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.