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Some Aspects of Ensuring Socio-Cultural Competence of the Student in the Content of Latvian Language

Authors:
  • Rīga Teacher Training and Educational Academy

Abstract

Some Aspects of Ensuring Socio-Cultural Competence of the Student in the Content of Latvian Language Introduction The more changeable social circumstances are, the more important is the responsibility of the teacher to help each student understand his/her specific identity. It is vitally important to realize and fulfil the learners' social role in the particular cultural environment. Aim of the Study To analyze a number of content aspects of the Latvian language as a subject in order to provide the socio-cultural competence of student and to indicate pedagogical tools used to improve it. Materials and Methods The theoretical method - the study and analysis of scientific literature. Results The folklore and the semantic aspect of the Latvian language in the context of providing the sociocultural competence are assessed in the educational provisions, study programmes and the Latvian language educational tools. Conclusions In order to prepare teachers for higher educational establishments it is necessary to include study subjects that would allow future teachers to gain theoretical and practical experience about the traditional culture and to master the proper methodology for learning the traditional culture, working with student not only in the Latvian language studies, but also in other study subjects in the elementary school.
  DOI: 10.2478/v10195-011-0003-z

Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, Latvia
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
Summary
Introduction
The more changeable social circumstances are, the more important is the responsibility of the
teacher to help each student understand his/her specific identity. It is vitally important to realize
and fulfil the learners’ social role in the particular cultural environment.
Aim of the Study
To analyze a number of content aspects of the Latvian language as a subject in order to provide the
socio-cultural competence of student and to indicate pedagogical tools used to improve it.
Materials and Methods
The theoretical method – the study and analysis of scientific literature.
Results
The folklore and the semantic aspect of the Latvian language in the context of providing the socio-
cultural competence are assessed in the educational provisions, study programmes and the Latvian
language educational tools.
Conclusions
In order to prepare teachers for higher educational establishments it is necessary to include study
subjects that would allow future teachers to gain theoretical and practical experience about the
traditional culture and to master the proper methodology for learning the traditional culture,
working with student not only in the Latvian language studies, but also in other study subjects in
the elementary school.
Key words: content of Latvian study, folklore, the semantic aspect of a language, traditional
culture, socio-cultural competence, identity.
Introduction
Tendencies of globalisation bring forward the issue of significance of traditional cultures
of various ethnoses in an international scope, the necessity to acquire cultural values and type of
acquisition in the pedagogical process. During the previous years, Latvian regulatory enactments
for education, education programs mainly focus on bilingual learning as means for ensuring the
acquisition of languages and various ethnical cultures. Such important issue as ensuring a good
quality acquisition of traditional culture heritage of the Latvian ethnos during the learning process
has been tackled less. is exactly has an undeniably significant meaning for formation of each
individual’s cultural identity and feeling of belonging to the State of Latvia, for development of
socio-cultural competency.
Influence of the western culture (pop-culture) nowadays changes attitude towards values,
viewpoints and traditions. A reorientation of values takes place; therefore one of principal tasks
for today’s education process is to facilitate student’s interest in his own ethnical culture and to
simultaneously help understand its place in environment of other cultures.
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Ethnical identity and culture traditions representing this identity are not a quality
awarded to the nation in a ready-made and unchanged manner. ese are chosen, formed during
communication activities and confirmed, recreated anew. ey represent and compete with other
nation identities and their symbols (Bula, 2000).
e language most widely accumulate and express the cultural identity, an ethnos’ experience,
as well as preserve and forward the genetic memory of the ethnos. During the Latvian language
studies, a text, sentence, word can be seen not only in a grammatical but also in a cultural aspect. In
order to give the student a possibility to get better acquainted with the world, where he lives, to form
understanding of the fact that each ethnos has its own view of the world, its own ways, traditions
which are reflectedin thelanguage, that the culture of various ethnoses has similar and different traits,
that tolerant attitude should be cultivated towards otherness, the contents of basic education of the
Latvian language should focus on the socio-cultural competency (Learning process: Latvian, 2004).
