APRIL 2018

Integration Foundation celebrates its birthday
The ‘Ku-ку!’ Estonian language fairs are done and dusted. How did they go?
Director appointed to Estonian Language Centre in Narva
Not sure how to mark Diversity Day?
Get to grips with Estonian using an innovative language-learning programme
Estonian Jewish community invites everyone to attend international conference
Welcoming Programme’s spring trainings launch in April and May


Integration Foundation celebrates its birthday


On 5 April the Integration Foundation marked its 20th anniversary in style at the SpaceX event centre. Ministers responsible for the field of integration since 1998 took part in an engaging debate moderated by Eestlase käsiraamat /Handbook for Estonians/ author Mihkel Raud. Musical entertainment was provided by singer Elina Nechayeva and the ensemble Comodo.

During the debate, former Ministers of Population Affairs Katrin Saks, Eldar Efendijev and Paul-Eerik Rummo agreed that while changing people’s attitudes is what takes more time than anything else, quite a lot has been achieved in the last 20 years.

To see all the photos of the event please click here: http://www.meelikyttim.com/Events/Integratsiooni-Sihtasutuse-20-aastap%C3%A4ev/n-HBqtRM/

To see the anniversary film which was presented at the event please click here: https://youtu.be/SVlWEP24e5U



The ‘Ku-ку!’ Estonian language fairs are done and dusted. How did they go?

They went well – so much so that the Integration Foundation plans to organise further such fairs.


A total of 1400 people attended the fairs:

400 people in Narva

1000 people in Tallinn


A total of 350 people attended the workshops at the fairs:

150 people in Narva

200 people in Tallinn


13 institutes showcased their language-learning opportunities at the fairs alongside a wide range of other ways of studying Estonian independently. Sales of learning materials were particularly successful – to the extent that the sellers had to have more brought in from stock to meet demand.


At the Tallinn fair an entire language course was up for grabs in a prize draw: the innovative Game Club ‘Estonian for communication’ course known as ‘Juhan’, whose lucky winner was drawn at the end of the event.


Director appointed to Estonian Language Centre in Narva


The director of the new Estonian Language Centre in Narva as chosen by the Integration Foundation will be Jelena Kordontšuk, who has wide-ranging experience in leading projects and as a language teacher in both schools and adult education.


Currently working as an Estonian teacher at Narva Language Lyceum, Kordontšuk will take up her post as director in mid-April.


Irene Käosaar, the director of the Integration Foundation, says the Estonian Language Centre in Narva will be launched by a director with the determination to make it a success – one with a track record in a number of educational institutions in the border city for achieving results.


“We’re sure that Jelena’s experience and the breadth of her awareness of the local situation will make the Estonian Language Centre in Narva a real hub, where people with mother tongues other than Estonian can study and practise the national language,” she said.


The main challenges facing the newly appointed director will be building up the Estonian Language Centre in Narva as a structural unit within the Integration Foundation, putting together and managing a successful team, creating a network with professionals from the field and moulding an appropriate public image. The Estonian Language Centre in Narva is scheduled to open on 2 January 2019.


The competition to find a director for the Estonian Language Centre in Tallinn failed to produce a result and the search continues. “We’re looking for someone with extensive experience in education management and integration issues who’s very much about people-centred management,” Käosaar explained.


Not sure how to mark Diversity Day? Invite a national cultural association to come and visit or take a trip to Pärnu and Haapsalu!


Who better to represent cultural diversity than national minority cultural associations? The aim of Diversity Day (25 April) is to recognise and appreciate what makes every person important and unique.


To showcase the values that Diversity Day embodies, why not let the Integration Foundation help you invite a national culture association to visit your company or organisation? During their visit they can:

  • reveal the secrets of their national cuisine;
  • give a folk dancing demonstration;
  • teach you their national handicrafts;
  • give a fun concert;
  • give an engaging talk; or
  • put on a fascinating exhibition.


If you’re interested in inviting a national cultural association to pay you a visit, we recommend contacting our Head of Partnership Relations Kristina Pirgop. You’ll find her contact details below.

You can also find out more about national cultures in Pärnu and Haapsalu, where three events are being organised as part of Diversity Day:

on 22 April at 11:00-15:00 the Pärlike dance collective will be hosting an open day with the theme of ‘Slavic folk dancing’ in Pärnu at Karja 4;

on 25 April from 10:00-16:00 the Bereginja Russian Folk Culture Centre will be hosting an open day in Haapsalu at Kastani 7. There will be an exhibition, and a workshop will be given on how to make protective dolls known as the ‘Eye of God’;

on 29 April at 14:00 there will be a poetry event at which poems are recited in the mother tongues of people of different nationalities in Pärnu at Rüütli 23 (2nd floor).

For further information please contact: Kristina Pirgop | Head of Partnership Relations, Integration Foundation | Telephone: +372 659 9024 | E-mail: [email protected]

Get to grips with Estonian using an innovative language-learning programme


In March, the Integration Foundation introduced the innovative language-learning programme Speakly, which was developed in Estonia and enables people who speak other languages to learn Estonian free of charge.

The programme is otherwise only available for a fee, but from now on, anyone interested can start learning Estonian on the basis of Russian, English, German or French free of charge. It is the Integration Foundation’s gift to those wishing to learn the language on the occasion of Estonia’s 100th anniversary. Please note: use of the programme will remain free of charge after the centenary year.

Speakly is a language-learning programme which can be used on a computer or a smartphone and which employs a three-step system to help learners gain a good communicative level in the language. Step 1 is all about vocabulary. Step 2 is when you start writing and speaking. Step 3 involves practising every situations.


Special memory techniques are used in the programme to make memorising new information easier. The programme works out for itself which words you need to practise more and the best time for you to do so. User experiences have shown that Speakly enables motivated learners to quickly gain new language skills. To do so, users need to learn at least 15 words a day with the programme, which takes 35 minutes on average.


How to access free Estonian studies via the programme:
First, go to www.speakly.me and click on ‘Buy now’. Next, log in and select Estonian. Then choose any package and enter ‘EV100’ as your discount code, which will annul the fee. Take the test to determine your language level and voila, you can start!

For further information please contact: Ott Ojamets, CEO, Speakly, mobile: +372 51 20 938, e-mail: [email protected] 


Estonian Jewish community invites everyone to attend international conference


A conference dedicated to three anniversaries being marked in 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel and the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Jewish life in Estonia – will be taking place at Tallinn Creative Hub from 9:30-17:00 on 23 April.

The conference will examine relations between Jews and Estonians in the present and past. Proclaimed a century ago, the Republic of Estonia gave the Jews living in the country the chance to freely foster their community life and establish themselves as a national minority. It also supported the development of Zionism in Estonia and the start of repatriation to Israel, which enabled Estonian Jews to contribute to building up the restored state of Israel.

Speaking at the conference will be Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, chairwoman of the Estonian Jewish Community Alla Jakobson, Israeli ambassador Dov Segev-Steinberg, Estonia’s chief rabbi Shmuel Kot and others. Simultaneous interpretation (in Russian, Estonian and English) will be provided at the event. Registration: http://www.jewish.ee/konverents2018/#register The conference is being funded by the Ministry of Culture.


For further information please contact: NPO Estonian Jewish Community, telephone: +372 662 3034, e-mail: [email protected]


Welcoming Programme’s spring trainings launch in April and May

Martin Tulit, Ministry of Interior


The spring season of the Welcoming Programme meant for foreigners who have recently arrived in Estonia launches in April. Moving to a new country is an exciting journey, however, full of challenges. For the settling to be as smooth as possible, Estonia offers foreigners to participate in a free Welcoming Programme.


The programme consisting of different trainings provides foreigners with an overview of the main subjects that they need to know about when settling in Estonia. For example, the trainings introduce the general way of life in Estonia, different aspects of working or doing business, studying or carrying out scientific work in Estonia.  There are also courses to teach the basic level of the Estonian language. In addition, the trainings provide foreigners with practical advice regarding settling in Estonia with a family. Altogether, the Welcoming Programme has seven one-day trainings on various subjects and a two-months Estonian language course. The teaching languages are English and Russian, and the trainings take mostly place in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva.


Who can participate?

All foreigners who have been living in Estonia for less than five years, have received a temporary living permit or hold a temporary residence right (E.g. the citizens of the European Union), are eligible for the free trainings of the Welcoming Programme.


Support for the employer

A large proportion of the foreigners arriving in Estonia come here for professional purposes. Helping a foreign specialist to settle in Estonia might be challenging for the local businesses for several reason. For example, foreigners may neither be familiar with Estonian working culture, everyday life, rights and obligations nor have any command of the local language. Hence, both businesses that employ foreigners and foreign specialists need some help. The Welcoming Programme is proving support for the companies by reducing their workload in helping the foreigners to settle in as well as teaching the Estonian language. If a study group is sufficiently large, and in agreement with the tutor, companies may have trainings organised at their premises.


Why participate?

All Welcoming Programme trainings are free of charge. Trainings are practical; cover many real life examples that enable participants to understand the content better and put it into practice. All trainings take place in an open and supportive learning environment with professional tutors. In addition to gaining new knowledge and experience, participants have a great opportunity to meet new people and start building their Estonian network at the trainings. All trainings are carried out by Expat Relocation Estonia. The Welcoming Programme is funded by the European Union via the European Social Fund and by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Estonia.


Read more about the Welcoming Programme: www.settleinestonia.ee