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DECEMBER 2013
02.12.2013

A survey on the use of Estonian in Russian-language vocational education will be presented
More than a thousand public sector employees improved their Estonian proficiency with the help of the programme
Integration project “Estonia begins with you” for young people commenced
Pupils of vocational schools learn Estonian through exciting activities
Content and language integrated learning course for trainers completed
Estonian language project camps and family study activities were supported
Project support was awarded to 25 Sunday schools of cultural societies of national minorities


A survey on the use of Estonian in Russian-language vocational education will be presented

A public presentation of the survey “Use of Estonian language instruction in vocational education groups where the language of instruction is Russian” will be held on 10 December from 10:30–13:30 in the Cupola Hall of the National Library of Estonia in Tallinn.

“The survey provides an overview of current Estonian language learning and possibilities to make it more efficient. The survey looks into the present status of the Estonian language in Russian-language groups of vocational upper secondary education; for example, it was examined how much Estonian is used to teach general education subjects and specialty modules, how good the opportunities to have a traineeship are in an Estonian language environment and how many professional examinations pupils take on Estonian,” Liilika Raudhein, the coordinator of Lifelong Learning Unit of Integration and Migration Foundation Our People, explained.

According to Raudhein, assessments will also be presented on how various necessary stakeholders consider teaching general education subjects and speciality modules in Estonian and to which extent they are ready to learn and teach in Estonian. “The survey also addresses obstacles that are seen in the transition to instruction in Estonian and gives suggestions on measures to overcome these obstacles. One of the tasks of the survey was to analyse the current level of Estonian language proficiency among the heads, teachers and pupils of vocational education institutions and whether they feel the need for additional study of the Estonian language,” Raudhein added.

Pupils, teachers and heads of vocational schools were questioned in eleven vocational education institutions in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County in September and October. 437 pupils that acquire their vocational upper secondary education in Russian-language groups, 215 teachers and 34 heads of schools participated in the survey.

The Ministry of Education and Research took part in the preparation of the survey. Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) contracted the survey to be done within the framework of the programme “Language Learning Development 2011−2013” financed from the European Social Fund. The survey was carried out by OÜ Saar Poll.

The deadline for registration in the survey presentation is 7 December.

For further information and to register for the presentation, please contact: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator, MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 6599 841, e-mail liilika.raudhein@meis.ee


More than a thousand public sector employees improved their Estonian proficiency with the help of the programme

With the aid of Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA), more than one thousand officials, teachers, healthcare providers, librarians and culture specialists improved their Estonian proficiency over three years.

To organise language courses, MISA sought suggestions from agencies in which they described what kind of Estonian language courses the employees of their agency need based on their individual needs. The goal of the programme was to offer adults whose mother tongue is different than Estonian and whose Estonian language proficiency is insufficient the opportunity to become proficient in the official language at the required level for managing in their daily life and coping with their professional duties. The target group included, for example, teachers, police officials, healthcare providers, prison officers, librarians, rescuers and other employees working in the public sector.

“In order to offer the representatives of these professions the most suitable Estonian language courses, over the years MISA has gathered suggestions from agencies on the most efficient ways to teach their employees Estonian. This means that language studies are targeted at the particular agency, taking into account the specifics of the area the agency is involved in, and it is more effective as a result,” Tea Kotkas, the coordinator of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, explained.

“The efficiency of language study initiated by the agencies and the motivation of learners was demonstrated by a high participation rate during the courses, a high number of successful learners that completed the course and the participants’ wish to continue learning,” Kotkas added.

From language learning activities, combined language learning was preferred, which means that in addition to classroom study various active learning methods and language practice outside of the classroom were used. Language learning activities included, for example, study trips and visits, cooperative meetings and much more.

Language studies of public sector employees are being supported within the framework of the programme “Language Learning Development 2011−2013” of the measure “Language Learning Development” of the priority axis of the European Social Fund “Human Resources Development Operational Plan”.

