Language communicative competence within the development of inter-ethnic relations in Latvia

Keywords: language acquisition, ethnical identity, social identity, language communicative competence, inter-ethnic communicative competence, social tolerance and detachedness, national self-awareness, social adaptation, orientation of cultural values
Language: In Latvian

The Latvian nation, similar as other European nations, in order to maintain its ethnic identity should confirm and develop the social and civic identity in their own country purposefully improving the communicative competence of inter-ethnic groups and forming positive social cultural environment. The article focuses on the development of attitude of Latvia’s inhabitants, mainly the Russian-speaking ones, towards the Latvian language and the development of Latvians’ attitude towards another language as a value. Attitude towards language can be considered as one of the main factors affecting inter-ethnic relations. The article is based on a research within which a survey of language communicative competence has been elaborated and implemented, based on the approach of cognitive constructivism revealing the quality of language communicative competence which includes: linguistic competence, sociolinguistic competence, cognitive competence pragmatic competence, strategic competence, philosophy of language acquisition and use or approach towards language acquisition. A total of 847 respondent replies from three regions of Latva were used for research. The research was conducted in 2006–2009, but the acquired data are still applicable for analysis of language communicative competence from different aspects. The analysis of social detachment shows high association of all Latvia’s society with the Western society and Western culture, and its acceptance. The conclusions are that the orientation of cultural values significantly differs — Latvian-speaking group of respondents focuses on traditional cultural values but the group of Russian speakers — on psychodynamic cultural values which essentially correlate with the indicators of adaptivity of Russian-speaking respondents.