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Latvian Teacher: Persons under International Protection are Highly Motivated to Learn Latvian

Ievietots: 26.09.2018

At the end of August of this year the third group of students consisting of 11 individuals from Russia (4), Turkey (3), Georgia (2), Ukraine (1) and Egypt (1) took the test for the lowest level of language proficiency under the Support Actions for Persons under International Protection II project. The group began their studies on 11 July of this year.

To gain an insight into implementation of Latvian language courses and the results achieved, we asked a Latvian teacher Lolita Zilberte (Lolita Zilberte) to tell us about the learning process.

To the question about methods used for the diagnostic test Lolita Zilberte replied that the test included listening, reading, writing and speaking tasks.

What was the language proficiency level of the group based on the approved language proficiency levels in Latvia from A1 to C2?

- The participants had recently arrived in Latvia and had not yet been exposed to Latvian speaking environment on a daily basis. At the same time considering the fact that most participants knew Russian, only two students from Turkey and Georgia, who knew neither English, nor Russian, had some difficulties as a result. All in all the students were very optimistic and enthusiastic about learning and gladly helped each other. According to the approved language proficiency levels in Latvia the level of Latvian language knowledge of students was at Pre A1 Level (0 level).

Would you tell us, how homogeneous was the group of students from the point of view of language proficiency?

- I have to say that students in the group had varied learning experience as a result of their being in different age groups, level of education, all of which had an impact on the learning process.

Which of the four language skills were best developed in case of participants of the course?

- Reading skills were best developed.

Could you, please, tell about the level of interest in the contents of the programme displayed by the participants? Which topics interested the students most?

- The participants showed great interest in learning and about life in Latvia, its history, culture and holidays. The group was very interested in the contents of the programme, they especially inquired into possibilities to take the state language examination later on that would enable them to find work as soon as possible, as they told. This group found the topic "Health. Medical Services" most engaging. The students participated in role-playing games, which were a part of the learning process, very actively, because they viewed them as practical and applicable in their daily lives in the future.

How would you appraise the attitude of the participants toward the studies?

- I feel most gratified by the positive attitude of students toward their studies. Students were active during lessons, took part in situational language games in the classroom willingly, were diligent in preparing their homework and eager to help each other. I also know that students engaged in additional individual studies using the learning material prepared by the Latvian Language Agency on the Internet.

From 2 January of this year to this moment three groups or 41 persons under international protection have completed the Latvian language course under the Support Actions for Persons under International Protection II project.

Until 30 June 2020 Latvian language course will be provided to 250 representatives of the target group under the project according to plans. The aim of the activity is to ensure that persons under international protection attain Latvian language proficiency needed for work and in everyday life, and develop the following basic language skills: reading, speaking, writing, listening and the use of grammar.

The Support Actions for Persons under International Protection II project is implemented with the support from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and co-financed by the European Union. 

Information was prepared by: Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Multimedia Communications Specialist, phone 29145314, e-mail: rasa.salina@patverums-dm.lv