By cultivating socio-culture competency during the Latvian language studies, the student
perceives the language not only as a source for intellectual heritage of his own ethnos but also for
cognition of other ethnoses’ culture, ways, and traditions.
Learning of ethnic and general human culture values stimulates true mutual understanding
and helps overcome various ethnic prejudices. Culture should be regarded as means of self-
identification and learning of others and their identification. In the time when borders between
countries, nations and nationalities is rapidly disappearing, when the world experiences the so-
called hybridization process of culture merging, the role of culture traditions and language for
strengthening and preserving ethnos’ identity turns into the most significant aspect of students
learning and upbringing process (Konsa, 2004; Anspoka, Siliņa-Jasjukeviša, 2006).
Aim of the Study
To analyse some aspects of contents of the Latvian language as a study subject for development
of students’ socio-cultural competency and to emphasise pedagogical tools which should be used
for its improvement.
Materials and Methods
e study analyses scientific literature, state and international regulatory enactments on
formation of identity of an individual and ethnos and importance of culture acquisition during the
pedagogical process. Quality of folklore texts and reflection of the semantic aspect of the language
in learning means provided for the Latvian language studies during the first phase of elementary
education (classes 1 – 4) was studied.
Acquisition of the ethnic culture creates positive circumstances for development of each
individual’s personality, life-long career formation and thus facilitates sustainable development of
multicultural society.
In the 21st century, the ethnical culture is the main precondition for attesting the identity
and existence of each nation, especially the smaller one.
Likewise the Latvian cultural politics emphasises the ethnical identities and principle of
safeguarding the cultural heritage. Main tasks of the cultural politics for strengthening the ethnic
identity and cultural values are to improve the safeguarding, protection, study and availability of
Latvian cultural heritage, paying special attention to educating the society on the role of the cultural
heritage for sustainable development of the state. For implementation of this process in cooperation
with the Ministry of Education and Science during the general education process, development and
implementation of an educational program on cultural heritage is supported (State Guidelines for
Cultural Politics for years 2006-2015, 37).
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One of main tasks of the elementary education program is to “form a concept on Latvian,
European and global cultural heritage” (Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers regarding state
standards in elementary education and standards of subjects in elementary education (Cabinet of
Ministers Regulations No 1027 as of 19.12.2006).
Acquisition of cultural heritage is included in the content of first stage subjects of elementary
education program languages, Maths and Technologies, Arts, Man and Society. As a result of
learning and upbringing, the student can acquire a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes which he
needs for self-assertion in multicultural society.
e field of languages includes the Latvian language. One of tasks for the Latvian language
studies is development of the student’s socio-cultural competency because it is important to acquire
“the language as a component of the nations culture and means for cognition, the language as
means for preservation and development of the personality and ethnic identity.” (State Standard of
Elementary Education. e Latvian language for classes 1 – 9, 2006).
Taking into account that nowadays the process of continuation of the traditional culture
in its natural environment - family - is almost non-existent, this function is mainly performed by
educational institution and teachers working there. us the problems on how to grant a sufficient
space for the Latvian language as a subject, how to help the student to acquire the traditional cultural
values during the learning process so that they become his values in the whole life, becomes much
more topical.
e aforementioned problems have become especially important since 16 December,
2004, when the law on UNESCO Convention on Safeguarding and Development of Intangible
Cultural Heritage, stipulating that the Latvian educational system should undertake liability for
implementation of the Convention requirements in a qualitative manner.
e Convention defines the intangible cultural heritage as “practices, representations,
expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces
associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of
their cultural heritage. is intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation,
is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their
interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity,
thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity” (UNESCO Convention for the
Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2006).
e adopted law confers a high importance to the issue on research work in the field of
traditional culture pedagogy, on development of methodology for acquisition of the traditional
culture by various age groups of children, which would be scientifically grounded. International
conventions in the field of culture, which Latvia has joined, bring forward the obligation to take
care of the ethnical culture not only due to self-awareness but also due to safeguarding of universal
cultural heritage (UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2001).
e range of teaching aids approved by the Ministry of Education and Science is wide, the
teacher has the possibility to choose and work with such teaching literature, which in his opinion is
most suitable for the standard requirements of the State elementary education, which complies with
the needs of students in the definite class, for the implementation of the development program and
allows to help the student to acquire the contents of the subject most successfully.
