The Latvian language learning continues for third country nationals in Latvia
The second year of the project “Living in Latvia – learning Latvian” has started with intensive Latvian language learning in six new groups. More than 110 third country nationals started attending the Latvian language courses in A and B language level groups in January 2018.
The greatest interest of learners is about the beginners or A level language groups – we try to offer different possibilities of the language acquistion respecting the course participants’ needs and expecting their active and engaged learning in return. Sometimes people take advantage of applying and acquiring the language free of charge but are not ready for regular learning. The project offers a language course cosisting of 120 hours that lasts for 3-4 months. The participants of the Education Development Center groups are also the third country natioals who have learned the Latvian language before and now they are improving their knowledge and skills to reach the A2 or B1 level. The joint learning gives the third country nationals who have settled in Latvia not only the possibility to master the Latvian language skills that are necessary in their everyday life and work but also to form relations with other participants thus broadening their scope of acquaintances and gaining more experience for life in this country. The participants of several previous Latvian language groups continue contacting and meeting each other after they have finished the course.
The first groups of 2018 finished their learning in the middle and end of April and all those who feel prepared are passing the state language examination in order to receive a certificate confirming the level of the Latvian language proficiency.
Analysing the answers given by the course participants, allows us concluding that almost all participants have emphasised the necessity to continue learning in the courses because: “the number of lessons is not enough to learn speaking freely”, “the language skill on A level does not create the possibility to integrate in the society of Latvia”, “it is a good beginning but there should be provided a further possibility to co tinue the language acquisition in other courses”, “I would like to master the Latvian language on C level but I don’t know if there will be such courses...”. A participant writes that “few people speak Latvian in Riga therefore I cannot improve my Latvian language skills in everyday life...” and this fully confirms the stereotype that the state language can be acquired only in courses. Thus it was important for the project team to find out to what extent the course participants use the Latvian language skills acquired in the courses outside the courses in their real life. Photo
Those acquiring the state language skills on A level have answered that they try to use the Latvian language:
- Doing their shopping in the market and shopping centres;
- Going by the public transport;
- Communicating with neighbours and other parents in the preschool or school.
However, the majority of participants admit that they use the Latvian language only in the courses because outside the learning situation they are ashamed to speak and write with mistakes.
The learners of the state language on B level have replied that they use the Latvian language:
- Filling in the documents (applicattions, questiionnaires, CV);
- Answering the questions during the job interview;
- Performing the work-related duties;
- Helping their children in doing the school work;
- Reading the entries in e-class;
- Communicating with teachers at school or educators in the preschool.
The majority of the course participants admit that they seldom use the Latvian language in everyday life situations because almost always (going shopping, getting some information, using some services, etc.) it is possible to use either Russian or English.
We wish all the participants success in their learning and we look forward to good results in the Latvian language examination!
The Education Development Center project “Living in Latvia - learning Latvian” (Nr. PMIF/6/2016/1/02) is implemented within the 2014 – 2020 planning period of the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund with the joint funding from the European Union (75%) and Latvia state budget (25%).