Project ELRI-087- Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation
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Within the framework of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation programme, The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) has completed a project of refresher courses for Estonia's Russian-speaking speech therapists.

MISA, Narva College of the University of Tartu and the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia have joined forces to give refresher courses to 55 people who took part in a training and traineeship programme in Estonia and in Russia.

It is estimated that 15% of Estonia's nursery and primary school pupils need the services of Russian-speaking speech therapists.

Unfortunately there are no possibilities for Russian-speaking speech therapists to study Russian language based speech therapy in Estonia despite there being a very urgent need for it as the differences in the two languages affect the teaching methods. When native Russian-speaking children need the help of a speech therapist but are unable to access such services, they suffer in many ways because if a person can't speak their native language, it's highly unlikely that they'll be able to learn a second language.

The project had 3 target groups. The first group consisted of higher education speech therapists who work with native Russian-speaking children, students writing their master's thesis in speech therapy and Estonian-speaking speech therapists. The second group consisted of teachers with special needs education skills. The third group were teachers who do not have a higher qualification in special needs education but who would like to work with native Russian- speaking children.
The project's entire budget was around 200,000 euros and its total duration was 2 years from April 2012 until April 2014. At the end of the project recommendations for creating a new study programme for special needs education were given.

The project was 90% financed by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) within the Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation programme 2007-2013 with the remaining 10% financed from the state through the Ministry of Education and Science.

Practice in Russia

55 speech therapists from Estonia arrived at Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia within the EU project «Exchange of cross-border experience to enhance the quality of special education» on 19 March, 2013. The advanced training courses were specially organized for them by the Herzen University's specialists.
55 speech therapists working in the educational institutions of Estonia and performing their work in Russian arrived in Herzen University. They took the advanced training at the Faculty of Special Education of Herzen University. The guests were welcomed by the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of Herzen University V. Kantor and the Dean of the Faculty of Special Education A. Antropov.


The advanced training courses lasted until 21 March, 2013. This training was held within the ELRI-087 project «Exchange of cross-border experience to enhance the quality of special education» which got its funding from the European Union. Launched in 2012, the project united the Integration and Migration Foundation “Our People” (Tallinn, Estonia), University of Tartu with its Narva College and the Faculty of Special Education of Herzen University.


Study visit to Tartu and seminar in Tallinn from 21-25 of October

In the project SPEECH ELRI-087 there was a 3 day study visit to Tartu to give an overview of special education in Estonia from 21-23 of October, 2013 and a seminar in Tallinn in 24th of October and a small feedback meeting with the Russian partners in the 25th of October, 2013 about the study visit and seminar. 

The purpose of this 3 day study visit to Tartu was to give an overview of special education in Estonia. The participants were from Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia and from Tartu University. On the first day the Herzen University guests visited Tartu University’s subunit Narva College, where the special education trainings where carrried out in this project. In 22-23th of October all the participans visited different special educational schools, kindergardens and institutions. Also in the 22nd of October the Tartu University and Herzen University special education curriculum experts met to discuss the futuure plan for cooperation in order to improve the special education in both countries.
In the Tallinn seminar on the 24 of October the subject was „ Education in Estonia and in Russia for russian speaking speech therepists“. In that seminar both Estonian and Russian experts gave presentations. Also the best two participants, who where in training in Narva and in practice in Russia, made presentations. All of the presentations were published after the seminar in a collection of articles called "The education of Russian-speaking speech therapists in Estonia and in Russia". The collection of articles was distributed to the participants and project partners at the beginning of 2014. 


On February 12, 2014 a semianar called “Modern Educational Standards and Speech Therapy help: European and Russian Dimension” took place on the Faculty of Special Education of Herzen University. Different aspects of questions of speech therapy were discussed. Many specialists and experts took part in the seminar: scientists, administrators, teachers, instructors, students and others. The project was summed up, results and perspectives of the project were discussed.


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