Heritage Language Programs - Polish

St. Casimir Polish Supplementary School

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Address: 91 Puhaski St., Newark, NJ 07105

Telephone: 973-342-7289

Fax: 908-523-0537

Contact person

Name: Grazyna Jarmosiewicz

Title: Principal

Address: 136 S. Stiles St. Apt. #2, Linden, NJ 07036

Email: plszkolanewark@yahoo.com

Telephone: 973-342-7289

Fax: 908-523-0537

Languages/dialects taught: Polish

Grades taught: K-8

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: Teaching Polish language and culture to young Polish children.

Type of program: Polish for Polish Speakers

Program origin: Program funded in 1964 by individuals


Parents’ expectations for the program: Parents expect that their children learn the Polish language.


Students: Total student enrollment is 50. Students are categorized according to the following:

First-generation students: 90%
Second-generation immigrants: 1%
Children of interethnic marriages: 2%
Non-ethnic background and others: 1%

Countries of Origin: Poland, Spain, USA

How students graduate and/or how they receive credit: Our students graduate after 8 years of study.

How the program identifies heritage speakers: Through an oral interview with students and their parents.

Possible reasons for student withdrawal: Students withdraw if they move to a place where they do not have access to a Polish school.

Percentage of students who continue to study after completing the program: 5%

Students’ attitudes toward the program: Often older students are forced to go to Polish school by their parents and often refuse to speak Polish. Older students get discouraged to study and speak Polish, because their regular school friends do not know Polish and they may associate it with low-skilled workers.

Younger students like to speak Polish with adults, including their parents.


Number of instructors in the program: 6-7

Languages in which instructors are proficient: Polish and English

Proficiency level: Instructors are proficient in Polish (level A) and in English they are at level B or C.

Credentials: M.A. in education and Polish literature; Associate of education degree

Professional development opportunities instructors have: The Polish Teacher’s Association provides training for instructors.

Professional development opportunities instructors need: Instructors need to be taught how to teach both Polish children born and raised in the USA and those who were born and attended school in Poland.


Total contact hours per week: 4 hours, 1 time per week.

Student grouping: Students are grouped according to their age and their previous achievement in Polish.

Language skills

Skills developed by the program: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Polish.


Aspects of culture taught: Geography, History, Festivals, Customs, Traditional Believes, Religion, Folktales, Songs, Social and Cultural Norms, and Cultural Appropriateness

Kind of student identity program fosters: Respect, care, good manners, and trust (e.g. respecting other property)


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program: Correcting mistakes in speaking, reading, and writing


Other materials used for instruction: Textbooks published by the Polish Teacher’s Association of Chicago

Technology used for instruction: Internet and teachers’ Web sites


Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress: Teacher observations, performance-based tests, and Regents Polish language test. Students who take the Regents test get credit depending on the Board of Education’s decision. The Board of Education in New Jersey does not accept the test.


How the program develops home/school connections or promotes parent involvement: This program makes connections with the Polish Teacher’s Association and with parents. Parents are involved in preparing school events.

Opportunities for using the heritage language and developing cultural knowledge outside the program: Students have their own family members who speak Polish. They also go to Poland for vacation. Furthermore, families go to church for Sunday mass in the Polish language.

What the program has in place

Financial support the program receives: Financial support from religious organizations, ethnic and cultural organizations, home and government organizations, tuition, and parents

Solicitation of funding: The principal solicits funding.

Assistance or funding the program would like to receive: We still don’t have enough money to run the program, so assistance with funding would help pay the teacher’s tuition and other needs.

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