1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Educators
  4. >
  5. Bulgarian Student


Bulgarian Student

I have a Bulgarian student learning English. There is no option to create a classroom for a Bulgarian student. Is there a way to get around this? I'm also a first time user as a TEACHER on duolingo. Are there any "quick start" tips? Candace

August 27, 2019



I think you may have to set up a separate classroom just for the one student. It would end up being a minor inconvenience for you, but no big deal in the long run. I don't know if Duolingo has Bulgarian, but he should be able to read Russian a teeny bit...

But let me tell you my experience first: My Korean teacher (way back in college a million years ago) could only speak Korean and Japanese. I was already fluent in Japanese. I picked up the basics of Korean pretty easily, because by then I knew how to approach and study languages. But boy oh boy, my Japanese got even better, much more strengthened.

So my question for you to ponder is, Is your student a foreign exchange student? What is his language learning background? How is his English at the moment? Does he have EL support in your school? Also talk to him and ask him which way he would like to approach the language. Consider the whole student, and it might make your decision easier.

I will tell you what I do in my own classes when I have students learning English: I put them in the regular Duolingo classroom, but on any homework that requires translation, I allow them to write in their native language. (Honestly, as a teacher, you can tell whether they have "got it" or not.) And I don't give much translation as work; I try to stay in the target language as much as possible.

Also, give your student opportunities in class to explain how your target language relates to his native language! You'll need to activate prior knowledge differently for him. Also it is good for your other students to put linguistics into a larger context, and to hear stories about learning language -- any language!

For example, I have a native German speaker in one of my French classes. When the students start complaining about having to wrap their heads around masculine and feminine grammatical gender, I say, "Cedric, how many genders does German have?" That's good for the whole class to see how Latin languages work in contrast to other languages. Or, to activate prior knowledge, I point out cognates between Spanish and French to my native Spanish speakers, or warn them when a noun is a different gender than they expect. Or I can point out borrowed words like "pan" to my Japanese students. So, use what this student brings to your classroom!

Have a great school year!


Thank you Madame Sensei, Your comments are helpful. Thanks for taking the time to answer very thoroughly. All the best to you and your students! Candace

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.