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Ukranian Saturday School: Promoting Language, Culture and Tradition


Every second Saturday, F+U Academy of Languages Heidelberg hosts the Ukrainian Saturday School. The school called “Nasha Shkola“ (Ukrainian for “our school“) was established in 2009 under the umbrella of the German-Ukrainian society of the Rhine-Neckar region (Deutsch-Ukrainische Gesellschaft Rhein-Neckar e.V.), which organizes Ukrainian classes for German-Ukrainian children and teenagers from Heidelberg and its surrounding areas.

The cooperation between the German-Ukrainian society and F+U Academy of Languages has existed since October 2014 and was started on the initiative of the society’s chairwoman, Maria Melnik.

The classes aim to promote and further develop the children’s Ukrainian, as well as teaching the history, applied geography, culture and traditions of their home country. Another goal is to “support the parents in their bilingual education,” says Maria Melnik. “Most of the children, who are born in Germany, come from bilingual families with their first language being German.”

Currently, 45 children are attending the Ukrainian Saturday School and are taught and looked after by 5 teachers and 5 substitute teachers. Another teacher takes care of a group of German fathers to help them learn more about Ukrainian culture and language. 80 percent of the teachers are full-time teachers volunteering at the Ukrainian Saturday School.

The main focus of the classes varies depending on the age of the children. Children aged 3 to 5 learn the language in a very playful way. From the age of 5 onwards, they are taught writing and reading as well. Grammar and more complex topics are taught to children 8 years and older.

“Being motivated and happy while learning is very important,” says Maria Melnik. “That’s why activities like singing, folk-dancing, concerts for children and family trips must not be missing from the curriculum.” Pupils also celebrate Christian holidays together with the parents. Thus, pupils and parents collected pencils, books and clothing for an orphanage in Ukraine on the past St Nicholas Day.

Dr. Molnar, who is also a teacher at the Ukrainian Saturday School, is happy about the collaboration with F+U Academy of Languages: “We would like to thank F+U Academy of Languages’ management for the generous support they give us, both on our and the parents’ behalf.”

F+U Academy of Languages is happy to be able to support the Ukrainian Saturday School and wishes the children and teenagers lots of fun and success while learning.

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