Language Teaching Ideologies, Digital Tools and Social Inclusion: Latvia Case in the Context of the Baltic States

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Course director: Dr.philol. Sanita Lazdiņa

Lecturers: Dr.philol. Sanita Lazdiņa, Mg.sc.comp. Mihails Kijaško

  • Dates: May 18-22, 2020
  • Location: Rezekne Academy of Technologies (RTA), Atbrivosanas aleja 115, Rezekne, Latvia
  • Hours: 40 academic hours
  • Participation fee: EUR 280.00
  • Document on the completion of the course: RTA Centre for Lifelong Learning certificate

Target groups: 

Language teachers, political science, language and culture education students, everyone who is interested in the past and present of the societies of the Baltic States.

General information

Language and Education Policy has always reflected sociopolitical processes and ideologies ongoing in a society. Linguistic and cultural knowledge has been and is a key factor in the successful integration of society, especially in the official languages of a particular country, but also in minority and regional languages.

The course will focus on linguistic and cultural policies in Latvia and other Baltic States, starting from the Soviet period (after the Second World War) and ending with the modern age - the age of globalization and technology. Social and asymmetric bilingualism and society’s attitude towards these topics during Soviet times will be narrated.

An insight into the end of the Soviet period (80-90's) will be given, when bilingual education was introduced in Latvia and Estonia, when demonstrations and protests occurred against it and the societies of these coutries became divided on this issue. An assessment of these processes will be given from today’s perspective, by introducing to the language practice (the use of language in a daily life at the present moment), the most recent education laws, paths and the plan about how these laws will be introduced to schools and informal education.

Languages such as Latvian, Latgalian, Polish, Russian, English, German, Hebrew, etc. and their usage in the public space, in schools and in oral communication will be explored by participating in study tours in so-called the capital of the Latgale region - in Rezekne.

The 21st century will be illustrated by the latest approaches to language teaching: CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach, blended learning / flipped learning etc. Digital tools that can be useful for teaching different languages or other subjects in more than one language (heteroglossic ideology) will be taught. This content will be illustrated by a social context in which a strong emphasis is placed on the successful integration of each individual into society.

Programme

  • Languages and culture in Latvia in the context of the Baltic States: from the state language to the dialects. Introduction (2 hours)
  • Soviet Latvia among other sisters: society, language, education and culture policy, education system. What has remained from that period of time till modern days? Excursion Reading Rezekne (4 hours + 4 hours for an excursion)
  • Educational policy, governance and practice in the 1990s. Bilingual education patterns in Latvia and Estonia. Educational reform. Protests, demonstrations. Visit to two minority schools in Rezekne (4 hours + 4 hours for an excursion)
  • The latest approaches to language teaching in the 21st century in Europe and in the world. Educational reform of Latvia in the context of the Baltic States (4 hours)
  • Multilingualism in society and school. The concept of translanguaging. Excursion The Linguistic Landscape of Rezekne (4 hours + 4 hours for an excursion)
  • Digital tools in the language acquirement. How to integrate local, national and international language acquirement? (8 hours)
  • Reflections about the course: what have I learned? (2 hours)

Learning outcomes

Students will obtain the ability to compare and oppose the language and education policy in the geographical (the case of Latvia in the context of the Baltic States and Europe) and in the diachronic cross-cut (in different time periods of the 20th-21st century). Students will improve the ability to obtain research data in small field studies, to classify them, to analyze and synthesize in the context of the subjects to be acquired. They will also improve the ability to determine factors that affect social processes and to discern the causal links that make changes in a society.

Results to be achieved

Students are aware of the changes in Latvia's sociolinguistic and educational reforms, which have been taking place starting with the Soviet era and continuing up till today. They comprehend the similarities and differences among the Baltic States and in comparison to other European countries. Students comprehend and formulate conclusions about Latvian reforms (particularly educational reform) and their role in the development of a socially inclusive and democratic state. The students attending the course are interested in continuing the research of the Baltic States societies and are willing to return to Rezekne Academy of Technologies again.

For any clarification, feel free to contact our project coordinator. E-mail: Karine.Laganovska@rta.lv.

Rezekne Academy of Technologies , 2019 © Atbrīvošanas aleja 115, Rēzekne, Latvia. Phone: 28325368;
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