Case Studies: Teachers

Teacher photo


Age: 51
Language Taught: Bulgarian
Years of teaching experience: 30+

Language Trainers allows the student to be involved in their own learning process every step of the way.

What language do you teach, and why did you choose teaching as your career?

Well I began teaching at Sofia University immediately after I received my MA in Bulgarian studies. My major is literature, and I began focusing on language relatively recently in 2007. In that year, I became a Bulgarian instructor at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. I realized then that through language, I could do more for my culture. Being a Fulbrighter myself, I started teaching Bulgarian literature and culture to American Fellows at the Fulbright International Summer Institute in Bulgaria. For two years now, I teach also at the Bulgarian School in New York, HristoBotey. I actually came to New York with a perhaps too ambitious project to launch the first Bulgarian academic unit in the city and the Tristate area. This is to account for my visions and intentions –as I haven’t yet given up on this idea.

Where did you study, how long have you been teaching, and what age group do you usually teach?

My BA, two MAs (Bulgarian Studies; Cultural Studies) and my PhD (in Literary Theory) I got from Sofia University. I specialize in teaching BA, MA and PhD students but lately I’ve been teaching Bulgarian to children between 5 and 12 year old and also to people between 30 and 70 year old. The approaches are different, but the language is the same, so the challenges are not that unique. Kids learn faster, but men and women value the magic of learning a language more.

What do you look for in a student?

Curiosity; curiosity towards the “mystical” ability of every language to project a world that is not entirely the same. Bulgarian aspects of the verb, for example, always open a new horizon –it’s like an alternative reality, our system of tenses and moods. Diligence and seriousness unhampered by a sense of humor and lightness in approaching language’s strangeness are also important qualities. The most important moment is the “click,” this readiness to collaborate and interact with the teacher.

What should students expect in you as a teacher?

I believe that teaching a new language is an integral process that involves not only repetition, learning by heart, exercising, practicing, creating situations for students to identify/perform, etc. but also to get into language’s character, mentality, and worldview –to get to know the people who speak this language.

What is your favorite aspect of working with Language Trainers?

With Language Trainers, students are monitored and taken care of every step of the way. Not only are they meticulous to the very last detail, but they allow students to be involved in their own learning process every step of the way.

Do you have a favorite teaching experience?

My favorite teaching experience is the moment when I feel that the student has come to the point of entering the language. This is the moment when I discover that the student has already created intuitions, sense, and sensibility about their new language.

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