In order to evaluate the reflection of learning contentsexpected for acquisitionof the Latvian
traditional culture in teaching tools for the Latvian language, several sets of teaching aids for the
Latvian language in classes 1 – 4 were analysed: Ā. Ptičkina, Zīle (publishing house Zvaigzne ABC),
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Z. Anspoka, Rudens. Ziema. Pavasaris (publishing house Lielvārds), a set of teaching aids made by
group of authors for integrated studies Ar gudru ziņu (publishing house RaKa).
Although the teaching aids published during the most recent years offer folklore fragments
covering all annual events, although the concept can be perceived on all traditional annual
celebrations including winter and spring solstice, which were a taboo in the so-called Soviet period
(Meistere, 2000), still the mentioned teaching aids do not represent a large amount of included
folklore units (folk songs, tales and others). Upon evaluating the quality of folklore materials
included in the teaching aids, it is apparent that sometimes these provide fragmentary introduction
to ethnical traditions.
e interpretation of contents of the annual celebrations – winter and spring solstices offered
by the authors of the teaching aids should be evaluated critically within the aspect of traditional
culture. Sometimes the authors of books concentrate attention on stressing secondary, more recent
phenomena of culture. e themes for the time around spring solstice have the character of a rabbit
variously interpreted; likewise gnomes are active in almost all annual events.
It should be noted that the rabbit as a mythological character with a specificsymbolic meaning
is more widely known in Germanic mythology and is being focussed on in modern subculture of
supermarkets. By turning an excessive attention to manifold reflection of this character in thespring
solstice texts meant for the first phase of elementary education, the understanding of the meaning of
contents included in the traditional annual celebrations is endangered. Information on significance,
time of celebration and context for the Lielā diena (spring solstice) in teaching aids is reflected in
historical discourse or stressing only the entertaining function of the celebration. Similar note refers
to the gnome character being extremely emphasised in the contents of the teaching aids because it
has little to do with Latvian traditional culture.
In the teaching aid Ar gudru ziņu for class 4 provided for the Latvian language studies, on
page 151 in part 2 has a story “Saulgriežu nakts” (Solstice Night) by Signe Krasnova included, where
the main characters trolls (!) (ere is no such a character in the Latvian folklore) try to reveal the
essence of summer solstice in a conversation.
When including beliefs, riddles and others, the authors of the teaching aids have ignored
information on local source of the offered samples without indicating their place of origin and the
narrator. Such information could rouse the students interest and wish to find out theregions cultural
traditions and would facilitate the concept on formation and development of traditions (Anspoka,
Siliņa-Jasjukeviča, 2006).
e fairy-tales (brīnumpasakas), tales (teikas), legends (nostāsti), short folklore (proverbs,
sayings, riddles) and folk songs reflect the general understanding of ethnical traditions in somewhat
selective manner.
Relating folk songs to seasons has created some problems for the authors of books. Without
connection to human life and thus the related everyday and celebration traditions, there are no such
folk songs, therefore “folk songs” composed by the authors of books themselves appear in the teaching
tools, and they cannot be regarded as a sample of good quality for understanding of the classical folk
song. Quite oen these compositions are so much “improved that the semantic structure of folk
songs is destroyed. “Form of the folk song is as important as its contents, to say in other words, the
form was that secret, from-others-hidden little chamber, the lack of whose knowledge denied the
understanding of the deep meaning of the narrated message. e form was a code of communication
(of one household, tribe, tribal community and the like).” (Kursīte, 1996, 139).
