Venue: Pärnu. Date: 12 August
Lack the courage to speak Estonian? Sign up for a course!
What unites people who speak different languages? Football, extreme sports and fun runs!
How can we integrate people from different cultural backgrounds?
You can study and practise your Estonian in summer, too!
More than 800,000 euros to be allocated for the organisation of culture clubs
Who will organise Estonian language courses for teachers from Ida-Viru County?
Meet our new employee
Adding an exotic touch of spice to one of the season’s drawcards, the ‘Augustiunetus’ festival, will be the national minority summer celebration ‘Multicultural Pärnu’.
The main organiser of the festival is Galina Ivanova, originally from the Baikal region in Russia, who has been living in Pärnu with her family for years. She took on the responsibility of organising the festival 17 years ago with the idea of offering cultural associations the opportunity to put on public performances.
“I knew the associations had interesting performances they could stage, but didn’t really have any chance to do so,” she explains. “But Pärnu in summer is full of visitors, and they’re always looking for something new and interesting to watch or hear or do. That’s where the idea came from.” Thus was the festival born.
Over the years, performers from further afield have started contributing to the event in addition to the local cultural associations. Galina says that this year’s participants include Ukrainians from Lithuania, Buryats, Uzbeks and Kazakhs from Latvia, Poles from Tallinn and Chuvash from Narva.
As ever, Galina will do everything she can to make their time in Pärnu enjoyable – including offering her own summer house as accommodation, with room for up to 20 guests. “Everyone’s always so taken with the festival and with Pärnu in summer that they want us to invite them back the next year!” says Galina.
You heard right – because a survey among those who have successfully completed free Estonian studies in the last two years reveals that taking part in the courses gave 80% of the respondents the courage they needed to communicate in the national language.
Since 2015, more than 3000 people have successfully completed the free Estonian language courses organised by the Integration Foundation. A comprehensive survey is carried out as part of the courses in order to better understand the needs of the participants and their motivation for taking part in the language studies. More than 1000 of those who have attended the courses have filled in the survey, the majority of them living in Tallinn and Harju County, and around a third in Ida-Viru County.
Their feedback shows that the greatest effect taking part in the courses has had on them is an increase in their interest in learning Estonian: 90% of respondents said they were now even more interested in studying the language than before. The survey also revealed that:
- 80% of respondents now have the courage to communicate more in Estonian;
- 70% have started making more frequent use of Estonian in their everyday lives; and
- 60% find it easier to follow Estonian-language news on television, on the radio and in newspapers thanks to the courses.
- The results of level testing indicate the same: 97% of participants demonstrated an improvement in their language skills after taking the courses.
Better language skills = better job?
Asked what motivated them to sign up for the courses, the respondents said that one of the key factors was the hope of finding a better job. 26% felt that they had encountered problems finding work in the preceding 12 months precisely because of their language skills, while 52% had experienced this in the past. These figures are in line with recent analyses of the ethnic and linguistic division of the Estonian labour market, which show that skills in the national language are one of the most important factors affecting opportunities on the job market, even though the extent of the influence they wield can depend greatly on the region and the field of work.
A desire to communicate with Estonian colleagues and to belong to Estonian-based professional networks was another key factor which motivated participants to take the courses. No less important is the wish to be better informed of developments in the country. Interestingly, the media consumption of those who took part in the survey differs from that of those involved in the recent Integration Monitoring. Whereas among the monitoring respondents the most popular media channels were Russian television channels and PBK, followed by the Russian-language news programme of the Estonian National Broadcaster, among the language learners the most important sources of information were Estonian Russian-language media channels (web portals, but also the aforementioned news programme), with media channels produced in Russia and PBK in second place.
The Integration Foundation organises free Estonian language studies as part of the ‘Activities supporting integration in Estonian society’ project of the European Social Fund. Almost 5000 people will have taken part in the courses by the end of 2017. The free studies will continue to be offered as part of the project until 2020.
For more information on the survey conducted among the language learners, please contact:
Marianna Makarova, Head of Research, [email protected]
For more information on opportunities to participate in language studies, please contact:
Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion, [email protected]
This year we are supporting six sports projects that contribute to greater social cohesion. A total of 42 applications were submitted to the competition, which is being financed by the Ministry of Culture.
Take a look at the projects being organised with the help of the Integration Foundation.
The Narva Energy Run, which was organised by the NPO Estonian Club for the Organisation of Sporting Events on 10 June for the seventh time, gives people in Estonia another reason to visit Ida-Viru County. Thanks to the event, residents of the county integrate more successfully into Estonian cultural space and the things taking place here.
