The project "Living in Latvia – Learning Latvian (3rd stage)" is a continuation of the projects of the previous years of the Education Development Center in the field of integration, and its goal is to ensure the acquisition of the Latvian language by third-country nationals and persons who are legally detained in the territory of Latvia, for the needs of education and the labor market.
Within 21 months of the project, the Education Development Center will offer 120 hours of intensive courses on mastering the Latvian language at various language levels for a total of 400 third-country nationals in 35 groups, working both in person and remotely.
The 21st month of the project is rapidly coming to an end, I am summarizing the project achievements.
Exactly 2 years ago, on September 17, 2020, when submitting a project application to work with immigrants for the next two years, we “shot in complete darkness”. Already in the previous season, the pandemic had surprised the whole world unprepared. And back then predicting life for the next two years, i.e. writing a project, making commitments, bordered on fantasy genre literature. At that time, the EDC project team undertook to educate 400 third country nationals by organizing 120-hour Latvian language learning groups of various levels, in total 35. Even though movement in the world had already stopped, we wrote that three quarters of the learning groups, i.e. 27, will be organized as face-to-face lessons and 8 groups – remotely. More
On July 16, participants of the project “Living in Latvia - learning Latvian (3rd stage)” were invited to the closing event at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia. More than 70 project participants took part in the event. The students were grateful for the opportunity to visit the museum and engage in activities together with their families, friends, and relatives.
At the opening of the event, the participants took part in a quiz, in which, while looking for answers to the questions, they had to familiarize themselves with the buildings exhibited in the museum, the arrangement of the rooms, and the farmstead. Of course, it was possible to read the explanatory text in Latvian and ask questions to the museum staff. The winners were everyone who took part in the quiz. And the candies given for answering the quiz questions disappeared very quickly. In the continuation of the event, we ate the prepared treats, which at the same time was an opportunity to taste dishes typical of the Latvian farmstead: hemp butter, home-baked bread with bacon, lightly salted cucumbers, rhubarb pie, homemade cheese platter.... The culmination of the event was a meeting with the folklore group “Kalnā kāpu gavilēt”. Under the leadership of group member Ieva Strode, everyone was introduced to musical instruments, elements of folk costume, and was given the opportunity not only to see, but also to play and touch them. Then songs, dances and games, in which both adults and children participated.
It seems that everything worked out well. Both the participants and the project team were happy about the event. It should be added that we were also lucky with the weather. The thunder rumbled, but it passed...
In June, the final 2 groups (32 students) started learning in the project. The course will take place during the summer period. In April, another 78 third-country nationals completed a 120-hour Latvian language course. And in general, in the project from January 2021, there are already 477 students in 36 groups who have raised their Latvian language skills by one level. Out of them 191 students have also passed the national language proficiency test at the National Centre for Education (NCE).
Evaluating the progress and content of the national language lessons this spring, almost all the students are completely satisfied, they express their gratitude to both the teachers and the Education Development Centre (IAC) team for the opportunity to learn:
I think that in such course, the teacher’s attitude towards learning and students is of utmost importance. I was very lucky – my teacher was smart and responsive. I wish there would be more such teachers!
The teacher is wonderful, the lessons are interesting. I am 100% happy! Very good course. Clear presentation, lots of information and language practice.
Valuable course, modern methodology for language learning.
I liked everything. The good thing was that the material was repeated so that everyone could understand.
The course was effective. The atmosphere in the classroom was creative and joyful. It was fun to learn.
The lessons were interesting, I would like to continue my studies.
On May 28 and June 4, we went on an excursion to Rundāle Castle and Jelgava.
It was planned that during the excursion the students will have the opportunity to get to know Rundāle Castle and walk through the palace garden, visit “Pasta sala” (“Post Island”) in Jelgava and enjoy a boat trip. However, the trips turned out to be even more interesting and full of impressions. On May 28, there was a city festival in Jelgava, so it was possible to feel the festive atmosphere of Jelgava, watching various activities and listening to a concert. Whereas, the 4th of June group had a wonderful opportunity to see the sand sculptures and climb the observation tower. Participants of the excursion say the following:
- I liked Rundāle Castle the most, because I didn’t know that there are such beautiful castles in Latvia.
- I liked the rooms of the castle, wallpapers, the lamps.
- I enjoyed the palace garden, the tulips bloomed so beautifully.
- I have been to Versailles. It is like a little Versailles in Latvia.
- I liked the ride on the “pirate” ship and the captain’s narration.
- I liked that we sang during the trip.
- The sand figures were very impressive, I had never seen such before.
Lots of positive impressions and emotions. It was indeed good that we were able to meet and discover beautiful places of Latvia together, because the Latvian language courses take place remotely.
