Russian vocational schools take steps towards Estonian-language studies
Estonian-language studies are not only important to students from general education schools: those studying in vocational education institutions also need to develop skills in the national language in order to get by on the labour market and in society. More than 130 vocational schools claim that there are many obstacles to them teaching in a second language, but the number of such schools where Russian-speaking students are able to study certain subjects in Estonian is nevertheless growing.
The series of teaching materials developed by the Integration Foundation in association with OÜ Miksike is designed for use in professional classes in vocational schools with Russian-speaking students. The materials, produced by teachers of such subjects in vocational schools, is meant to help students in Russian groups acclimatise to an Estonian-language working environment and to get to know professional terminology and texts.
All of the materials have been edited and comprise professional texts and figures, with the texts accompanied by translations of new terms and other words and related exercises. Reviewer Vladi Purro is full of praise for the visual impact of the materials: “The way it’s put together is great. The teaching material is clearly and comprehensibly illustrated, categorised and supplied with icons that aid in orientation.”
E-studies can be carried out with the help of the materials: the same texts with interactive exercises are available to everyone online at www.kutsekeel.ee. The reviews the series of seven textbooks have been receiving confirm their reliability: “It would be hard to make the content any better or any more in line with the mandatory modules the students have to take.” The materials are also suitable for use in the teaching of professional language in Estonian as a second language and to groups.
Published materials: Meelis Pääro: Standardi EVS 807:2004 kasutamine kinnisvara korrashoiu korraldamisel (Tallinn Kopli Vocational School); Tatjana Karaganova: Keevitus (Tallinn Industrial Education Centre); Irina Muravljova: Höövelspoon (Tallinn Kopli Vocational School); Edgar Hansen: Treimistööd (Tallinn Industrial Education Centre); Hergi Kruusimaa & Aare Helinurm: Joonestamine (Tallinn Polytechnic); Aleksei Sedjakin: Programmijuhtimine (Tallinn Industrial Education Centre); and Olga Popova & Natella Mihhailova: Diagrammi- ja skeemiloomine (Ida-Virumaa Vocational Education Centre).
The Integration Foundation and University of Tartu handbook Erialaõppe ja keeleõppe lõimimisest will also soon be published. An information day regarding the series of teaching materials and others developed as part of the European Social Fund’s “Development of Estonian-language teaching and study materials in vocational schools with languages of instruction other than Estonian” project will be held at 10.30 am on 4 June in the National Library. For further information please see www.meis.ee.
For further information please contact Helena Metslang from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Working assignment project reaches final stage
June will see the end of activities forming part of the “Staff Excursions within Estonia for Language Practice” project, which was launched in May 2005 in order to implement the European Social Fund measure “An educational system that guarantees labour flexibility, coping and lifelong learning and is available to everyone” in Estonia.
The aims of the project were to support the formation of an open, democratic and multicultural society in which the people living in Estonia enjoy equal access to education and employment opportunities through improved language skills and social competence and to ensure that rescue workers and police officials working in the public sector who speak languages other than Estonian the level of language skills required by law and for their work.
Four stages of language courses were held as part of the project, in which more than 400 rescue workers and police officials studied Estonian in Tallinn, Paldiski, Jõhvi, Kohtla-Järve, Narva and Sillamäe.
The courses in Tallinn and Paldiski were organised by AS TEA Keeleõpetus and the NPO Eesti Keele Suhtlemiskool while those in Ida-Viru County were organised by AS Kesk-Eesti Arenduskeskus.
The 120-hour courses, offered at elementary, intermediate and advanced levels, enabled the students to improve their reading, listening, speaking and writing skills with the guidance of a teacher and prepared them to take the state language exam.
30-day working assignments for language practice were undertaken by 82 employees of the Eastern, Southern, Western and Northern Police Prefectures, 52 workers from the Eastern Estonian Rescue Centre and one rescue worker from the Northern Estonian Rescue Centre. The language practice was preceded by training on how to survive in a foreign language environment. The staff excursions were carried out by AS Kesk-Eesti Arenduskeskus.
All of the activities forming part of the project are being financed by the European Social Fund and the Estonian state budget. Involved as partners in the project are the Police Board and Rescue Board as well as prefectures and rescue centres. The project was launched by the Integration Foundation.
For further information please contact Tea Kotkas from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Teaching materials for Russian-language high schools about turning points in Estonian history set to be published
The Integration Foundation and publishers Argo are set to release a supplementary study kit of materials on Estonian history titled Turning Points in Estonian History: Documents and Materials for High Schools with Russian as the Language of Instruction and Turning Points in Estonian History: Additional Materials for Teachers. Both sets of materials were produced by the project team of Andres Adamson, Toomas Karjahärm, Mare Räis, Vjatšeslav Žiburtovitš and Einar Värä.
The following is an extract from the principle guiding the development of the study kits:
“The target group of the kits is students and teachers from general education schools with Russian as the language of instruction, and anyone else interested in the subject. The aims of the materials on Estonian history, which are designed for schools, classes and groups which study or teach in Russian, are to improve the level of teaching of history in schools with Russian as the language of instruction, and to assist in the transfer to studies in Estonian. We have tried to make the teaching of history more scientific, but also more exciting and engaging, and to help students manage better as part of the endless progression of history.”
Both study kits are to be published in Estonian and Russian, and will be distributed to general education high schools free of charge. Training days to introduce the materials to teachers will be held on 31 May in Tallinn, 2 June in Tartu and 4 June in Jõhvi.
The study kits are being published as part of the Integration Foundation’s “Support for the Transition of Non-Estonian General Education Schools to Bilingual Studies” project.
For further information please contact Ave Osman from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Estonian in vocational schools
An information day about teaching materials forming part of the European Social Fund’s “Development of Estonian-language teaching and study materials in vocational schools with languages of instruction other than Estonian” project will be held at 10.00 am on 4 June in the National Library in Tallinn. The study materials published as part of the project will be introduced, including the following:
- Mare Kitsnik: Eesti keele õppekomplekti vene õppekeelega kutsekoolile (Ilo Kirjastus);
- Kristi Saarso & Elle Sõrmus: Kuidas õpetada erialakeelt: Metoodika käsiraamat (Eesti Ekspressi Kirjastuse AS)
- Tiina Kikerpill & Elle Sõrmus: Erialaõppe ja keeleõppe lõimimisest: Käsiraamat vene õppekeelega kutseõppeasutustele (Eesti Ekspressi Kirjastuse AS)
- The series of teaching materials on Estonian as a professional language (10 sets)
- Teaching materials for Estonian-language vocational classes (7 subjects)
At the end of the conference a brief overview of the development of the e-teaching materials website www.kutsekeel.ee will be presented.
The first part of the conference day will include a discussion studies of Estonian and studies in Estonian in vocational schools. Presentations will be given by Irene Käosaar, Maie Soll and Rita Siilivask, specialists from the Ministry of Education and Research.
For further information please contact Maria Ratassepp from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Kindergarten Language Immersion Programme Summer School
Summer school will be held from 5 to 7 June in the Männisalu Training Centre in Võsu. 60 kindergarten teachers and directors will be in attendance. The main topic covered at the summer school will be language learning through drama, presented by the Open Mind Institute. Also presenting the results of their research will be Airi Kukk from Tallinn University and Maarika Mae from Tallinn Allika Kindergarten.
For further information please contact Svetlana Belova from the Language Immersion Centre.
Language immersion classes will be graduating from the following schools this year:
- Narva Pähklimäe High School
- Narva Old Town State School
- Tallinn Pae High School
- Tallinn Karjamaa High School
- Tapa Russian High School
- Kohtla-Järve Tammiku High School
- Lasnamäe High School
- Narva Humanities High School
- Narva Joala School
- Sillamäe Estonian High School
- Tartu Annelinna High School
The meeting of directors of educational institutions who have joined the language immersion programme will take place on 26 and 27 June in Rakvere. The main topic of discussion will be the language immersion strategy for 2009-2013.
For further information please contact Marju Randlepp from the Language Immersion Centre.
National culture society project competition to be launched in June
The goal of the national culture society project competition is to support the promotion of the languages and cultures of national minorities through a range of events around Estonia.
Non-profit organisations whose objectives, as stated in their statutes, meet those of the planned activities will be supported as part of the project.
The deadline for submission of applications is the end of August.
For further information please contact Kristina Pirgop from the Culture and Youth Work Unit.