New conditions for support for those returning to Estonia
70 groups start their Estonian studies
Meet our newest team members!
Prime Minister becomes first guest at Estonian language café
Estonian Language Centre in Narva to show series of Estonian films
Upcoming procurements and application rounds
‘Ku-Ky’ fair coming in March
In accordance with a regulation of the Minister of Culture approved at the end of last year, support for those returning to Estonia will be paid out according to new terms and conditions as of 4 February 2019. The main change is that families experiencing socioeconomic difficulties can now apply for more than 2000 euros in support.
Applications for the support can be lodged by anyone with Estonian citizenship or ethnic Estonians with an Estonian residence permit who:
left Estonia at least 10 years ago or were born in a foreign country and who are coming (back) to Estonia with underaged children or to be with their underaged children; or
are up to the age of 30, were born in a foreign country, have permanently returned to Estonia and obtained their Master’s degree or doctorate abroad; or
left Estonia at least 10 years ago or were born in a foreign country and who suffer from total incapacity for work; or
permanently returned to Estonia no more than six months prior to lodging the application and whose place of residence and the place of residence of any children who returned with them is registered in the Population Register of the Republic of Estonia; or
due to their economic and social status require support to return to Estonia because the means their family has for coping on an everyday basis are below the limit valid in Estonia.
For more information about the support see here
A total of 1120 people started their Estonian studies in 70 new groups around the country in February. Half of the groups are based in Ida-Viru County and the other half mainly in Tallinn, although two groups were also opened in Tartu and Pärnu. Studies of the national language are available at the A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1 levels.
In addition to courses, our language clubs and cafés give people the chance to learn and practise Estonian. A range of Estonian language learning options is also offered by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, and the language can be studied as part of the adaptation programme financed by the Ministry of the Interior.
Estonian language studies are financed by the Ministry of Culture and via the European Social Fund project ‘Terms and conditions of the provision of support for activities promoting integration in Estonian society’.
A number of new faces joined the Integration Foundation in December and January.
Taking up her post as the director of the Estonian Language Centre in Narva on 3 December was Margarita Källo, who has broad-ranging experience of leading projects and working with people from different cultural backgrounds in both Estonia and Finland. She obtained her higher education in social work and international relations and has worked in both business and banking. As a multilingual and multicultural person herself she is aware of the attitudes and approaches that different people can have, whatever their linguistic or cultural background might be.
Joining the Estonian Language Centre in Narva as a teacher on 17 December was Krismar Rosin. Born and raised in Pärnu, he says he never expected to end up teaching Estonian in Narva. He has previously involved himself in social work and tourism and worked for a time as a journalist. In his younger years he tried his hand at a number of jobs, the strangest of which he says was without doubt working in a lollipop factory. Prior to relocating to Narva he worked as an interest group leader and social studies teacher at Ahtme Gymnasium in Kohtla-Järve.
Starting work at the Estonian Language Centre in Tallinn on 14 January were consultant Liina Leetsi and assistant Maris Liiders.
Liina, who has teaching experience, mainly deals with English-speaking clients and Estonians returning to the country. She finds it easy to establish a rapport with those she consults thanks to the year she spent as a volunteer in Armenia. This allows her to sympathise with their concerns and share in their delight when it comes to cultural differences and learning a new language.
Maris, who has a degree in biology from the University of Tartu, has worked as a researcher, as a senior manager in a company and as the head of the Department of Education and Social Services of Harju County Government.
A new series of events was launched at the Estonian Language Centre in Tallinn on 5 February with the very first Estonian language café. Those taking part were not told in advance who the special guest would be, so they were all the more surprised to discover that it was none other than Prime Minister Jüri Ratas himself! The language cafés are held at the centre every Tuesday evening and everyone interested in attending is welcome to do so. Regular information about guests and registration can be found on the centre’s Facebook page.
The Estonian Language Centre in Narva is marking the Year of the Estonian Language with special film screenings. The aim of the evenings is on the one hand to promote the many facets of modern Estonian cinema to visitors to the centre, while on the other hand it is an excellent opportunity for the audience to brush up on their Estonian listening skills. As a rule the films have subtitles in both Russian and English, so the evenings are also suited to less proficient users of Estonian. There will be a warm-up game with the audience before each film, and afterwards a discussion on its themes.
At 18:00 on 27 February everyone is invited to Narva’s Apollo cinema to watch the comedy caper Sangarid, which takes viewers back in time to the 1980s. Three young Estonians escape from the Soviet Union and go abroad in search of the kind of life for themselves that they have seen in such shows as Miami Vice, Knight Rider and Santa Barbara. They are met as true heroes in Sweden for having broken free from the Iron Curtain. But once media interest in them dies down, they discover that they have become little more than troublesome immigrants. To make a living they have to start doing something as ridiculous as work! But the lads are not quitters by nature and put a series of crazy plans into action to make their breakthrough in the West.
The Integration Foundation will be launching a number of procurements and application rounds in the near future, two of which we will be organising for the first time. Namely, we will be opening an application round for the organisation of sports and cultural events all over Estonia being funded by the Ministry of Finance. We will also be launching a procurement to find a partner to teach Estonian and English to entrepreneurs and key employees of companies in Ida-Viru County. In February we will also be launching a procurement for the organisation of language camps for young foreign Estonians, and on 25 February opening a round of applications for support for foreign Estonian cultural associations. You can find out more about the competitions we are organising at here.
The ‘Ku-Ku’ Estonian Language fair will shortly be held once again. In Narva the fair will take place in Narva College of the University of Tartu from 11:00-16:00 on 9 March, while in Tallinn it will be held at the Song Festival Grounds from 11:00-17:00 on 23 March.
The fair is designed to promote different ways of learning Estonian. As part of the event you can:
take a look at the latest study materials;
play brand new language-learning games;
find the right learning format for you;
obtain advice on preparing for the state language exam;
find out all about language immersion;
attend a language café; and
take part in a workshop highlighting the differences between language-learning methods and showing you how to choose the method that is right for you and how to use everyday objects and opportunities to improve your language skills.
Adult learners with different levels of Estonian and different learning needs are welcome to attend the fair.
There will be a prize draw on the hour, every hour. Plus there will be a café, and fun activities will be organised for children. At the Narva fair there will be entertainment from the folk dance group ‘Päikeseratas’, the Hot Arabian Show and the Snake Show. In Tallinn visitors will be entertained by the ‘Fox’ roller-figure skating club, the ‘Leigarid’ folk dance association, fire-wielding magician Maikl and the AN2M acrobats.
Admission to the fair is free of charge.
Organisation of the language fair is being financed by the Ministry of Culture and via the European Social Fund project ‘Terms and conditions of the provision of support for activities promoting integration in Estonian society’.
For further information please contact: