JUNE 2017

Five key mistakes that people make when studying Estonian?
Save two dates
Russian translation is being provided by Rakvere Theatre
National culture society events  

How to be a successful language learner?

Five key mistakes that people make when studying Estonian

The attitude with which you go into learning or practising a language can have a greater impact on your success than you think. It’s often the case that people expend months of effort only for their language skills to barely improve. Below you’ll find the five main reasons people’s efforts to learn a language fail.

1. Lack of purpose
Before choosing materials to use or a course to take, think about these things:
- Why do you want to learn Estonian?
- What do you want to achieve, and how quickly do you want to achieve it?

Are you aiming to reach a certain level in your language use, to prepare for an exam, to improve your spoken Estonian or to simply remind yourself of the grammar rules? The solutions you need will depend largely on your answers to those questions.

2. Lack of awareness
Estonian, like any language, can be studied in very different ways. Language courses are no longer your only option: there are also individual lessons, and independent studies. You can also take part in supporting activities like language clubs and language cafés. Language clubs are designed to help students maintain their existing skills after they complete a course. Language cafés aim to advise and support those studying Estonian on their own.

3. Lack of time
It takes time to learn any language. Even if you start studying something intensively it can take months to reach a certain level. It’s all too common for people to begin their language studies full of enthusiasm only for their motivation to dry up – alongside any hope of success – within a month or two. That’s why it’s important to bear in mind that improvements in language skills don’t come overnight. A few weeks is too short a time for even the most exemplary students to see any major changes.

4. Lack of dedication
If you decide to start studying Estonian, you need to organise things in your life so that you can throw yourself into it at least three times a week. For example, you can use the keeleklikk.ee website, watch and listen to Estonian-language TV shows, read texts and chat to people in the language. What’s important is that you also try writing in Estonian each week, even if it’s only a few lines.

5. Lack of expectation
If you bought a pair of shoes that turned out to have a hole in them you wouldn’t simply put up with it – you’d take them back. The same principle should apply where language-learning is concerned: if you don’t feel the teacher, the materials or the organisation of studies are appropriate, you should demand better. Talk about problems as soon as they arise and do your best to come up with solutions that are student-centred. It doesn’t matter whether you’re studying on your own, whether the state’s paying for it or whether it’s financed by the European Social Fund – you should expect and demand quality no matter what. To resolve your problems, talk to the person who has the ability to change things.

PLEASE NOTE: The counsellors with the Integration Foundation can help people set Estonian language-learning goals for themselves and find the most appropriate solutions based thereon.

You can contact our counsellors by e-mailing [email protected] or calling the free number 800 9999.

Save the dates

This year’s Citizen’s Day Quiz will take place from 20-30 November

The Citizen’s Day Quiz has been encouraging school students in Estonia to think about what it means to be an Estonian citizen and what makes our country so special.

- What is Estonia’s global ranking in terms of how many countries its passport holders can visit without a visa?
- How many people pass through the border point in Narva each year?
- For what purpose was the Cyber Unit of the Defence League established?

These are just some examples of the kinds of questions to which those taking part in the quiz in previous years have had to find the answers.

The Integration Foundation has been organising the Citizen’s Day Quiz since 2003. To date, almost 84,000 youngsters have completed the quizzes. A total of 905 questions have been set over the years, with none of them being repeated.

This year there will be a separate quiz for students in Grades 7-9 at general education schools

The following quizzes will be held from 20-30 November 2017:

- Citizen’s Day Quiz for students in Grades 5 & 6 at general education schools (all questions in both Estonian and Russian; 30 questions in total; 60 minutes to complete the quiz);
- Citizen’s Day Quiz for students in Grades 7-9 at general education schools (questions in Estonian; 50 questions in total; 60 minutes to complete the quiz);
- Citizen’s Day Quiz for students in Grades 10-12 at general education schools and students at vocational education institutions (questions in Estonian; 50 questions in total; 60 minutes to complete the quiz);
- Citizen’s Day Quiz for anyone else wishing to take part available from 26-30 November (all questions in Estonian, Russian and English; 50 questions in total; 60 minutes to complete the quiz).

Everyone is welcome to take part in the Citizen’s Day Quiz!

Information and questions: Toivo Sikk, Director of Civic Education, Development Centre, Integration Foundation, e-mail: [email protected], tel +372 659 9850

International integration conference will take place on 16-17 November

16-17 November 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia takes place an international conference “Shared Identities in Diverse Communities: Role of Culture, Media and Civil Society” organised by Estonian Integration Foundation in cooperation with Estonian Ministry of Culture and European Integration Network.

This international conference is an interdisciplinary platform bringing together key experts, policy-makers and government officials, local and international NGO-s, research institutions and teams working in the field of integration, including European Integration network members representing governments of EU member states. With Estonia’s current presidency in the EU, Tallinn becomes a visible platform for highlighting the key challenges and required action or policies on EU level.

The conference addresses the challenges of ensuring cohesion, peace and stability in contemporary culturally diverse societies. Increased migration along with economic downturn have triggered rise of xenophobia in many European countries, influencing both attitudes towards migrants and relations between existing cultural groups and people with migrant background. Inclusion of the second- and third generation migrants is still a challenge in several European countries.

The conference will focus on policy measures and best practices in integration, some of specific themes/keywords to be addressed in the program are:
- Diversity in popular culture as instrument of shared identity-building – how to find the balance between retaining cultural identity and supporting diversity, what role cultural policy plays in the equasion.
- Cultural awareness and inclusion in formal and non-formal education – policy measures and good practices.
- How to create the environment supporting cultural diversity in private and public sector organisations – intercultural sensitivity, diversity leadership, effective workplace diversity.
- Role of media in defining the framework for intercultural dialogue - communicating migration and integration, responsible media reporting
- What role the civil society plays in bridging policy and practice for advancing social cohesion, what conditions are necessary to ensure strong and active engagement from civil society on these issues?

