In-service training for language teachers
The “National Examination and Qualification Centre Training Services Tender” public procurement competition organised as part of the “Support for the Implementation of the National Integration Programme and for the Capacity-Building of Integration-Related Institutions” project has been won by Bradley Dunbar Associates Estonia OÜ.
The activities of the tender will support the transition in July 2008 to the language skills levels defined in the European language studies framework document produced on the initiative of the Council of Europe. The course will provide 150 language teachers with in-service training related to language teaching methodology, information about the Council of Europe’s language skills levels system and practical knowledge for the assessment of language skills.
The aims of the tender are, via the training course, to bolster and contribute to the development of the Estonian language level examination system in the National Examination and Qualification Centre, and to raise language teachers’ awareness of the principles of assessment of language skills and of the latest developments in language policy in Europe’s big institutions (European Commission and Council of Europe).
The target groups for the course are teachers of Estonian as a second language from both general education schools and language companies, teachers of foreign languages, and those responsible for producing curriculums and study materials.
The project is being funded from the resources of the EU’s Transitional Support and the Estonian Ministry of Education.
For further information please contact Inna Pusikova from the Transition Facility Support Unit
Preparatory courses for Estonian constitution and citizenship examinations continue
The preparatory courses being organised as part of the “Support for the Integration of Individuals with Unspecified Citizenship in Estonia” project will be carried out from the new year by Bradley Dunbar Associates Estonia OÜ.
Courses for up to 1200 participants will be run over six months. Starting from the new year, citizens of third countries who are motivated to apply for Estonian citizenship will also be able to take part in the courses, which are free for all participants.
The latest information about when and where the courses will be taking place can be obtained by phoning the free national number 800 9999. You can also phone this number to register for courses. Advisory centres for citizenship applicants operate in Tallinn, Narva and Jõhvi:
Tallinn advisory centre:
Tallinn, Tõnismägi 2
BDA Estonia OÜ rooms
Advisor Reet Valing
Telephone: 627 4412
Open in February on the following days at the following times:
5 February 10.30 am-12.30 pm
7 February 1.00 pm-3.00 pm
12 February 10.30 am-12.30 pm
14 February 1.00 pm-3.00 pm
19 February 10.30 am-12.30 pm
21 February 1.00 pm-3.00 pm
26 February 10.30 am-12.30 pm
28 February 1.00 pm-3.00 pm
Jõhvi advisory centre:
Jõhvi, Tartu mnt 2
Kersti Võlu Training Centre
Advisor Kersti Võlu
Telephone: 800 9999
Open Monday-Friday 10.00 am-4.00 pm.
Narva advisory centre:
Narva, Kerese 14
Eesti Kodu Narvas
Advisor Maritsa Ort
1st floor, room 118
Telephone: 356 1985
Open Monday-Friday 10.00 am-4.00 pm.
Further information about courses and the terms and conditions of applying for citizenship are available from www.meis.ee/kodanik.
For further information please contact Ülle Kraft at the Transition Facility Support Unit
Teachers teaching subjects in Estonian receive new methodology materials
The Integration Foundation has signed a contract with AS Kuma for the production of new methodology materials for teachers teaching at schools with a language of instruction other than Estonian. In addition to textbooks and workbooks, teachers teaching geography, music and social studies in Estonian will receive worksheets and lesson plans.
Sets of the materials will be delivered to schools in summer 2008. Contributing to the development of the methodology material are teachers from schools in Tartu who have experience teaching the Estonian-language subjects. The total value of the contract is 1.5 million kroons.
Partial teaching in Estonian has been mandatory in schools at the high school level with languages of instruction other than Estonian since September 2007. 63 such schools introduced studies of Estonian literature in Estonian in 2007. In the coming years it will be joined by geography, music, social studies and history.
For further information please contact Ave Härsing from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds.
“How to Teach Business Language” handbook published
The language methodology handbook for vocational education institutions is the first attempt to bring methodological guidelines and advice for teachers of Estonian together in one publication. It is targeted at teachers of business language from vocational education institutions, but the majority of the advice it provides is useful for language teachers generally.
The authors of the handbook, which is to be distributed free of charge to schools, are Tallinn University lecturers Kristi Saarso and Elle Sõrmus, who worked closely with teachers of Estonian from vocational schools before beginning the writing process. May 2008 will also see the release of a series of business language mini-textbooks and audio CDs designed for the Russian-speaking groups in vocational schools, as well as a handbook covering the relevant subject syllabi.
“How to Teach Business Language” was developed as part of the Non-Estonians Integration Foundation’s “Development of Estonian-Language Teaching and Study Materials in Vocational Schools with Languages of Instruction other than Estonian” project (2005-2008). The project, financed through the European Social Fund, was implemented in response to the results of the Faktum survey “Development of Vocational Education in Vocational Education Institutions with Russian as the Language of Instruction” (2004).
In today’s world of business, science and technology there remain few fields in which workers can make do with one language: it has become almost impossible for people in Estonia and abroad to get by in their working lives without international and intercultural communication. Not only do they need general language skills, but also specific business language skills, because the scope of professional vocabulary and texts is enormous. Business language courses are provided by Estonia’s vocational schools, colleges and language companies in a wide range of subjects, from technology and business to construction and cookery.
The online version (PDF) of the handbook can be found here.
For further information please contact Helena Metslang from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds.
