UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Riga, Latvia


Latvian Level 1 Beginners

Course description: The Beginners’ Latvian course is intended for those who have no previous knowledge of the language. The course runs over three ten-week terms and each session is two hours long. It develops all four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The course covers:

Topics: pronunciation, the alphabet, some basic grammatical concepts, common greetings and everyday conversation, gradually introducing some aspects of Latvian culture.

Functions: Students are encouraged to engage in dialogues and classroom conversations which familiarize them with a steadily growing everyday vocabulary and a correct grasp of Latvian grammar. Functional language for everyday life in Latvia is covered: shopping, ordering food and drinks, invitations, travelling.

Grammar: present past and future tenses of the verb, other aspects of the verb system, the system of noun cases, agreement between nouns and adjectives, the number system, word order and syntax, idiomatic expressions.

Study materials: The textbook used in the class is Colloquial Latvian (D.Prauliņš & C.Moseley, Routledge 2010). Students will be expected to successfully complete all the lessons in this course, including grammar, vocabulary and exercises, some of them done as class work and some as homework assignments.

In their last term, however, they will be given some additional material (supplied by the teacher) as they approach completion of the Colloquial course. This consists of exercises and class assignments from other textbooks, such as texts and exercises from Do It in Latvian! (Salme & Udris, SI Apgads 1996); Teach Yourself Latvian (T.Svilane, 2009), used as a basis for written work and conversation in class.