Language Immersion Courses in Bulgaria

English Academy Varna

Varna, Bulgaria
English Academy Varna is a specialized English language school, located in Varna, Bulgaria. It provides general English, business English, finance English courses led only by native speakers with more than five years of teaching experience. Other options include speaking courses, young learners’ courses, legal English, as well as exam preparation choices (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). The academy is focused on combining traditional grammar and vocabulary exercises with more innovative reading and listening comprehension exercises, pair work, projects, discussions and role-plays.

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About Language Immersion Courses in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian language, the only official language of Bulgaria, is related to other Eastern European languages and is similar to Serbian and Russian.  It mostly resembles Macedonian.  The everyday language is based on the Eastern dialects of Bulgaria with the usage of many international words.

Approximately 12 million native speakers of Bulgarian exist throughout the world, predominantly in Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia, as well as additional emigrant communities. This figure also counts Bulgaria.

A form of the Cyrillic alphabet with 30 letters is used.  Most signage in Romania is written in Cyrillic.  However, understanding the alphabet is not that difficult as many words are English or French homophones. 

Besides, the education system in Bulgaria since the late 1990s advocates the study of foreign languages. English is high on the list so conversing in most regions of Bulgaria is easy.  23% of the population claims working knowledge of it; Russian speakers total 35%, German 12% and French 9%, respectfully. Turkish, Roma and Albanian are also spoken.

There are increasing opportunities for extensive language learning as the country explores more independence and builds a stronger economy.  At present, six English academies classified as International Baccalaureate (IB) schools offer English-based instruction to elementary/secondary students.  Five such schools are strictly designed for the secondary level.  One of these academies targets the elementary level. 

More than 100 private schools and many international schools run parallel curricular programs to public schools.  Whereby public schools abide by a national curriculum enforced at the regional levels by Regional Education Inspectorates to ensure free education is provided for all students; private and international schools charge tuition.

At a standard rate of 15,000 EUR annually, this price is quite steep for anyone’s standards.  Despite a lower standard of living compared to many European nations, there are considerable increases in private school student participation.  Fueled by individual opportunity and the value of a quality education, money seems to not be a deterring factor.
In 2002, the Bulgarian Constitution passed an article to provide for the rights of everyone regarding language.  The right is for everyone to develop his own culture in accordance with any ethnic background. With this in mind, there are hundreds of language schools, increasing yearly.
Some students opt to enroll in a one year language school after completing secondary schooling. This time provides for intensive language training, usually 20 classes per week to help with linguistic competence for future academic study in Bulgaria or foreign countries.  Likewise, these schools provide opportunity for the native English-speaker or foreigner to have an exchange study.

Additional language programs and exchange studies range from volunteer intern programs to highly selected academic programs, weeklong courses to modular lessons, one-on-one instruction to large group instruction.  Classes are taught by semester, year-long and summer, offered in public and private sectors.   Significant language programs include English, German, French, Russian, Italian and Spanish.  There is also a classical language school.

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