About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8501-8508
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

DEVELOPING AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY PROMOTING MINORITY BILINGUALISM IN PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN LATVIA

D. Markus, T. Zirina

Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy (LATVIA)
Latvia is developing an inclusive society promoting minority bilingualism based on profound mother tongue skills and developed Latvian language skills. Our country provides state-financed education in 8 languages in primary school, in 6 languages in secondary school. Population in Latvia consists of Latvians 62.1%, Russians 26.9%, Belarusians 3.3%, Ukrainians 2.2%, Poles 2.1%, Lithuanians 1.2%, others 2.2% (2011). Latvia is a unitary country and the only country of the world which can assume responsibility for protection and development of the Latvian language. Latvian is the only official State language in Latvia since 1921, status renewed in 1988. State Language Law defines that the Law shall not regulate the use of language in the unofficial communication of the residents of Latvia, the internal communication of national and ethnic groups, the language used during worship services, ceremonies, rites and any other kind of religious activities of religious organizations ( State Language Law, 1999, Art. 2(3)). The task for government is to ensure the sustainability, linguistic quality and competitiveness of the Latvian language as the state language of the Republic of Latvia and the official language of the European Union in the market of languages in Latvia and the world and to guarantee the opportunity to preserve, develop and use the languages of minorities of Latvia. Negative factors are linguistic self-sufficiency of Russian language speakers, high economic value of the main languages in competition.

In the educational aspect of language policy implementation the weakest stage is a pre - school education. Parents from Russian families and mixed families tend to find a place for their children in pre-school settings where language of instruction is Latvian. For many children this is the only place where to learn and use Latvian during five or six years before entering the school with studies in Latvian or bilingual studies. That is why the main purpose of study is to develop an inclusive society promoting minority bilingualism and qualitative acquisition of Latvian as the state language already in the pre-school institutions.

Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy (RTTEMA) has begun to train teachers of pre-school education in diverse ethnical and linguistical environment. Very often professional help is not sought until the delay becomes very obvious. The risk of mis-assessment is especially high for bilingual children. It is very necessary to have appropriate materials to diagnose and develop children language. That is why we have begun Norway grants research activity „Latvian language in monolingual and bilingual acquisition: tools, theories and applications”. The following research resources are created and made available: longitudinal recorded corpora of child language of Latvian monolingual and Latvian-Russian bilingual children: transcribed, coded and annotated; normative dataset of phoneme accuracy of Latvian- and Russian-speaking children; experimental data on phonological and morphosyntactic development for mono- and bilinguals. Assessment tools with related manuals and norms will be available for professionals and parents from the project webpage.
@InProceedings{MARKUS2015DEV,
author = {Markus, D. and Zirina, T.},
title = {DEVELOPING AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY PROMOTING MINORITY BILINGUALISM IN PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN LATVIA},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {8501-8508}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Markus AU - T. Zirina
TI - DEVELOPING AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY PROMOTING MINORITY BILINGUALISM IN PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN LATVIA
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 8501
EP - 8508
ER -
D. Markus, T. Zirina (2015) DEVELOPING AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY PROMOTING MINORITY BILINGUALISM IN PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN LATVIA, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 8501-8508.
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