Project Language Support Schools

Project Language Support Schools

The “Language Support Schools” project is part of the new program for professional development of school teams “Model Schools” of our partner Teach for Bulgaria. For this program, EducArt is developing a concept for “Language Support Schools”, aimed at schools with a large number of students with a mother tongue other than Bulgarian.

Why a whole school approach for language support?
Language is present in all areas of life. It is the main means of communication and is needed for the transmission and acquisition of knowledge. In all disciplines, students must be able to describe, explain, discuss, argue and analyze the learning material in order to be able to actively and successfully participate in the learning process. If students with Bulgarian as a second language enter a school with insufficiently developed basic communication skills in Bulgarian, they cannot fully cope with the “language” of the education system, which requires students to have specific language competencies related to reading, writing and the communication style in the learning environment. Therefore, they need a long-term and systematic language support in school and in a learning environment in which language skills are developed parallel to subject knowledge.

What is a Language Support School?
The language support school recognizes the language support of students as the main focus of its work and an integral part of its daily life. It combines different forms of language support: additional language training and integrated language support in school classes in different disciplines and in extracurricular activities.

What is the goal of the project?
Through their participation in the program, the school teams will build their own Language Support School, meeting their vision and the needs of their students. In order to effectively support the students, we must first support the teachers! Therefore, specialized knowledge, tools and materials are needed that can be applied in practice and allow language support to be integrated into school life.

What does the concept “Language Support Schools” include?

  • A series of trainings for school teams on topics related to language support for students with a mother tongue other than Bulgarian;
  • Toolkit for language level diagnostics and student progress tracking;
  • Methodical instructions and tools for integrated language support in all subjects in school;
  • Methodical instructions and tools for additional language training;
  • Methodical instructions for integrated language support in extracurricular activities;
  • Toolkit for planning and implementing language support at school level.

The concept is based on good international practices and modern scientific researches in the field of psycholinguistics, didactics and studies of children’s language development with focus on second language acquisition.

How is the concept applied?
The two-year program “Model Schools: Language Support Schools” starts in September 2020. EducArt and Teach for Bulgaria will support the school teams by:

  • Trainings
  • Individual and team consultations
  • Support in integration of the new technologies in teaching

Our project partner
Teach For Bulgaria is a non-governmental organization working to ensure equal access to quality education for every child. The mission of the organization is to find, train and develop capable and motivated professionals who want to work long-term to ensure positive change in the education in Bulgaria. Teach For Bulgaria was created on the initiative and generous financial support of America for Bulgaria Foundation and is part of the international network Teach For All, whose approach has been successfully applied in 50 other countries across six continents.

How is the project financed?
The funds for the project were raised through a donation campaign and were doubled by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) through its “Community Initiative”. Thanks to all donors for their support!

Team
Authors of the concept: Ph. D Anastasia Novikova and Vyara Michailova
Project consultants: Anna Lena Emrich and Natalia Kapica from University of Heidelberg.