The ‘Football Unites!’ project of the Estonian Football Association brings together youngsters from Kiviõli, Sillamäe, Paldiski, Kohtla-Järve, Narva and Jõhvi, including girls from Ida-Viru County aged 5-14 who speak Russian as their mother tongue. For the first time, the association is inviting almost 200 girls to take part in the football festivals being held in the county. They will take part in training and games led by female Estonian coaches.
The ‘Integration in the Name of Better Choices through Exciting Sports Activities’ project of the NPO Airpark Sports Club gets young people who speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds moving and talking together. They also train coaches from Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru counties, south-eastern Estonia and the islands so as to extend the experiential sports field geographically and organise sports days at the Spot of Tallinn extreme sports hall.
The sports involved are aerobics, acrobatics, gymnastics, rollerblading, street dance, skiing, cycling, BMX freestyle, BMX cross, skateboarding, scootering, skating, longboarding, tricking, parkour, freestyle skiing, snowboarding and trampolining.
The International Athletics Week Competitions of the Estonian Athletic Association from 8-14 May attracted hundreds of sports-loving kids aged 7-12 to Tallinn, Ida-Viru County, Valga and Haapsalu, from Russian- and Estonian-medium schools alike. All of the competitions are 100% team events, with a focus on every team member playing their part. The teams are put together on the spot using the ‘number sequence’ method. The kids learn to work together, and not just with their classmates or those they attend training with, but other boys and girls as well.
The Sports Training and Information Foundation is translating a training textbook for trainers into Russian. In 2013 and 2014, leading specialists from Tallinn University and the University of Tartu and experts from the field rewrote a training textbook for trainers from cover to cover. Translating the textbook into Russian will mean that both Estonian- and Russian-speaking trainers receive the same training. The same materials in two languages will help all of the trainers in learning the other language and familiarising themselves with terminology specific to the field.
The NPO Ethical Links is organising joint events involving Estonians and newly arrived immigrants in Tartu. People from different cultural backgrounds come together for football games and other recreational events. They are informed about sports opportunities in Tartu and are encouraged to play sport in the city’s sports clubs alongside locals.
4536 people with citizenship other than Estonian lived in Tartu in 2015. An estimated one thousand foreigners are coming to Tartu each year, and this number is constantly rising.
The Integration Foundation has selected nine cultural projects promoting integration for funding to the total value of 48,000 euros. These projects create excellent opportunities for residents of Estonia who speak different languages to communicate with one another.
Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion with the Integration Foundation, says there is no more effective way of integrating people from different cultural backgrounds than by getting them to talk to one another. “Attending cultural events and taking part in workshops gets people who speak different mother tongues talking together more,” she said.
Below is an overview of the projects that are being funded.
OÜ ÕM Festival’s ‘Voice of the Hills’ is a one-day festival of music and cinema that is being held on three stages and in an underground cinema at the Estonian Mining Museum. It will provide an eclectic programme, from rap to techno and a documentary programme focussing on Ida-Viru County. Performing at the festival will be Tommy Cash, Röövel Ööbik, St. Cheatersburg, Gorõ Lana, Dead Furies and Holy Motors as well as artists from Tallinn and Ida-Viru County. The underground cinema, which has been created in cooperation with the Sõprus cinema, will be screening Eldoraado (1971), Poissmees ja Volga (2014) and Tuhamäed (2017), for the latter of which the festival marks its premiere.
The Ida-Viru County Integration Centre project ‘Comings and Goings in Culture’ is an educational undertaking involving visits to museums (including the new Estonian National Museum) and a series of lectures and discussions. 200 young people from different schools in Ida-Viru County will be taking part.
The ‘Musical Bridges’ project of the Centre for the Further Training of Musicians will involve hundreds of youngsters from schools in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County. Four workshops are being organised as part of the project, which will culminate in December with a joint concert involving all of the schools.
Russian-medium Narva School no. 6 is working with Estonian-medium Kambja School to organise a joint dance festival going by the name ‘United by the Language of Dance’. The festival will involve dance workshops as well as a visit from the Vanemuine Theatre with an educational programme entitled ‘Dance through the Ages’, which will showcase the history of Estonian ballet and teach the participants dance steps. Students from the Vanemuine School of Dance and Ballet will present excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ballets and the theatre’s own productions.
