Course content

The course covers the basics in Latvian grammar, pronunciation, morphology, syntax, oral and written skills. The course is directed to beginners in Latvian and there are no requirements for previous Latvian language knowledge.


The course uses English as the “contrastive” language, meaning that you will learn Latvian via English. That is why you should have excellent command of the English language

Since the course is internet-based, most of our communication will take place digitally. You are therefore expected to have basic knowledge in word processing and in internet usage. You should also have access to a computer with network access. Barring other instructions, most assignments can be submitted as Word documents.


Course Duration

The course takes place from week 39 to week 49. The first module will be published on the university’s education platform ATHENA on Monday, September 24, 2018.


Work process

  1. Please send an e-mail to Lilita Zalkalns ( who will then register you for the course.
  2. Next, you should activate your university account. Otherwise you will not have access to the education platform ATHENA, nor will you receive updated course information. See for information on how to activate your university account.
  3. After activating your university account and logging into ATHENA, you should create an account at Wordalist ( and Quizlet ( or search for Quizlet in your favorite app store). Both are free of charge. In ATHENA, you will also have the possibility to ask your teacher questions and meet your fellow students in a discussion forum.

Once a week you will work with a module. The level of difficulty in each module increases over the run of the course. You may use all the helping aids you need to read the texts, listen to the audio files and solve the assignments. You will receive a total of 8 modules during the course, where each module will cover several aspects of Latvian: grammar, pronunciation, morphology, syntax, oral and written proficiency. You will submit your assignments in your file on ATHENA. The teacher will read your answers and give you feedback.

Several times during the course you will be required to participate in group/individual discussions or seminars via Skype, ATHENA, or other web platform.


Examination takes place continually via your submitted assignments on ATHENA. The time limit to submit assignments for Module 1 is October 8, 2018, i.e. two weeks after the module is released. Thereafter, participants who have not handed in their assignments will have their course registrations cancelled, i.e. you will be removed from the course.

The time limit for the other seven modules is 4 weeks. If you discover that you do not have time to follow the course (when you have already registered), we ask you to do an early break (tidigt avbrott) by the third week after the start of the course. In this way you will have the opportunity to apply for the course again at another time. If your do not take an “early break”, and if you want to join the course again later, there is a risk that you will not be able to take the course, due to the participant number restrictions.


Course Literature

  1. Ilze Auziņa et al: Atvērsim vārtus! Can be downloaded as an e-book on: (click on the red box "lejuplādēt" next to the green "Mācību grāmata" at the bottom of the page). The pdf-file will also be available on Athena.
  2. Ilze Auziņa et al: Atvērsim vārtus! Exercises. Found here:  (click on the text "Atversim vartus!")
  3. Dace Prauliņš: Latvian: an essential grammar. Routledge, London, 2012. Found as electronic resource at Stockholm University Library.
  4. Dzintra Kalniņa et al: English-Latvian Dictionary/Latvian-English Dictionary. Avots, Riga, 2003. Or any other appropriate dictionary, or online, e.g.,, etc.
  5. Additional material in the modules (on ATHENA)

Grades and Examination

Grades are given according to a criterion referenced seven-point scale: A=Excellent, B=Very Good, C=Good, D=Satisfactory, E=Adequate, Fx=Insufficient, F=Fail. The grading criteria can be found on  A student who has received a grade of E or higher may not be examined again in order to get a higher grade.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have shown an ability to

  • acquire elementary knowledge about Latvian morphology and syntax
  • account for Latvian pronunciation and spelling principles
  • express oneself in elementary Latvian using common greeting and farewell phrases

The course is regulated by a course plan

The aim and content of the course, as well as the course literature is regulated by a course plan that is confirmed by the board of the Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German. The latest course plan is on the department’s home page. Forms of examination and obligatory attendance are also confirmed by the department board. These cannot be changed during the current term. After each term, the course is reviewed, and we take note of student views on course content and course plan. All students are requested to make their views known to us either during the course, or in the special course evaluation which is distributed at the end of the course.

Plagiarism and cheating

The Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German does not accept any form of plagiarism or cheating. You as student are responsible for carrying out your studies and examinations in a correct manner. This means, among other things, that in all works you must be careful to provide sources and references, and make sure that all direct quotations are correctly cited.  By using the words and thoughts of others, without naming the sources, you are guilty of plagiarism. Neither are you allowed to use your own previously written assignments and essays (self-plagiarism) without citation. Plagiarism may be a form of cheating, which may lead to getting a failing grade and/or a suspension from studies. More information (in Swedish):