Atslēgvārdi:

Latvian Language Proficiency and the Integration of Society

Year: 2004
Financed by:  The Soros Foundation-Latvia; Open Society Institute Justice Initiative Program; JI; Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative; LGI
The study has been prepared as part of PROVIDUS Public Policy Fellowship Program
Language:  English, Latvian

Iesaki citiem:
Thumbnail

Year: 2004
Financed by:  The Soros Foundation-Latvia; Open Society Institute Justice Initiative Program; JI; Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative; LGI
The study has been prepared as part of PROVIDUS Public Policy Fellowship Program
Language:  English, Latvian

Although Latvian language proficiency is gradually improving, a large number of people living in Latvia still have poor language skills. This study analyzes the problem by responding to three main questions:

  • To what extent and in what areas does poor knowledge of Latvian hinder the integration of society;
  • What are the main cause of poor knowledge of Latvian;
  • How can language policy be improved so that it might stimulate learning of Latvian and integration of society. 

The study concludes that poor Latvian language proficiency is an obstacle to integration. It reduces the chances and the motivation of non-citizens to acquire Latvian citizenship. It hinders communication with the administration and restricts opportunities for social and political participation. Although a certain percentage of those who belong to ethnic minorities have no need to use Latvian in everyday communication, the role of Latvian in the job market is steadily increasing, and insufficient knowledge of the language limits both the choices and the competitiveness of job seekers and restricts opportunities for social and political participation. Although a number of government institutions and non-governmental organizations provide Latvian language training for adults, problems arise from a lack of coordination and uncertainty about sources of financing. The study concludes that the demand for Latvian language training is more differentiated and significantly greater than the supply, and it recommends greater government and public support.

The report recommends that the government:

  • clearly define the role of the institutions that will be dealing with Latvian language training in the coming years;
  • address a broader spectrum of the population and provide greater language training opportunities for those who are socially isolated;
  • find long-term solutions to financing problems;
  • promote greater involvement of other agents (local governments, educational establishments, non-governmental organizations and private companies) in implementation of the language policy.  

 Latvian Language Proficiency and the Integration of Society (894.29 KB)

 Latvian Language Proficiency and the Integration of Society (in Latvian) (907.60 KB)

Iesaki citiem: