Few Russians apply to re-take Latvian exam after first fail

Russian citizens taking the mandatory Latvian-language exam have a possibility of repeating it if they fail the first time. Only about a third of those who failed have applied so far, Latvian Radio reported from the meeting of the Saeima Citizenship, Migration, and Social Cohesion Committee on June 21.

Between March and the end of May, 8,393 Russian citizens applied for official language tests. They need to know Latvian at the A2 level. The exam is divided into four parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The exam was successfully passed by 43%; 15% did not come, while others failed. The main reason for this was that they did not know how to write in Latvian.

"Most don't pass one part which is writing literacy. [..] I would like to say that the good thing is that this skill can be sorted out by certain preparation. It is a simple text that needs to be written where there is a set number of errors that can be made, and we do not require absolutely perfectly correct text. The assessment depends on the number of errors. I think these are not outrageous demands, indeed," said Liene Voroņenko, head of the State Educational Content Center (VISC).

With the decision of the Saeima, Russian citizens are now given a second chance to pass the exam. 1,271 Russian citizens applied for this in June. About a thousand have applied for the exam in Rīga, others in Daugavpils and Liepāja. According to the VISC, many of them still learn Latvian, so the exam could be taken in August or September.

The Ministry of Education and Science is currently working on a common framework for learning the Latvian language for adults, which is planned to be included in the national policy guidelines next year.

Due to the amendments to the immigration law, for those people who have previously been Latvian citizens or non-citizens (aliens), but have taken Russian citizenship, the requirement for knowledge of the official language at the level of A2 is mandatory.


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