Since 10 and 11 January 2022, we have launched six remote Latvian language groups, where 103 third-country nationals have started their studies. Five groups which were launched in October completed their studies in January: 58 students finished a 120-hour course at A1, A2 or B1 level. Thank you for your diligence and motivation – the Latvian language is not easy! Students are satisfied with the course, teacher, teaching methods and materials used – we know it from our course evaluation questionnaires:
At first, I did not believe that distance language learning could bring results, but now I am completely satisfied.
I thought that because it would be on zoom it wouldn't be so interactive but the teacher was very good and made the classes fun and very engaging. I definitely improved my knowledge in Latvian language and have more confidence speaking.
We are planning to launch the next Latvian language groups in April and/or of May this year. The 120-hour training course will then last until approximately the beginning of August. You can now register for the course by contacting the EDC (Education Development Centre) and sending your email in order to receive the registration link. We will send you information when the dates for the next groups are known.
EDC phone: 26335521
EDC e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Education Development Center offers to study in B1 Latvian language level groups. We will start oline courses (120 hours) from March. We invite you to apply for studies by calling or writing to the Education Development Centre by phone 26335521 or e-mail email@example.com.
We plan to start the next Latvian language learning classes in January 2022. You can apply now by contacting the EDC and sending an email to receive a registration link. We will send you information as soon as the time of classes for the following groups becomes known to us.
For the project participants, the end of August turned out to be quite eventful – seven groups completed our 120-hour language course, and on 24 August the End-of-Summer Event took place at the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum. The purpose of the Event was to enable immigrants in Latvia and their family members to practice the Latvian language, gain knowledge about history, culture, meet and socialise as well as take part in joint activities.
We are planning to start the next groups of the Latvian language for immigrants in September 2021. We invite you to apply for studies by calling or writing to the Education Development Centre by phone 26335521 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. After you have applied, that is, filled in the questionnaire, in August we will send you information about starting studies at the appropriate level. The number of places for the groups is limited!
Evaluation for the Latvian language courses
In May of this year, 108 third-country nationals have completed their studies in Latvian language groups. The training took place remotely and in different level (A and B) groups. In May, within the framework of the project, we gave an opportunity to 25 participants at A level and 32 participants at B level to take the state language proficiency test. At the end of May and the beginning of June, we already started the next 7 remote groups for third-country nationals, who will study until the end of August. By then, they will have studied for 120 hours and taken their Latvian language skills to the next level. Stay active in the summer and good luck to everyone!
Analyzing the course evaluation questionnaires submitted by the participants, it can be concluded that ~ 92% of the participants are fully satisfied with the courses, 5% are partially satisfied, 3% are not satisfied. 74 participants have been involved in the evaluation for the course. We have read a lot of words of thanks to the teachers and course organizers in the questionnaires. We have drawn attention to the section “Students' suggestions for improving this course”. More
Currently, more than 120 third-country nationals* are learning the Latvian language in groups of different language levels of the project of the Education Development Center "Living in Latvia – Learning Latvian (3rd stage)".
We plan to start the next groups of the Latvian language for migrants at the end of May this year, they will probably be held remotely. To apply for groups, contact the Education Development Center by phone: 26335521 or by email: email@example.com .
A new situation – a new learning experience
Time is running out and it has been a month since the training began. We are doing distance learning. Therefore, the question of how the trainees feel and what are their conclusions about learning the state language remotely is important. In order to get answers to this question, the thoughts of B level learners of the state language were heard. More
In January 2021, we start recruiting remote teams. At the end of January, more than 130 newcomers begin their studies in eight (8) language groups with levels A1, A2, B1 and B2. It must be admitted that despite the difficult circumstances, the wish of migrants to learn the Latvian language has not diminished, we still cannot satisfy the wishes of all clients and offer as many groups as necessary.
The overall goal of the project is to promote the inclusion in the education system and the labor market of persons who are citizens of third countries and who are legally detained in the territory of Latvia, as well as to improve the availability of services for the target group.
Linda Klusa (Linda Kluša) (project manager)
Aija Kalve (pedagogical supervisor)
Liga Punina (Līga Puniņa) (target group coordinator)
Aija Rusina (Aija Rusiņa) (accountant)
Danute Grinfelde (Danute Grīnfelde) (technical support for distance learning)
* Third-country nationals are any person who is not a citizen of the member states of the European Union, countries of the European Economic Area or a citizen of the Swiss Confederation.
“Living in Latvia – Learning Latvian (3rd stage) ” (No. PMIF / 6/2020/3/02) is implemented within the planning period 2014-2020 of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union with funding from the European Union (75%) and the state budget of Latvia (25%). The total cost of the project is EUR 275 520,71.