Support for the acquisition of the Latvian language as a foreign language in foreign universities

Since its foundation, the Latvian Language Agency has cooperated with 27 foreign universities. Primary support is being provided to European universities. The universities outside of Europe are US and Chinese higher education institutions. Cooperation with these universities has been established both on the initiative of the universities themselves and on the initiative of the Agency. The LVA bases its activities on the information obtained in the 2007–2008 study “Acquisition of the Latvian Language as a Foreign Language in European Countries”. Several higher education institutions have undergone reforms since 2008, as a result of which the activities of higher education institutions in the field of Latvian language research and studies have decreased or in some places even stopped completely. Currently, the LVA actively cooperates with about 20 foreign higher education institutions.

This is the total set of support activities implemented by the Latvian Language Agency:

– support for the operation of Latvian lectureships in higher education institutions (we support about 6-7 lectureships every year);

– sending of teaching materials, dictionaries, scientific literature, fiction, methodological materials to higher education institutions;

– publishing of teaching and methodological materials;

– provision of methodological consultations and information on events related to the promotion, research and teaching of the Latvian language;

– organizing experience exchange seminars for university lecturers;

– support for the organization of Latvian language summer schools in Latvia (in cooperation with the University of Latvia);

– support in organizing events that promote the Latvian language.

For questions related to the acquisition of Latvian as a foreign language in foreign higher education institutions, please contact Indra Lapinska, Methodist of the Education Department of the LVA, via e-mail: indra.lapinska@valoda.lv, tel. (+371) 67350760.

Latvian as Second Language: Acquisition Courses

During 1996 – 2004 Latvian Language Agency has organized Latvian as second language acquisition courses (hereinafter – LAT2) designed for various professional groups: administrative personnel in schools, teachers, employees in local governments and medicine, policemen, fire-fighters, railroad workers, soldiers etc.

As of 2004, the main target audience of those courses is the parents of pre-school and primary school national minority pupils. The basic aim of the courses is to bring those parents closer to school, engage them, thus facilitating their understanding about education system and process in Latvia, as well as strengthening the links between school, students and parents. In the given context, improving the skills of Latvian is a crucial integration means, which also helps communication and cooperation between school and the parents. The content of courses deals with issues related to educating the child.

By implementing the support of Ministry of Education and Science to Educational reform, in 2011, there were 7 courses (60 hours each) organized for the parents of pre-school and primary school pupils, resulting in educating 109 parents. The courses took place in Daugavpils, district of Daugavpils, Zilupe, Rezekne and Riga.

In 2011 the Agency also participated in the project competition “Organization and Implementation of Latvian Language Acquisition Courses for Residents in Riga City”, announced by the Riga City Council, and got the financial support necessary for organizing 6 courses for parents of national minority students in Riga. Courses were attended by 80 parents, who could then either begin the acquisition of Latvian, or improve their existing skills.

Taking into account the great interest of parents, in 2012, the Agency has applied for a new project which has been already approved by the Riga City council and which will allow 150 parents to acquire Latvian. Altogether, there are 10 courses planned, each consisting of 80 hours. Courses will take place in Riga’s secondary school No 63, Riga’s secondary school No 72, Riga’s secondary school No 92, Riga’s secondary school No 95 and Riga Purvciems secondary school.

For more information please contact Indra Lapinska indra.lapinska@valoda.lv, the educationist of Latvian Language Agency, Lacplesa Street 35-12, Riga, LV-1011 or call +371 6735 0760.