Also the methodological expressions of the authors of books should be equally seriously
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evaluated, since they invite the students to “play” with the folklore text, change it voluntarily, replace,
compose their own variants and the like. It should be agreed that folk songs may have many variants
recorded in the sources, which though different have emerged within the frame of tradition. eir
internal structure, core and message have remained unchanged.
It should be taken into account that nowadays most students have no experience of usage
of the folklore texts because contact with the folklore text is only during the pedagogical process.
us only aer an episodic training during the learning process the student cannot compose his
own variant of the text, which would comply with those criteria being characteristic of the tradition
by using the folk song’s metrics, stylistics, symbols and the like. Using such methods, the student’s
attitude towards the folklore text may become superficial and careless. Skills to use the text in
compliance with the cultural traditions should be realised in a purposefully managed pedagogical
process by acquiring the specifics of the language and form of the culture, learning to see the variety
of the ethnical culture.
A significant problem in the teaching aids is interpretation of word semantics. e offered
samples lack attention drawn to revelation of symbolic meaning. Likewise the methodological
indications do not contain commentaries useful for pedagogical work. Folklore samples, especially
folk songs, during the Latvian language studies have become an exercise for reading skills, mechanical
memory and expressive speech.
“In ritual songs for engagement and wedding, which tell of marriage, quite oen bride and
the groom are not called by their real names but called by the totemic code of birds or animals. Most
typical and most frequently used symbolical pair in the engagement ritual of Latvian folk songs is
hawk and partridge, wagtail, hen, golden-eye, tit, snow bunting, woodcock. In the mentioned pair,
the hawk is a symbolic designation of a male, suitor in the totemic code of birds, but the partridge,
wagtail, hen, golden-eye, tit, snow bunting, and woodcock are the totemic symbols of the female,
bride. e hawk as a bird “from above” embodies a hunter, force, speed, cruelty, active beginning,
is opposed to land birds which embody passivity: the partridge, hen, golden-eye, wagtail, snow
bunting, woodcock, whose natural habitat related to the earth, field, waters. Inthe mythical thinking,
the hawk by symbolising the above, the world of male deities, is opposed to the below, the classifiers
of the earth and matricentric deities – land or water birds. Within the mythical thinking, the birds
are not only the classifiers of cosmic zones, but also symbols of social structures, which are directly
approved by view on birds for pre-ancestors and totems of tribes.” (Ozoliņš, 2006, 12).
Since the approach that themes oriented to culturology are reviewed in unrelated manner
within the content of different subjects (most oen it takes place in the native language, Social
Sciences, Music lessons) is dominating in the issue of acquisition of the traditional culture in Latvia,
then development of socio-cultural competency lack system, context, the folklore text is used as
learning task whose primary aim is not to reveal some phenomenon of the traditional culture, but
to improve the student’s experience of language activity. Oen, the folk songs in the contents of the
Latvian language studies appear in exercises related to improvement of reading ability, acquisition
of language rules, for example, Read the folk song! Find and read, which words should always
be written with a capitalised first letter! Write down the folk song! Write down neatly the rhyme!
Learn one folk song by heart! e folk songas a song to be sung in aspecific situation with a certain
purpose goes to the background. Most oen thestudentshave to learn them byheart andrecite them
for the teacher in front of the classroom, sometimes without understanding the meaning because
the lexis of the folk song is not clear for a modern student without a purposefully planned work.
Such methodology does not ensure sufficiently deep understanding of the student on traditions of
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the ethnic culture, wish to get insight in fragments included in the teaching aids on traditions of
traditional culture, ways and others, quite opposite – it provokes resistance.
In the teaching tools of the Latvian language, mostly short stories and poems can be found.
Likewise the primitive content of these texts helps the student only partially to understand the
essence of the Latvian and other ethnoses’ culture and provoke inner feeling.
