Estonian language courses last for 120 academic hours. Participants are also required to work independently on the website https://www.keeletee.ee. Each group has a maximum of 16 participants. The courses generally last for four or five months.
In traditional language studies people tend to view the teacher and the textbook as their only sources of information and formal classes as their primary learning format.
But to make learning a language as effective as possible, those studying it need to interact with native speakers of the language and their environment as much as they can. Spontaneous use of a language in real situations is very important, since it helps you gain the courage you need to speak, makes you more fluent in the spoken language and simplifies language-learning generally. Participants can use what they have learned in the classroom in a variety of contexts and the language they are studying becomes more tangible and meaningful to them.
Sometimes not even those who work and study in a language environment recognise the opportunities their environment offers for language-learning. If a student lacks the opportunity outside of lessons to use their Estonian, we recommend that they try a virtual environment: watching television, listening to the radio and/or making use of the Internet (first and foremost web-based publications, newspapers and magazines). That way you can work on all four of your skills: listening to and reading authentic Estonian and finding opportunities to speak and write in the language.
For the more effective planning of language studies and to keep yourself motivated, we also recommend using the guidelines for independent language studies.
In addition to language courses and independent studies, you should practise the language and utilise your skills within the language environment. You can practise your Estonian as part of a:
- language café, where we speak and hear Estonian at the A2 and B1 levels;
- language and culture club, where we speak and hear Estonian at the B2 and C1 levels and go on excursions; or
- cultural programme, where we speak and hear Estonian at whatever level everyone is able to (in Tallinn - ‘Culture Step’ https://estinst.ee/tegevused/kultuurisamm/; in Tartu - cultural programme www.erm.ee/et/news/kultuuriline-loimumine-18).
Looking for friends to practise your Estonian with? Whether you’re learning the language or speak it as your mother tongue, join one of our Estonian language and culture clubs, take part in the culture module at cultural events, contribute to cultural discussions on Facebook or use our online app https://www.facebook.com/groups/raagiminuga
If you want to see a noticeable improvement in your Estonian as quickly as possible, choose the option that’s right for you!