free web hosting | website hosting | Web Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting

Cultural Diversities East and West: Postcommunism, Postcolonialism and Ethnicity

Central European University, 22 July-2 August 2002

Fellow profile

Sveiki visiem!
Name

Mara DIRBA

Country LATVIA
Residence  —
Nationality Latvian
Sex Female
Age 39
Zodiac sign Gemini
Educational background
  • B.A. in History, University of Latvia (1986)
  • M.A. of Pedagogy, University of Latvia (1996)
  • M.A. in English Philology, University of Latvia (2000)
  • PhD student in Social Pedagogy. I have handed in my doctoral dissertation "Pedagogical and socio-psychological Determining Factors of the Formation of Latvian identity"
Present position PhD student
Teaching assistant, teaching English Functional Communication, Academic Writing, Functional Grammar, Hermeneutics.
Employer University of Latvia, Faculty of Modern Languages
Research interests Cultural awareness. National identity. Inter-cultural communication.
Current research The formation of cultural identity in the multicultural society of Latvia.
Conferences, competitions...
  • 2001, May — Klaipêda, Lithuania — The Association of Teachers' Education in Europe (ATEE) International Conference "Changing Education in a Changing Society" — paper: "Developing European and Latvian Identity"
  • 2001, Nov. — Kaunas, Lithuania — 5th International conference "Current Issues of Cultural and Spiritual Development" — paper: "The Criteria for the Formation of European and Latvian Identity"
Professional affiliation LATE (Latvian Association of Teachers of English)
IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as Foreign Language)
Publications (selected, in English)
  • "Presenting Latvian identity". Proceedings of the International Conference "Role of Social-Humanitarian Sciences in the System of the University Education", Kaunas: Akademija, 2000, p. 238-242.
  • "Pedagogical Aspects of the Latvian Identity Formation of Children from Bi-cultural Families". Educational Psychology, Vilnius, 1999, no.3, vol. 2, p.33-37.
  • "The Criteria for the Formation of European and Latvian Identity". Current Issues of Cultural and Spiritual Development: research Papers of the 5th Internationa lConference, Kaunas: Akademija, 2001, p. 218-224.
  • "Exploring Cultures: Two Latvians in Gdansk", ELT Newsletter Latvia, Riga, 2000, LATE, The British Council, no.9, p.26-7.
  • "Developing Latvian and European Identity / Realizing Educational Problems", Proceedings of the th International conference ATEE, Klaipeda: Klaipeda UP, 2001, p.114-119.
Excerpts from publications "The Criteria for the Formation of European and latvian Identity" (conclusions)

The results of the questionnaires, interviews and observations are indicative of the fact that the schools where Latvian is the language of instruction provide multiple possibilities for the pupils to identify with the culture and society of Latvia and Europe, yet almost no opportunities of developing identification with the minority cultures of Latvia. In addition, in most of ethnically mixed families, where one of the parents is Latvian, the second cultural identity is not facilitated. Therefore, the assertion of the students that it is essential to teach the child the cultures of both parents and that double cultural heritage enriches the personality is manifested only in words. The work done by minority schools is not enough to solve the problem. The teachers of the schools where Latvian is the language of instruction are not prepared for facilitating intercultural communicative competence and acquisition of the cultures of Europe and the world.

Case study for the summer course  —
Statement of interest I am Latvian, represenatitve of a "small" nation at the crossroads of Europe. Born in 1963 I have been taught in Soviet schools. I have experienced the Singigig Revolution that led to the restoration of the independent state of Latvia in 1991.

My first speciality being history, I have combined it with studying philology and pedagogy. It is essential to be aware of the influence of German, Russian and other Eastern or Western cultures in the multicultural society of Latvia. The teachers should become cultural mediators promoting tolerance and understanding of cultural differences, yet stressing similarities and synergy gained in the interaction of cultures. Therefore, I have worked out the programme for teacher training course "Cultural Awareness" to be applied at the Faculty of Modern Languages University of Latvia. The aim of the course is to develop the understanding of the concept of cultural communicative competence and the methods of facilitating it.

Personal message  —
Plans for the future Planing to teach courses on: Cultural Awareness, Intercultural Communication.
Likes Getting to learn more about other cultures, listening to the Beatles, Clannad, doing and receiving  Shiatzu massage. I love, I adore nature.
Dislikes When peeople are being rude, violent, intolerant
Hobbies Reading, swimming, searching the net, enjoying nature.
Foodfest suggestion Jāņu siers..
Thanks for visiting my webpage! Pateicos, ka apmeklēji manu mājas lapu !
See you soon in Budapest! Saredzēsimies Budapeštā! !
Contact E-mail to: dirbamara@hotmail.com

 Now, please add more information about yourself by filling in this form.

Previous: Sven Cvek.
Next: Azra Hromadzic Back to fellows' list.