The learning group is composed by pupils in elementary school aged 9-12. They are in second, third and fourth grade. Studying foreign languages (English) is part of the curriculum and it is obligatory in all public and private schools. Usually in the elementary schools too little time is dedicated to exercise and practice the learning material, which leads to gaps in the pupils’ knowledge and difficulties at later stage. Most of the school teachers use traditional and old methods and materials for teaching which is the reason why some parents seek for other options when it comes to their children’s education. The most common option is English language classes at private child centres.
Regardless the age difference between the pupils the level of knowledge is more or less the same. At the beginning of each school year the trainers make small placement test and put the children in two groups according to their level. One of the groups is composed by slightly more advanced pupils and the other by children with basic level of knowledge.
Enrolment in the English language groups is optional and depends on the parents. The course is held throughout the school year in Bulgaria within 25-30 school weeks (from mid-September to the end of May and sometimes during June and part of July (depending if there are enough children to form a group). Classes are not held during vacations, holidays and weekends. The material covers level A1.
During the first half of the school year the classes are organised at the mornings and during the second half – at the afternoons. The course is entirely consistent and aligned with the material learned at school.
The training course emphasises on practice and exercise of the language. The main aim is overcoming the language barrier which most of the children find the most difficult. During the class the pupils and the trainer speak in English. Small exceptions could be made and mother tongue could be used at the discretion of the trainer.
All teachers know how to use a computer, multimedia and other equipment but not all of the learners do. Given the small age of the learners most of them don’t have an email account but many of them have good digital and computer skills. All of them can use Internet, smartphones and tablets at basic or intermediate level.
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