At the Bulgarian School of Seattle we’ve always believed in standing up for the educational needs of our students. Since 2013, we are supporting the heritage language preservation which is legitimized in the USA under the Seal of Biliteracy. Bulgarian School of Seattle is legally the FIRST Bulgarian school in USA which has formally contributed to the recognition of the Bulgarian language in the public educational system in America.
Bulgarian School of Seattle is a key partner in carrying out the project involved with the World Languages Program at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The Bulgarian Language Credit Program provides positive recognition of the value of the Bulgarian language and increases students’ pride in and appreciation for their cultural strength. Through this program, students who speak, understand, read, and write Bulgarian language are able to receive up to four high school credits—the equivalent of four years of language study—by passing ALTA language proficiency assessments, administered by the Bulgarian School of Seattle. This program was started by the founder and principal of the Bulgarian School of Seattle – Angela Hasheva, and recognized by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in 2013.
About the School
Established in 2011, the Bulgarian School of Seattle – a nonprofit, non-political, scholarly society – is the leading organization, dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Bulgaria and Bulgarian language in regional and global contexts. As the premier scholarly organization founded in Washington State with more than 2,000 followers, the Bulgarian School of Seattle supports education, training, and learning related to the study of the Bulgarian language and has cultivated the intellectual landscape for over six years through its programs and classes. Our mission is to enrich students’ heritage awareness and boost their linguistic self-confidence. The Bulgarian School of Seattle guarantee and inspire the next generation to gain the attitude, knowledge and skills needed to learn and act wisely in a competitive and very dynamic environment.
The Bulgarian Language Credit Program at the Bulgarian School of Seattle is an innovative project that addresses specific needs:
- To honor and validate students’ heritage language and the language of their families
- To provide opportunities for fluent and literate speakers to receive high school credit for their knowledge of Bulgarian language
- To open up opportunities for students to access core subject credits required for graduation
- To prepare bilingual students for future career opportunities in private industry and to meet government needs for skilled bilingual speakers
- To motivate students to take advanced courses in Bulgarian heritage language at their schools, in college or at ethnic community centers
Linking Bulgarian Language to Common Core State Standards
In November 2013, ACTFL unveiled refreshed standards for learning languages that incorporate the Common Core State Standards, summary available here .
The four strands of the Common Core State Standards for Bulgarian Language (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language) have been aligned to the National Standards for Learning Languages by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Performance Expectations at the Bulgarian School of Seattle
The Common Core State Standards for Bulgarian Language contains four strands: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. These four strands are represented in the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages by the Communication standards (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the level of proficiency demonstrated. In addition, the standards of the other four goals areas for learning languages – Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities – also support and are aligned with the Common Core. These standards describe the expectations to ensure all students at the Bulgarian Cultural Club/ Bulgarian School of Seattle are college-, career-, and world-ready.
Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening are captured in the standards for learning languages’ goal area of Communication, by emphasizing the purpose behind the communication:
- Interpersonal (speaking-listening or writing-reading)
- Interpretive (reading, listening, viewing)
- Presentational (writing, speaking, visually representing)
Language is described in proficiency levels that outline three key benchmarks achieved in world language programs given sufficient instruction over time:
- Novice (the beginning level, regardless of age or grade)
Does the Bulgarian Language Credit Program provide students the opportunity to earn the necessary credits for graduation and college eligibility?
We examine students’ records for the grade 9-12 students who took the ALTA assessments in 2013/14, 2015/2016 and determine that students had met their district’s expectations for adequate progress and credit accrual toward graduation requirements and are eligible for a four-year college in the USA.
Will the Bulgarian School of Seattle Sustain the Bulgarian Language Credit Program ?
The school administration is optimistic they could find ways to continue funding the Bulgarian Language Credit Program, which they felt was a great benefit to their students and community. However, it would not be possible without support to deliver the great value of this program to our students. If you find yourself as passionate for the Bulgarian language heritage preservation and its place in the New World frontiers, we invite you to join us and contribute on our donation page here. Resources developed as part of this support will be used to expand opportunities for Bulgarian competency-based credits throughout all States in America.
If you have questions, contact the Bulgarian School Administration: firstname.lastname@example.org
All donations are tax deductible and receipts will be issued to every donor.
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