Results and Discussion
e learning content provided for the Latvian language studies cannot be focussed only to
acquisition of listening, talking, reading and writing skills. is facilitates the student’s associative
thinking, understanding of values and acquisition of traditions of the ethnic culture. An outstanding
professional need is to see the content of the Latvian language as a study in its whole manifold
interconnection. e study content is characterised by the cultural-historic context, which includes
information on ethnic values, skills to use the acquired information in communication situations
and attitude towards the ethnos’ traditional culture as value in itself and in multicultural society.
Since the socio-cultural competency is characterised also by the ability to perceive the
information included in a word as the basic unit of the language, in a sentence and text regarding
ethnos’ view of the world, its traditions, practices, their differences and similarities in various
regions, in cultures in various ethnoses, then in semantic relation to the learning content of the
Latvian language, the attention should be paid to purposefully planned activity with the folklore
texts and fiction, so that the student hasthe possibility first to discover himself the contentexpressed
in phraseologisms, place-names, local words, related words and various grammatical forms at a
practical activity, and only then to see also the regularity to be observed at literary pronunciation
and orthography.
e folklore texts within the content of the Latvian language studies reveal functional
character of the folklore, its relation to the real life, students can learn the skill to use the folklore
as a significant part of their lives (celebrating annual events, acquiring the folklore of the region,
traditions, practices, history and the like), as well as learn mutual cooperation and thus acquire the
experience of social activity.
As the observed phenomena at practice witness, most oen the teacher’s personal interest,
pedagogical proficiency, enthusiasm and understanding of folklore teaching/learning determines
the quality of student’s acquisition of the traditional cultural heritage and whether this introduction
becomes significantforhim. e processof inheritance and renovationoftraditionstakesplace under
the guidance of a professional teacher, students are those who continue the interrupted process of
inheritance of the traditional culture and carry away also their parents with these ideas. As a result,
the students’ parents are involved in acquisition of the traditional culture, and this newly discovered
experience serves as a factor which unites and strengthens the family, providing a simultaneous
vitality to the cultural values (Оленкин, 2005; Konsa, 2004).
Most suitable model for acquiring the traditional culture within the pedagogical process is
mutually enriching cooperation between students ↔ parents ↔ teachers. When working according
to this model, the acquisition of the traditional culture is a well-justified, purposefully planned
acquisition of the culture in action, when at the same time each person involved in the acquisition of
the traditional culture searches responses to his own life experience, knowledge, and interest (Valbis,
2005).
Getting to know the traditional culture is both the process and the result directed at
understanding experience of self, other person and the world. e traditional culture is an objective
phenomenon. Its diversity, wholeness, distribution, ability to repeat is a material for subjective
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experience therefore learning of traditional culture should be seen as a culture phenomenon which
reflects the mans real life in a concentrated and direct manner and serves as universal therapeutic
metaphor, and is a source for man’s self-cognition and self-assertion. Any form of expression of the
traditional culture includes experience which is simultaneously particular for all people and the
specific ethnos, it hides an enormous force which integrates all energy of its creators – the previous
generations, and is being renewed and recreated repeating each time anew because the traditional
culture texts recited over the centuries have concentrated the collective human experience and the
separate voice of each nation (Jungs, 1994).
Life of each individual contains an endless row of choices, and traditions, which are different
for each nation, determine the limitations or prohibitions. Each nation thus structures its life, turning
into a peculiar, inimitable, unique phenomenon (Зыкова, 2006).
Learning of ethnos’ traditional culture in a unity of content and form is a long-lasting and
complicated process of learning oneself and others, as a result of which the student forms a set
of attitudes towards the environment, a model of behaviour which lets getting along with others,
facilitates the emotional experience and it is means for inheritance of skills particular to the ethnos
(traditional singing, trade and other).
Within the Latvian language studies, by acquiring the traditional culture, it is possible to
show the students the unity of spiritual and material world, thus ensuring the holistic approach
towards development of personality.
