Completing the learning in 2019
Active work has been going on the whole year in the language acquisition groups in the project “Living in Latvia – learning the Latvian language”. It has resulted in 200 third country nationals who studied in 16 groups completing their learning of the Latvian language and 158 participants of these courses have applied for taking the state language examination; 85% of them have passed it. Two Latvian language discussion groups have also completed their work, the discussion groups were attended by 69 third country nationals.
In December 2019, six Latvian language acquisition groups finalized their work. Towards the end of their learning the course participants had written the diagnostic test and are preparing for passing the state language examination.
We will start work in new Latvian language groups in Riga and Jelgava at the end of January; the next groups will be opened in September 2020. We will also start the meetings of the third Latvian language discussion group in February, they will take place once a week on Mondays from 17:00 – 19:00 in our (EDC) premises Dzirnavu iela 34a-8, Riga. If you need more information about the possibilities of acquiring the Latvian language and the participation in the Latvian language discussion group, please call (phone: 67503 7030) or write an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
The results of the diagnostic test (A level groups) reveal that course participants have mastered well the skill to work with the text and are able to find the necessary information to perform the tasks according to the requirements. The conclusion expressed by Group 12 participants brought some surprise – the reading tasks actually are not so difficult!
Tasks are performed individually with every participant in the context of the diagnostic test which allows assessing their skills of speaking the state language. They answer interview questions, analyse situations, describe and tell about different pictures. The pedagogical leader of the project Aija Kalve, analysing the results, concludes that participants, in most cases, are able to answer all interview questions as well as they describe well the pictures. The analysis of the situations, especially when one has to formulate the question for clarifying the information, causes the difficulties. However, the greatest problems come from the participants’ fear to make a mistake, the insecurity that they will not understand the question or, just on the contrary, the others will not understand what they have said. This presents a contradiction – the participants themselves underestimate their skills of speaking the state language, and keep apologizing for making mistakes but the observations from the diagnostic test and the points received in the test prove the opposite. The teacher of Group 11 Maija Berķe admits that the teacher has to praise and encourage the participants, and to find topical issues for the discussion because this helps to overcome the participants’ insecurity and the psychological barrier of speaking Latvian.
According to the participants, the most difficult are the tasks included in the writing and listening part of the test. Also the results of the diagnostic test prove that these are the tasks in which the participants got the least number of points. Yet, the participants are able to write the necessary information in the questionnaire, are able to write a simple letter, to formulate questions and answer the questions.
This all has been acquired in only 120 hours! Thank you to the teachers for the methodologically precise work, creative ideas and patience! Thank you to the course participants for the determination, the responsible attitude and the invested time!