We learn the Latvian language with joy!
The learning of the Latvian language is gathering speed: since January the third country nationals have started attending the Latvian language courses and learning the Latvian language in the project “Living in Latvia – learning the Latvian language”.
The length of the course is 120 hours but already after a months of starting the course a person who did not know a word in Latvian is able to tell about him/herself, his/her occupation and family, is able to understand that nouns in the Latvian language have endings and tries to use them correctly in the right case: Accusative, Locative and Dative as well as the anxiety about the examination to be passed after two or three months increases. 97 people who have arrived from Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Byelorussia, Azerbaijan, Israel, China, Venezuela and Turkey and settled in Latvia continue mastering the Latvian language (A and B levels) also in February. Aija Kalve who is the pedagogical leader of the project is telling more:
Six groups have been learning the Latvian language in the project “Living in Latvia – learning the Latvian language” since January 2017. This is a relatively short period in the acquisition of the language but at the same time enough in order to find out what the participants’ motivation to learn the Latvian language is and how effective the learning has been so far.
At the start of the learning all the participants were asked why they had decided to acquire the Latvian language. The participants’ motives most frequently are defined by the necessity and willingness to communicate in the Latvian language (mentioned 80 times), to pass the certification examination (mentioned 65 times), to find employment (mentioned 50 times) and to participate in the cultural life (mentioned 43 times). Some participants admit that they need the Latvian language skills to help their children with the school, to be able to talk with the preschool teachers and other parents as well as to get to know Latvia independently. All the participants of the interview acknowledged that they were looking forward to the beginning of the courses.
Visiting all the groups in February allows concluding that the participants continue having high motivation to learn the Latvian language and it largely has been ensured by the quality of the Latvian language classes. The teachers of the Latvian language apply purposefully different methodological strategies (games, discussions, presentations, video/audio materials, music, pictures) and forms of organizing learning in their classes so that everyone was involved in the process of learning. Positive atmosphere dominates in the classes and the participants’ willingness to engage is felt. A positive aspect of learning is the differentiated approach which ensures the satisfaction of each participant’s needs in the language acquisition implemented by teachers.
During the discussions after the classes the course participants admit: “I like the classes because every time I receive new materials”, “I am coming to classes with joy because they are interesting”, “Here we live and learn friendly way”, “I learn many new things”, “I learn to learn”, “I am already able to answer questions”. The participants also pointed out what they had already learnt, how they felt and why they considered it important to attend the classes. Yet the most important is that these people learn the Latvian language with pleasure!