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Introduction of Regional Varieties of Latvian Language in Secondary School

Anna Vulāne, Elza Seile
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. Language, including local varieties, is an important component of national identity – subdialects and dialects, as well as Latgalian written language promote awareness and strengthening of regional identity and enrich the national language as a whole. Therefore, it is important that attention is paid to all language varieties.
During the last decades regional varieties of Latvian language have not received sufficient coverage in learning content – there is either no information about them in learning materials or it is minimal. As a result, students not only do not acquire necessary linguistic, cultural and historical knowledge but also their language skills are not being fully developed.
The article describes an experience that was gained in Latvian language classes while using developed lingvodidactic material to promote an understanding of regionalist issues.
In the study, surveys, content analysis and case study methods were used. In trial operation it was determined that 10th-grade students do not have knowledge about regional varieties of the Latvian language, their history and importance in the development of Latvian language. Using the developed lingvodidactic material, students’ knowledge of Latvian dialects, subdialects and the Latgalian written language has improved. The ability to recognize differences between dialects and to acquire necessary information has improved as well as interest in the regional diversity of the Latvian language has been created which promoted development of an overall respectful attitude towards the Latvian language.
The study results are consistent with conclusions from other studies and demonstrate consequences of imperfections in learning content which negatively affect students’ consciousness of national and cultural identity. The situation can be significantly improved by including students’ age-appropriate lingvodidactic material in the Latvian language learning content.

Keywords: dialects, Latgalian written language, learning content, regional studies, subdialects

Anna Vulāne, Dr. philol., is a leading researcher at the Latvian Language Institute of the University of Latvia, professor of the University of Latvia, expert in linguistics at the Council of Sciences of the Republic of Latvia.

Elza Seile, Mg. oec., Bc. paed., is a Latvian, literature and theatre art teacher at Ogre Secondary School No 1.

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