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Easy Language in the Context of Modern Pedagogy

Velga Polinska, Dite Liepa
University of Latvia, Latvian Language Institute, Latvia

Abstract. The idea of language simplification roots back to the beginning of the 18th century, and the significance of understandable and accessible information has gradually increased. Although Easy language development is closely linked to the Plain Language Movement, these are two distinct concepts.
Easy language is present in Latvia since the 1990-s; however, its development is still insufficient. Although Easy language is primarily meant for adults, it can be useful for children, too. Moreover, it can provide significant support in both general and special education. Nevertheless, teachers’ understanding of Easy language as a tool and their ability to deliberately apply it is presumably low. Therefore, the aim of the study is to find out whether teachers in Latvia are familiar with the concept of Easy language, how often and what materials in Easy language they use, and how important Easy language, or in other words understandable outlining principles are in the teaching and learning process.
To fulfil the tasks of the study, a bibliographic research method was applied, describing the previous research in the field as well as published teaching resources in Easy Latvian. To explore teachers’ attitudes and knowledge of Easy Latvian, the quantitative method was used – i.e., an anonymous online questionnaire for general and special education teachers was created. The questionnaire had 500 eligible respondents.
The study showed that information about Easy language in Latvia is insufficient, and the concept itself is still linked to a stigma. Nevertheless, teachers are willing to learn more about Easy language, and one third of the questionnaire respondents believe that teachers should be trained during their studies. Besides developing new materials and offering training opportunities, significant attention should be paid to promoting each Easy language-related activity.

Keywords: accessible education, Easy language, general education, special education, teachers’ attitudes

For Velga Polinska, this work is supported by the project “Strengthening of the Capacity of Doctoral Studies at the University of Latvia within the Framework of the New Doctoral Model” (№

For Dite Liepa, this work is supported by the state research programme “Letonika—Fostering a Latvian and European Society” project “Use and Development of Contemporary Latvian” (№ VPP-LETONIKA-2022/1-0001).

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2023. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2023. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 796 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-116-6