Since development of personality takes place in a specific social and culture-historical
environment in interrelation with other people and nature, then it is important to teach the students
to understand the processes in the world around, to find out their relations with the environment,
culture, form their civil position and ethnic belonging, attitude towards cultural-historic heritage,
be able to analyse and influence the processes dominating in the society – to become integrated in
the society and ethnos’ culture.
Within the first stage of the elementary education, an organization of content the Latvian
language study is more suitable, which corresponds to processes in nature and which focusses on
main traditional annual celebrations. Annual celebrations – winter and summer solstice, spring and
autumn solstice, range of other practices related to the individual life of a person – form definite
points of account within the flow of theyear andare the means which structure the person’s (family’s,
group’s, class’) life giving the opportunity to experience our human existence as part of the nature.
Modern individual feels the time as linear phenomenon, in the form of „it was already” and „it will
be”, but the modern individual still has the inner necessity for activities and rituals which provide
significance to the life. e rituals which have been performed within the traditional culture since
the times immemorial and which are taught to students by experiencing the annual events, are
the form which includes self-realization, self-expression, experience of the world and the Divinity
(Зыкова, 2006; Konsa, 2004).
Taking into account the specifics of development typical to smallest children of the school
age, such pedagogical means should be used at the learning process of the Latvian language which
helps the student to become an active participant, curious researcher of the traditional culture.
Understanding of syncretism of the traditional culture is formed as a result of active cognition and
emotional interaction, which are based on feelings – perception – concepts – thinking. Practical
manifold activity of the student lets one’s experience become active, expand and be useful at new
situation, get positive emotions during the learning process, discover the world by the activities of
searching (Anspoka, Siliņa-Jasjukēviča, 2006; Konsa, 2004).
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Within the learning of the traditional culture, the work with the study text is of a huge
importance. e text receives its meaning in context. Each transfer of the folklore text to another
form – a literary, historical or cultural context, grants a new meaning. e folklore texts due to their
dynamic character have many meanings; each repeated usage brings also its previous contexts as part
of the entirety of its countless meanings. ereby the teacherbecomesawareofhis responsibilityin the
process of acquiring the traditional culture and safeguarding it. Within the pedagogical process, the
acquisition of the folklore text is not only an intellectual activity, it should be related to activity – game,
singing of songs, dancing, performance of rituals, practices, which take place in definite circumstances,
context of students’ life or season, learning or celebration situation, the theme to be reviewed.
Holistic approach to the text is a very significant part of pedagogy of traditional culture.
Mythical or the syncretic thinking of the ancestors balanced the reality with its symbolic expression
finding its reflection in the folklore texts. In the course of time, as the thinking, language developed,
the development of the symbol was lost to the reality; however, at the level of the collective sub-
consciousness the symbols are still active. By the folklore text they continue to approach each listener.
At the moment when a traditional culture formula is performed in a definite situation which is
suitable for it (song ritual, dance, game, proverb, saying and the like), the person likewise reveals the
voice of humanity and becomes its creator because it manages this universal voice which included
the universal values, and the persons self-expression takes place in action, enforcing his will, wish,
ability and understanding (Оленкин, 2005; Konsa, 2004).
During the acquisition of the text at the initial stage, the attention should be drawn to explanation
of less-heard words so that the meaning of the text was freely perceived and understood. In the wider
meaning by the help of fairy-tale, tale, legend language, a diverse, purposeful process of acquiring
variants for solving metaphors, meanings, models of behaviours, conflicts is revealed. Any trial to
understand the folklore text is a trial to analyse its semantic and hidden meaning (Зыкова, 2006).
A significant place in content of the Latvian language study should be showed to texts of
narration folklore because the plot of the narration folklore being so rich of characters, gives the
student many revelations in an understandable language regarding his own self and the environment
in total. “is experience is not at all to be related with the child’s experience of the objective reality
acquired during this life, namely, it is not an individual set of associations acquired in this life
provoking only feelings related to associations. e tales address the listener by the help of extra-
personal, divine – this language is born outside the individual experience and included the collective
feeling which has come into being long before people learnt to communicate in the language of
mind. ese feelings then form the human soul and, when a person is born, this soul comes with
him prior to having accumulated any other experience.” (Kālis, 2006, 44).