For further information, please contact: Tea Kotkas, Coordinator, MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 659 9061, e-mail tea.kotkas@meis.ee


Integration project “Estonia begins with you” for young people commenced

In September, MTÜ Avatud Vabariik launched a project intended for young people aiming at the participation of young people with different cultural and language backgrounds across Estonia and supporting the better integration into Estonian society of young people whose mother tongue is Russian.

The focus of the project “Estonia begins with you” is on young people that are European third country nationals and young people with undefined citizenship, and the project strives to create a basis for better integration and a more supportive attitude. The project includes regular club events, career-related meetings at agencies and companies as well as motivational conferences and development discussions in the integration policy.

“Regular club events in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva are designed for discussing topics related to young people, education and integration. The club events provide an environment in which young people can raise their citizen competence and communicate with peers with different cultural backgrounds. The young people will gain experience in having discussions with specialists of various organisations and agencies. Career-related meetings are also being held in agencies and companies, and motivational conferences are being organised,” Sergei Metlev, MTÜ Avatud Vabariigi project manager, explained.

“Young people will have an idea of how it is possible to achieve success in Estonia and learn about the success stories of nationals whose mother tongue is different than Estonian. This is extremely important for Russian-speaking young people and European third country nationals who are not that motivated in Estonian labour market. Personally coping with professional life and the belief that success is possible in Estonia are important motivational factors of integration,” Metlev said.

Metlev spoke about a visit in October on board the Tallink ship Victoria where they met the head of the hotel sector, which gave the young people practical experience and enhanced their confidence. In October, club events were held in Tallinn and Tartu that focused on the level of voter activeness. In Narva, the discussion addressed negative stereotypes in the Ida-Viru region and how the rest of Estonia sees this region.

Club events that deal with the role of the media in integration are planned for November. Metlev agrees that the media is one of the strongest influencers of integration and it is intended to discuss the problems of two different information spaces with the participation of young people and experts.

“It is planned to organise an integration camp at the end of the project where young people will prepare their own vision on the integration of Estonian society up to 2020. As the project supports the general integration process, it is important to enable the target group to talk about integration at national level. The project is constantly gaining momentum. We have many exciting events ahead to which we expect young people to come. We invite educational institutions and other organisations to cooperate and we believe that by September 2014, when the project ends, integration in Estonia will have been given one more important and positive impulse,” Metlev said, in requesting cooperation.

The project is organised by MTÜ Avatud Vabariik and its implementation is financed by Integration and Migration Foundation Our People from the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals and via the state budget through the Ministry of Culture.

For further information, please contact: Maarja Mänd, Coordinator, MISA Multi-national Education Unit, tel 659 9853, e-mail maarja.mand@meis.ee


Pupils of vocational schools learn Estonian through exciting activities

At the initiative of Tartu Vocational Education Centre, pupils of three vocational schools whose mother tongue is other than Estonian improved their Estonian language proficiency this autumn with the help of joint study trips and a captivating psychodrama method.

In November, a joint language study day of pupils from Tartu Vocational Education Centre, Valga County Vocational Education Centre and Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Centre was held in Tartu. Mixed groups of pupils of three schools were formed that together visited the exhibition and filled in work sheets at the Estonian National Museum and the Science Centre AHHAA. They also participated in a joint Estonian language class at Tartu Vocational Education Centre where problem based learning was applied. The pupils had to organise an international conference and make all the preparations for the conference themselves, such as organising the registration of guests, preparing presentations and presenting them, and compiling and carrying out a quiz to introduce their school and the town of Tartu. In December, joint language trips of pupils of three vocational schools to Valga County and Ida-Viru County will be organised.

The organiser of language study trips is Tartu Vocational Education Centre, which has helped pupils of different specialities learn Estonian by using elements of psychodrama, for example. “Using elements of psychodrama is a challenging experience in which participants can take on different roles and learn the language by working together. Learning the language through improvisation is an interesting and engaging activity that is well suited for pupils of this age group. Improvisation encourages pupils to express themselves better, and receiving and accepting feedback is also a very important part of learning,” Ellen Aunin, the teacher of Estonian language of Tartu Vocational Education Centre, said.