The Lastekaitse Liidu Lastelaagrite OÜ project ‘The Magic of Science’ will be bringing the AHHAA science theatre to children’s camps.
The NPO Allika Küla project “Let’s Play Instruments Together” will be organising an accordion masterclass and concerts for youngsters.
The NPO Eesti Semiootika Selts project ‘I Remember’ will be bringing together young people from Russian- and Estonian-medium schools to discuss the content of Leelo Tungal’s work Seltsimees laps. Contributing to the discussion alongside the students will be historians, journalists, film-makers and semiotics specialists.
The NPO Rajamuusika project “Festival IDeeJazz’17 @ Narva” will be bringing jazz music to various parts of Ida-Viru County.
Nutigeen OÜ’s project ‘Family Robotics Day: Kids as Robotics Teachers’ will be a bilingual robotics event.
A total of 28 applications were submitted to the competition. The maximum amount of support that can be granted to a single project is 10,000 euros.
For further information please contact: Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion, Integration Foundation, telephone: +372 659 9069, e-mail: [email protected]
Here is some information on the language clubs and courses being held over the summer.
23 Estonian language and culture clubs will be holding get-togethers around the country in July:
- 15 in Ida-Viru County (two in Kohtla-Järve, two in Ahtme, one in Jõhvi, one in Sillamäe and nine in Narva); and
- eight in Tallinn.
The members of the clubs were selected by the Integration Foundation from the list of those who registered in 2015 for Estonian language studies and/or from among those who have completed the B2-level language training commissioned by the foundation.
Anyone still wishing to join one of the Estonian language and culture clubs should keep their eyes open for notifications of new groups, which will be opening their doors to new members in the last few months of the year.
Estonian language courses for 525 people from Tallinn, 225 people from Ida-Viru County (including 75 from Narva) and 15 people from Tartu will be starting and continuing this August. There will be a total of 51 groups with 765 participants. The courses are being attended by those who registered in 2015 on the Integration Foundation website for Estonian language studies.
Language and cultural immersion and Estonian language courses are organised with the support of the European Social Fund project ‘Terms and conditions of the provision of support for activities promoting integration in Estonian society’.
Tenders for the organisation of Estonian language and culture clubs throughout the country can be submitted until 17 August 2017.
The language and culture clubs are designed for less successfully integrated permanent residents of Estonia, including newly arrived immigrants, who speak a mother tongue other than Estonian and who wish to improve their skills in speaking the national language or feel more confident communicating in it. Attending the club events helps the participants learn more about Estonian culture, overcome difficulties in learning the language and find support and inspiration.
With this procurement the Integration Foundation is looking to find partners with whom to organise club activities in the period from 1 October 2017-30 November 2019.
The procurement documents can be found in the e-procurement registry at https://riigihanked.riik.ee/register/hange/188128
The total value of the procurement is estimated at 840,535 euros (without VAT).
Tenders should be submitted to the e-procurement registry by 11.00 on 17 August 2017.
The clubs are organised as part of sub-activity 5.2.2 ‘Language and cultural immersion’ of activity 5.2 ‘Development and provision of an integration programme’ of the European Social Fund project ‘Terms and conditions of the provision of support for activities promoting integration in Estonian society’.
A procurement has been launched for the organisation of Estonian language courses for teachers from Ida-Viru County.
The aim of the public procurement is to develop and implement Estonian language courses for teachers from pre-school institutions and general education schools in Narva, Sillamäe, Jõhvi and Kohtla-Järve so as to improve their language skills and to help them prepare for the state examination in Estonian and pass the language exam at the B2 or C1 level.
Conducting of the training is financed by the Ministry of Education and Research.
The total value of the procurement is estimated at 100,000 euros (without VAT). The procurement documents can be found in the e-procurement registry at https://riigihanked.riik.ee/register/hange/187973
Tenders should be submitted to the e-procurement registry by 11:00 on 12 July 2017.
For further information please contact: Jana Tondi, Head of Language and Cultural Immersion, Integration Foundation, telephone: +372 659 9069, e-mail: [email protected]
Joining the Integration Foundation team on 12 June was new Head of Cooperation Ljudmila Peussa, who will be responsible for the planning and implementation of cooperation-related activities and the development of the foundation’s cooperation network.
Ljudmila graduated with a humanities degree from Narva College of the University of Tartu (UT) and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Business Management at the UT Faculty of Economics. She worked at Narva College from 2003, where she was involved in the planning of studies, marketing and project work. For her last four years at the college she focused on developing the field of in-service training.