London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 

The potential for bilingual education to help integrate ethnic minority communities within Latvian multicultural society

Author(s) Jurgena, I., Mikainis, Z. & Kevisa, I.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
Keywords/Abstract
Since Latvia regained its independence, the implementation of bilingual education has been one of the main objectives in the field of education as a means for integrating ethnic minorities in the multicultural society. Bilingual education is one of many aspects of multicultural education, which emphasizes the interconnection between ethnic culture and language, and the importance of the transfer of this interconnection for the existence of a multicultural society. At present, several factors can be seen to effect the successful implementation of multicultural education in Latvian education policy: insufficient reflection on national cultures, ethnic identities and the contribution of ethnic minorities, in policy documents concerning national development and the formation of common citizenship identity; the need to improve educational programmes considering cultural, linguistic, and religious factors; insufficient evaluation of subjects considering the acquisition of different languages of instruction, etc. This article is devoted to bilingual education as a means for integrating ethnic minorities in multicultural society, a topical issue for present-day Latvia. The purpose of the article is to clarify the underlying principles of multicultural education and to analyse the experience of implementing bilingual education in the Latvian environment of multi-ethnic communities. Keywords: bilingual education, education policy, integration.
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