How much German do people learn in Bulgaria?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Now you know:

German is the second most-studied foreign language in Bulgarian high schools
Currently, Bulgaria has a number of German schools, from kindergartens, to elementary and secondary schools, to Gymnasiums, as they call high school in немски (German).

According to Kanazirska, many of her pupils are driven by the fact that they have German, Austrian or Swiss relatives. About 10 per cent of the children at Uwekind also have at least one parent of such origin. Uwekind parents also point out that they want their descendants to first study German, a more difficult language, as they believe that their child will later learn English anyways.

Nowadays, there are also many students who see career prospects in German-speaking countries or the benefits of attending university in Austria, Germany or Switzerland, Kanazirska says.

She says that language education from first to seventh grade is very intense at her school. From kindergarten on, students pass the entire morning in German, singing songs and learning poems. In first grade, the pupils have music lessons in German, in the fifth grade they start learning computer technology in German, and each year following, a new subject is added, such as geography, history or ecology, all in German.
I like that point in the middle there about sending children to school to learn German first on the assumption that they'll end up learning English eventually anyway. That's very true, and I've known a number of Korean families here that spent a few years in Germany with their children, came back and only after that did they start learning English, but they were already better at it than the rest of the children in spite of having never studied it before.


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