Drawing on their earlier good experience, i.e. the first study trips were organised and an Estonian language course using elements of psychodrama was held at Tartu Vocational Education Centre from autumn 2012 to spring 2013, Tartu Vocational Education Centre involved other schools in the initiative. The pupils’ positive feedback led to the decision to continue with the project and include pupils from other schools in the activities.

Study trips and classroom study is supported within the framework of the activity “Additional language study for pupils of vocational schools and adult upper secondary schools” of the programme “Language Learning Development 2011−2013” of the European Social Fund.

For further information, please contact: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator, MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 659 9841, e-mail liilika.raudhein@meis.ee


Content and language integrated learning course for trainers completed

A course for the trainers of content and language integrated learning (CLIL) was carried out from March 2012 to November 2013 with the help of Integration and Migration Foundation Our People.

“The main topics of the course were CLIL-related topics, creating a motivating learning environment for adults and group management skills. As the CLIL methods and principles are compatible with the requirements set down in the national study programme for basic schools and upper secondary schools, participation in the course helped in better understanding the opportunities and challenges the new study programme presents,” Koidu Tani-Jürisoo, the project manager of the course from the training centre of Avatud Meele Instituut of SA Omanäolise Kooli Arenduskeskus, commented. The course included 120-hour additional training and a 16-hour study seminar. The goal of the training was to increase the number of CLIL trainers and offer better support to teachers of different subjects of general education schools.

According to Koidu Tani-Jürisoo, Mare Orman from Finland (HAMK University of Applied Sciences), who was invited to the study seminar held in April 2013, presented a captivating presentation on the development of the topic of multiculturalism using the example of Finland.

“The participants highlighted in their feedback that they felt a significant influence on the development of their teaching skills as well as personal development. It was also said that the training helped better understand the content of the CLIL method and see education as a whole. The practicality of the training and the cooperative learning process, which increased personal motivation and courage to take on new challenges, was greatly valued. We hope that the new trainers will bring all of this to teachers, but primarily to pupils,” Tani-Jürisoo said.

The training was organised and carried out by the training centre of Avatud Meele Instituut (AMI) of SA Omanäolise Kooli Arenduskeskus and 35 teachers completed it successfully. The training course of CLIL trainers was implemented with the support of Integration and Migration Foundation Our People and the Ministry of Education and Research.

For further information, please contact: Maarja Mänd, Coordinator, MISA Multi-cultural Education Unit, tel 659 9853, e-mail maarja.mand@meis.ee


Estonian language project camps and family study activities were supported

Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) supported four organisations within the framework of the project competition “Estonian language studies for young people in families and project camps”, which will organise Estonian language and culture studies in Estonian families and youth camps next year.

The budget of the competition was 140,000 euro and the activities were supported with a total of 135,294 euro. Support was awarded to MTÜ Veeda Vaheaeg Võrumaal to organise learning in families and to MTÜ Lastekaitse Liit, Sillamäe Upper Secondary School, Narva 6th School and Keila Rural Municipality Government to organise Estonian language learning at youth camps.

Contacts of organisers of learning in families and camps are available on the MISA web page.

For further information, please contact: Sandra Nuudi, Coordinator, MISA Multi-cultural Education Unit, tel 659 9855, e-mail sandra.nuudi@meis.ee


Project support was awarded to 25 Sunday schools of cultural societies of national minorities

Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) supported 25 Sunday schools of cultural societies of national minorities with 99,035.20 euro.

This support is intended for aiding the study activities of Sunday schools, paying salaries, obtaining learning materials and literature in mother tongue, acquiring office supplies for study activities, covering study facilities rent and costs of organising events and other reasonable activities directly related to study activities.

The activities necessary for the daily work of Sunday schools of cultural societies of national minorities were financed from the state budget through the Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the “Estonian Integration Strategy 2008–2013”.

For further information, please contact: Kristina Pirgop, Coordinator, MISA Multi-cultural Education Unit, tel 659 9024, e-mail kristina.pirgop@meis.ee