When working with the youngest children of the school age, there is no meaning and it is
even harmful to explain the figurative expression of tales. It is important to let the child life the text
as an image – learn and feel the characters’ actions, mutual attitudes, and way of solving problems.
e teacher should certainly know the symbolical language, semantic levels, tale’s metaphor. Only
then the pedagogical work will be valuable. Knowledge of the text’s symbolic language, sense and
meaning is available to the teacher at studies of folklore, philosophy, mythology, anthropology,
history, linguistics and religious conception of ethnos. is knowledge develops the ability to see
the hidden meaning of the narrative behind the only seemingly childish content. In turn, a creative
pedagogic environment for using diverse ways to stipulate the student’s learning activities applies the
true tasks of learning, upbringing and developing the students personality within the correlation of
acquiring the traditional culture.
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 
ere are several objective factors which make the acquisition of content of the traditional
culture easy or vice versa makes it complicated. e place, cultural environment of the definite
educational institution, where the student is located, plays an undeniably significant role. Urban
children’s and rural childrens experience on natural processes, concept of differences of economical
life in town-environment and in the country-side is distinct. Urban children have fewer possibilities to
feel the nature’s close influence on human life. At the same time the urban child has other advantages
(possibility to visit museums, exhibitions, use electronic resources and the like). It depends on the
teacher’s professionalism, how purposefully he evaluates the respective cultural environment and uses
the given possibilities for development of the student’s socio-cultural competencies. e student can
learn his own and other ethnos’ culture in a more successful and deep manner, and to form a positive
attitude towards it if the teacher understands and is able to use the “language” of the traditional culture
– musical, choreographic, “language” of objects in their mutual unity – within the pedagogical process
(Зыкова, 2006). is means that for the teacherof the Latvian language, aneed arises not only to know
traditions of various ethnoses (in the latest years, it is extremely important because schools with the
Latvian language as the teaching language have turned into multi-ethnic schools from mono-ethnic
ones), but also to be able to reveal them together with the students verbally, by a song, dance and help
of other movements. Development of the students socio-cultural competence takes place not only
in social and culture-historical environment, but also in contacts with other people and nature. In
a personally important work, it is easier to acquire language user’s experience in correlations and to
understand what is going on in the world around, to form relations with the environment, its culture,
form the civil position and maintain the ethnic belonging, positive attitude towards culture-historical
heritage, to be able to analyse and influence theprocesses taking place in thesociety, to integrate in the
multicultural society and the ethnos’ culture of one’s own.
Conclusions
Latvian culture-educational politics mark the importance of learning the traditional culture as a
whole but the educational programs do not specify the issues of content of the traditional culture,
leaving the subjective interpretation for the teachers.
Since the folklore has not been included as a separate subject in the first stage of elementary
education, it is regarded as one of most important aspects of the content of the Latvian language
study. In the teaching tools for acquisition of the Latvian language too oen show the content of
folklore only in examples existing outside the context as a set of exercises and tasks which do not
create a concept of syncretism of the traditional culture. It is important that the student not only
perceives the information included in a word as the basic element of the language, in a sentence
and text regarding ethnos’ view of the world, traditions, practices, their differences and common
traits in various regions, cultures of different ethnoses,butalso gets a personal inner feelingand the
acquired content becomes a value to his life.
For the student to acquire the folklore content form the teaching aids not only as the retrospection
of the past at work with the folklore texts, such methodological tools and learning organisation
forms should be included, which require his cooperation, contacts with others, need to analyse the
acquired experience, self-assess and valuate it.
