The most frequently asked questions about L4ES

What is L4ES?

L4ES is the abbreviation of Latvian 4 English Speakers which is the name of my signature course. The main goal for you going through this course would be to understand the BIG PICTURE of Latvian as a linguistic system. I teach that through English.

I chose this approach because I noticed the shortage of these things being explained in English. The focus of most other online courses is on teaching various ready-made phrases under certain topics.

The way we make sentences in Latvian is not the same way we make sentences in English. You’ve got to see that BIG PICTURE in order to make Latvian sentences that make sense.

The point of reference for this course is THE NOUN. When we think about nouns in Latvian, we need to think not only about the singular or plural forms of nouns, but also what the gender of the noun is, if the noun is used to specify a location, if a noun is used to describe another noun, if a noun is used as a direct or an indirect object in a sentence, or if it is used to represent an instrument.

Going from there, I explain how other words need to be adjusted. I also outline the main things about verbs, but the main focus is not on verbs. That is because there are other ways to still render the idea you want to convey even if you use the wrong form of a verb. I had to draw a limit somewhere to end the course, and that’s the limit. 🙂

Although it all might sound complicated, once you start learning about this system, you can start looking at it like the Rubik’s cube algorithm. You’ll actually start enjoying playing with it and feeling proud of each of your little victory. But you need to be prepared that it’ll take time until you get the hang of it.


Will I learn by immersion?

The immersion method is more effective for those living or staying in a Latvian speaking environment and learning the basic communication phrases. That’s how children learn. Immersion method trains to understand the spoken language and learning to speak by copying people saying certain things in certain situations.

But the immersion method has limitations. One of them is that you depend on someone to demonstrate new things to you. Also, you’ll have to keep everything in your memory if you don’t know how to write things down. Another limitation is that you can’t learn to express yourself abstractly learning only through immersion. So, how would you learn to talk about relationships, for instance?

I think that automated courses use the immersion method because they don’t explain anything. They only demonstrate. That way they also don’t limit teaching only to speakers of a certain language. I personally like clarity, so I created a course for people who are like me and like clarity.

To summarize, the short answer is NO. I don’t teach through the immersion method. I focus on teaching you how to learn independently after you’ll stop learning with me. In other words, instead of giving you fish, I’m giving you a fishing pole.


How is the course delivered?

I have built a membership site specifically for my online courses. Once you buy one of my courses, I’ll email you the access information for that membership site. You’ll see all the information about the course once you log on. If you buy another course, you won’t receive any access information from me because you’re already a member. To access the new course, you’ ll only need to log on the membership site and look for the new item on the menu.

The course comprises video files, audio files, and PDF files. You’ll be able to download PDF files and audio files. You’ll need the PDF files to do the exercises. You might want to download the audio files to your phone to listen to Latvian while you walk or drive. You ‘ll have constant access to the video files placed on the platform. (Some rare interruptions may occur due to maintenance.)

I also do live sessions using Zoom chatrooms and I consult in writing or in the form of recorded videos within closed Facebook groups reserved only for people who’ve purchased my course.


How long does it take to complete the course?

Students typically spend about 6 or more hours a week for 4 months to go through the course material for the first time. The number of hours per week spent on studies after the first 4 months varies significantly by each student.

If you can’t allocate that much time, you can learn at your own pace. The only draw-back is that you’ll be behind what we talk on Zoom chats. Yet, my students are usually helpful to each other and will help you to catch up with the course if you join chats.

When students start seeing that big picture, they become more eager to interact with me and show me what sentences they’ve created. That’s very normal for adults as they learn differently than children who are not afraid to fall or make mistakes. Adult students become willing to experiment after they accumulate some base knowledge which makes them feel safer.

My suggestion is for you to not compare yourself with the others. Everyone is different and learns differently. I try to give a gentle push to those students who are not showing up because pushing yourself to speak is actually what you should do. Nobody can learn a language only by listening to it.


How long will I have access to the course?

Once you buy the course, the course is yours forever. What stops after a year is my tutoring sessions unless you purchase new ones. I’ve set one year limit for tutoring because I don’t want you to stretch your learning for too long. You want to start using Latvian as soon as possible, don’t you?

So, rest assured that if I ever decide to stop selling the course and close the membership site where it’s located, you’ll be notified about that in advance and you’ll have more than enough time to download the videos.


What are the tutoring times?

When a 4-month session starts, I ask my students to submit the most favorable days and hours for them to join live chats using Zoom software. I pick times that work for most students and myself for those live Zoom chats. The students who are not able to attend can watch the recorded chats whenever it is convenient for them over the 4-month period while the session lasts.

The schedules for Zoom chats are not strictly set. We agree on times every week depending on who wants to participate. Even though I try doing my best at picking times, there will always be students for whom no times I’ve picked won’t work. Those students can submit their questions (in a written form or as a recorded video) on our Facebook group, and I’ll address them during the Zoom chats or I’ll make a special post on our Facebook group.


How do I prepare myself for taking L4ES?

You need to know how to read in Latvian. It’s because I’m not taking the time to teach that in this course. I expect that you know it already. I’m going to show you words, groups of words, changes in word forms and words in sentences. When you watch it all, you want to focus on what I’m explaining instead of wondering about certain letters and sounds.

I have a FREE course which can help you to learn reading Latvian. The FREE course has 4 parts, and you can ask me to deliver it to you via e-mail. Go to the page How I Teach to get the course.

However, while I was testing L4ES, I noticed that the short course was not enough for some students. That’s why I developed the course Sounds & Writing. It’s abbreviated as S&W. This is an extensive course where students can do 36 practice exercises to strengthen their skills.

The dominating type of exercises in S&W is the dictation-style exercise. It is very useful, and I have a video about a non-Latvian speaking woman who maintained her job in Latvia because she had this skill. (It’s one of the first videos on my Featured Videos page.)

I’ve also included listening pieces that train to distinguish certain words in a language flow which is necessary to understand spoken (and sang) Latvian. This is an imitation of the immersion method.

Another fun activity is learning how to Latvianize names. I assure you that you’ll be able to do it too if you take the Sounds & Writing course. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

And there’s one more thing you can do. It would help if you learned some vocabulary in advance. For instance, you can learn the names of things. Pick things that you see around your home or the area where you live and find their Latvian names. You need to learn to say them aloud.

I suggest it because that way you’ll get into the habit of practicing speaking. Also, it’s useful because the focus of my course L4ES is not on teaching certain words or sentences. I focus on teaching you how to build your own sentences so that you can become an independent learner.

But if it sounds too challenging to you, sign up to receive my e-mails about L4ES and I’ll send you a list of some words and you’ll hear them pronounced too. Take your future in your hands. 🙂