Regular studies and dialogue – the key words for successful language learning
From January 2021 to September 2022, the Latvian Language Agency (LVA) implemented the project “Acquisition of the Latvian language in order to facilitate the integration of third-country nationals into the labor market 3”, thereby continuing and improving the work it began in the previous years in the fields of Latvian language learning and social integration. As a result, the LVA has provided targeted, systematic, and ongoing support for third-country nationals.
During the project, the LVA organized and offered Latvian language learning courses, developed its learning tools for adults, and provided methodological support to teachers.
Latvian language learning courses were available throughout Latvia, and the programs and learning materials were adapted to the needs of each group. In total, more than three hundred newly arrived foreigners acquired Latvian with the help of this project.
Currently, a wide range of materials are available on LVA’s “Teach and Learn Latvian” website, which people can use in a variety of ways as they learn Latvian under the guidance of a teacher or by themselves. Since there is a lack of homework and exercise materials that could be used to improve and strengthen one’s knowledge and skills, the project adapted and technically arranged A1, A2, B1, B2 language proficiency materials (based on examples of national language proficiency tests). These homework sets are available at https://maciunmacies.valoda.lv/maci/reemigrantiem-un-imigrantiem), and each language proficiency level (A1, A2, B1, B2) features 40 tasks and exercises. The materials are available in the Word format (utilizing closed text blocks) so the user can complete the tasks and send them back to the teacher for evaluation. This helps both the teacher and the language learner plan their further learning process more productively. Furthermore, the sets contain self-tests of varying levels of difficulty (for levels A, B, and C) – six reading tasks, six vocabulary building tasks, and six grammar learning tasks. The sets also include the correct answers to these exercises.
Third-country nationals and their teachers have often pointed out at their meetings that there is a lack of easily comprehensible information about the Latvian education system and materials about Latvia in general. Teachers are not always confident about the effectiveness of the teaching methods that are in use. This means that more diverse informational, teaching, and methodological materials must be developed in the future which can be adapted to the needs of the target audience.
The goal of the project “Acquisition of the Latvian language in order to facilitate the integration of third-country nationals into the labor market 3” (No. PMIF/6/2020/3/01) is to provide third-country nationals with a modern and diverse learning process of the Latvian language for the purposes of education, daily communication, and their integration into the labor market.