Conference attendance is free for all participants, we expect around 200 guests from Estonia and abroad. Working language is English, with Estonian and Russian translation.

This international conference continues the issues raised at international conference “Integration Challenges in the Radicalizing World” that took place in November 2016, where among speakers were Prof. John Berry from Queens University, Prof. Uduak Archibong MBE from Bradford University, Prof. Haci-Halil Uslucan from the Expert Council from German Association of Integration Foundations and a number of other distinguished speakers from Estonia and abroad. Materials (videos, presentations) from 2016 conference are available here: www.misakonverents.ee/materials

Information and questions: Marianna Makarova, Conference organiser, Head of research development, Integration Foundation, tel +372 56569651, e-mail: [email protected]; www.integratsioon.ee

Russian translation is being provided by Rakvere Theatre

Rakvere Theatre to provide first ever translated performance for Russian-speaking audience

On 19 May, audiences will be able to enjoy a performance at Rakvere Theatre for the first time with a Russian translation. The production chosen for this ground-breaking event is It’s All Because of Her, by young Belarusian playwright Andrey Ivanov. 

Hereafter the theatre plans to translate as much of its repertoire as possible.

Translation equipment was acquired by the theatre in cooperation with the  Integration Foundation, with funding from the ‘Activities supporting integration in Estonian society’ project of the European Social Fund and its sub-activity ‘Boosting the Ability to Present Information in Other Languages’. Audience members interested in the translation will be provided with a smart device on which subtitles will be displayed.

National culture society events  

Song and Dance Celebrations to start in early June

That’s right – while the Youth Song and Dance Celebrations will be taking place in Tallinn at the end of the month, the Ingrian-Finn song and dance festival ‘This Land’ will be kicking things off in Tartu on 3 & 4 June.

This is the 27th time the festival is being held in Estonia. This year’s celebrations are taking place in Tartu, with the festivities being made even more festive by the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Finland. Ingrian-Finn culture forms part of Finnish cultural space, but has also evolved over the centuries within the borders of the Russian Federation (in the St Petersburg region), soaking up influences along the way.

On 4  June a concert in Raadi Park will be preceded by a mass in Finnish at St Peter’s Church, while the day before there will be some athletic games and a big garden party at Ingrian House, with performances by Ingrian-Finn and Finnish folklore groups. All events are free of charge and can be attended by anyone interested.


3 June
13:00     Boot-tossing tournament on the sports field at Miina Härma Gymnasium (Tõnissoni 3)
18:00     Ingrian House garden party (Veski 35)

4 June
13:00     Mass at St Peter’s Church (Narva 104)
14:00     Parade to Raadi Park
15:00     Festival begins

Taking part will be Ingrian-Finn song and dance groups from Estonia, Finland and Russia and the Estraadiraadio ensemble with Alen Veziko and Lembit Saarsalu.

The event is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition from the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

For more information see www.inkeri.ee.

What’s happening on 11 June? A pre-midsummer party!

The Association of Latvian National Culture in Estonia is inviting everyone to the Seto farm at the Estonian Open Air Museum for a pre-midsummer party starting at 14:00 on 11 June.

Showcasing and sharing their summer solstice traditions will be the folklore ensemble Garataka, the association’s own folklore ensemble Reevele and Põhjahääled a.k.a. the Latvian Choir of Estonia.

Get your family together and come and meet the neighbours! You can enjoy (and join in on) midsummer songs and activities, and try some Latvian beer. Līgo!

Admission is with a ticket to the Open Air Museum.

The event is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition from the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

For further information please contact: Laura Šmideberga, Member of the Management Board, NPO Association of Latvian National Culture in Estonia, tel: +372 5451 1595, e-mail: [email protected] 

Come and discover the cultural heritage of the Coastal Swedes!

The Cultural Government of the Estonian Swedes is organising a Swedish Day on 15 July – a traditional summer event for the Estonian Swedish community.

This year the festivities will be taking place among the ruins of Padise Abbey, since the Padise area, its coastline and the Pakri islands have been a home to the Coastal Swedes for centuries.

The Cultural Government of the Estonian Swedes is inviting everyone to come and discover the cultural heritage of the Coastal Swedish community and to enjoy the celebrations in their company.

The event is being financed via the National Minority Cultural Association project competition from the budget of the Ministry of Culture.


9:00 Bus departs for Padise from Freedom Square
10:00-10:15 Opening, words of welcome
10:15-10:45 Guided tour of Padise Abbey led by Heli Nurger
10:50-11:50 Concert in the abbey’s church
10:30-13:30 Swedish market and handicraft fair
12:00-12:20 Introduction to Pakri dances
12:20-13:00 Residents of Pakri recount the history of the islands
13:00-13:50 Five dance groups from former Estonian Swedish areas present a selection of folk dances
14:00 Bus departs for Vilivalla cemetery from Padise
15:30 Bus returns to Tallinn

Those with their own transport can drive to Padise Manor or the villages of Puuna or Pedase, while you can also learn all about Risti Church in Harju-Risti with an audio guide or journey across to the Pakri islands.

At 16:00 a dinghy (the Arabella) will be making the crossing from Kurkse Harbour to the island of Väike-Pakri.

To register for the bus (Tallinn-Padise-Vilivalla-Tallinn) or dinghy (to Väike-Pakri) call +372 644 1921 or +372 5349 5368 or e-mail [email protected].

For further information please contact: Jana Stahl, Member of the Management Board, Foundation of the Cultural Government of the Estonian Swedes, tel: +372 5349 5368, e-mail: [email protected]