for the Bulgarian language, history, and culture, improve school climate, and help students with career orientation. 

The first thematic radio show aired on Nov 27. It was dedicated to school innovation, so the young radio hosts interviewed Tatyana Dimitrova, Head of the Regional Management of Education for Stara Zagora, and Penka Trandeva, principal of the school. 

The young journalists from Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” received mentorship from professional journalists who work at the local station of the Bulgarian National Radio in Stara Zagora. The children are also planning to make their radio program even more interesting by interviewing parents and alumni of the school who can serve as role models for current students. 


Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” in Stara Zagora has been our partner since 2015. Take a look at this video starring English teacher Bogdana Dencheva, Teach For Bulgaria class of 2015-2017.

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