News from the “Support for the Transition of Non-Estonian General Education Schools to Bilingual Studies” project:
Training for history teachers from schools with Russian as the language of instruction
- The fourth and final cycle of the series of seminars on turning points in Estonia’s history designed for history teachers from schools with Russian as the language of instruction will be held from 4 to 6 February in Tallinn. This cycle will look at the deportations that took place in Estonia in 1941 and 1949 and the new awakening. The seminars are being organised by the Open Mind Institute.
- Methodology training for history teachers from schools with Russian as the language of instruction will be held on 14 and 15 February in Tallinn and Narva, with visits to classes being delivered in Estonian and discussions of the methodology involved in teaching subjects in Estonian. The course is being organised by the Open Mind Institute.
Training for teachers and subject coordinators from schools with Russian as the language of instruction and education officials
- Training will be held for teachers and subject coordinators from schools with Russian as the language of instruction on 6 February and on 28 and 29 February and for education officials and school management on 21 February. The courses will examine issues related to the transition to studies in Estonian. The training is being organised by Koolituse Korralduskeskus OÜ.
A short play competition has been launched for students from schools with Russian as the language of instruction. Students from years 7 to 12 are invited to submit short plays based on Estonian literature. Further information about the rules of the competition can be found at http://www.meis.ee/est/uudised/index.php?newsID=1540.
February will also see two excursions for journalists and students from schools with Russian as the language of instruction. Students from Tallinn schools will visit the Mustvee Russian High School, while those from schools in Ida-Viru County will visit Annelinna High School in Tartu. Discussions will be held during the visits regarding studies in Estonian, with experts from the Ministry of Education and Research taking part.
For further information please contact Ave Osman from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds.
“In-Service and Language Training for Non-Estonian Speaking Unemployed People” – 2007 in review
A number of training courses were organised in 2007 as part of the “In-Service and Language Training for Non-Estonian Speaking Unemployed People” project for unemployed speakers of languages other than in Estonian registered with the Harju and Ida-Viru County departments of the Labour Market Board.
Job search training was provided to 5 groups with a total of 66 participants; Estonian language training commenced with 7 groups, of which 5 – a total of 48 participants – completed the course; and the participants received vocational and psychological counselling on around 500 occasions.
The surveys carried out by the organisers of the training and the results of the language tests show that the participants acquired the necessary elementary knowledge and skills and improved their language skills.
As part of the project in 2007 the Non-Estonians Integration Foundation began working with SALO Baltic International OÜ, who provide job search training and professional and psychological counselling, and Edukool Grupp OÜ, who arrange Estonian language training. The project is supported by the European Social Fund and the Estonian Ministry of the Interior.
For further information please contact Riina Ring from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds.
ADDITIONAL STUDY & TEACHING MATERIALS
“How Cultural Differences are Construed in the Media”
The authors of these new media-based study and teaching materials believe that discussion in class as to why journalists present news and why readers, viewers and listeners in turn interpret news in different ways will lead to a better understanding of cultural diversity among students.
“How Cultural Differences are Construed in the Media,” a CD and booklet produced by the Centre for Education Programmes of the Non-Estonians Integration Foundation in association with the department of journalism and communication of the University of Tartu, is designed for high schools with Estonian and Russian as the languages of instruction.
The CD includes 6 examples and analysis of television news stories which will illustrate the way in which journalists play up an event. The authors of the material – Halliki Harro-Loit, Kristina Veidenbaum, Kadri Ugur, Valeria Jakobson and Mare Räis – also conducted an experiment in which they showed television news to students from high schools with Estonian and Russian as the language of instruction and looked at how those from different socio-cultural backgrounds and those with different knowledge, attitudes and experiences interpreted the same stories. The interviews conducted with them and analysis of the interviews is included among the study materials.
The authors hope that the chance to look at and compare how the people around them interpret everyday events and the news stories based on them will foster a deeper interest in the reasons for and effects of the differences found therein.
Teachers are also provided with methodological guidelines on working with their students to analyse the news and examine how it is received, as well as information on (television) news and reception theories.
The sample material encourages classes to look at the news as constructions; the differences in their own and other students’ interpretations; and how different background knowledge or a lack thereof can affect interpretation of the news.
The materials will be sent to regional educational offices at the beginning of February. The CDs and booklets will be distributed to schools free of charge.
The Centre for Educational Programmes will be launching the following competitions in February:
“New immigrants in Estonian education institutions”
The competition is designed to support the teaching of new immigrant students in educational institutions with Estonian as the language of instruction. The acquisition of study materials, additional fees and in-service training for teachers, the salaries of support teachers and the organisation of events designed to meet the objectives of the competition shall be financed as part of it.
This year there will be two separate competitions: the first will provide support for the teaching of new immigrant children in kindergarten and the second for new immigrant students in general education schools.
For further information please contact: Külli Vollmer from the Centre for Educational Programmes.
“Studies of Estonian for Non-Estonian Speaking Children in Preschool Institutions”
The aim of this competition is to support the Estonian language studies in preschool institutions of children who speak languages other than Estonian as their native language. The operations of local governments and preschool institutions will be supported within the framework of the competition, as will the carrying out of teaching activities, the acquisition of study materials and resources, and the salaries and in-service training of teachers.
Information days will be held in Tallinn and Jõhvi in February. Further information is available from the website of the Integration Foundation: www.meis.ee.
For further information please contact Marje Sarapuu at the Centre for Educational Programmes.