A topical need of professional teachers of the Latvian language at work with students is to acquire
knowledge on traditional cultures of various ethnoses, improve the skills to see it in an entirety
together with development tendencies of modern society.
If we wish that each student would get involved in the process of acquiring, safeguarding and
further developing of the traditional culture, the study programs for teachers at institutions of
Unauthenticated
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

higher education should turn more attention to the content of study courses, which are meant for
acquisition of the traditional cultures of various ethnoses and their teaching methods.
e research work in the field of pedagogy of the traditional culture should be emphasised in order
to promote methodology, which would be scientifically grounded for acquisition of the traditional
culture among different age groups because the Latvian system of education has not sufficiently
evaluated the positive influence of acquiring the traditional culturetothe formationof the student’s
value system.
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Professor Dr. paed. Zenta Anspoka
Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy
Address: Imantas 7. līnija, Riga, LV-1083, Latvia
Phone: +371 67808136
Fax: +371 67808034
E-mail: zenta.anspoka@rpiva.lv
Lecturer Mg. paed. Gunta Siliņa-Jasjukeviča
Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy
Address: Imantas 7. līnija, Riga, LV-1083, Latvia
Phone: +371 67808136
Fax: +371 67808034
E-mail: gunta30@tvnet.lv
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Latviešu valoda mazākumtautību skolēniem latviešu mācībvalodas sākumskolā. Riga: Lielvārds
  • Z Anspoka
  • G Siliņa-Jasjukeviča
Anspoka Z., Siliņa-Jasjukeviča G. (2006) Latviešu valoda mazākumtautību skolēniem latviešu mācībvalodas sākumskolā. Riga: Lielvārds, 80 lpp.
Dziedātājtauta. Folklora un nacionālā ideoloģija. Rīga: Zinātne
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Bula D. (2000) Dziedātājtauta. Folklora un nacionālā ideoloģija. Rīga: Zinātne, 186 lpp.
Dvēseles pasaule. Rīga: Spektrs
  • K G Jungs
Jungs K. G. (1994) Dvēseles pasaule. Rīga: Spektrs, 216 lpp.
Brīnumpasaka -dvēseles valoda. Psiholoģija mums, Nr. 2, 44.-50. lpp
  • E Kālis
Kālis E. (2006) Brīnumpasaka -dvēseles valoda. Psiholoģija mums, Nr. 2, 44.-50. lpp.
Holistic Approach to Cultural Heritage: Educational Perspective
  • K Konsa
Konsa K. (2004) Holistic Approach to Cultural Heritage: Educational Perspective. Journal of Teacher Education Training, Vol. 4, p. 19-24.
Latviešu folklora mītu spogulī. Rīga: Zinātne
  • J Kursīte
Kursīte J. (1996) Latviešu folklora mītu spogulī. Rīga: Zinātne, 434 lpp.
Folkloras interpretācija skolas mācību grāmatās padomju periodā Materiāli par Latvijas kultūrvidi: fakti un uztvere. Rīga: Zinātne
  • B Meistere
Meistere B. (2000) Folkloras interpretācija skolas mācību grāmatās padomju periodā. Materiāli par Latvijas kultūrvidi: fakti un uztvere. Rīga: Zinātne, 34.–43. lpp.
Latviešu tautasdziesmu totēmiskā simbolika (radību, krustību un kāzu rituāli). Summary of the promotion paper
  • G Ozoliņš
Ozoliņš G. (2006) Latviešu tautasdziesmu totēmiskā simbolika (radību, krustību un kāzu rituāli). Summary of the promotion paper. Daugavpils: University of Daugavpils, 15 p.
personības attīstība izglītības virsuzdevums ABC lpp
  • Valbis
Valbis J. (2005) Skolēna personības attīstība – izglītības virsuzdevums. Rīga: Zvaigzne ABC, 200 lpp.
Guidelines for State Culture-Politics for years 2006-2015 Rīga: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
Guidelines for State Culture-Politics for years 2006-2015. National State. (2006) Rīga: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, 104 p.