Within the framework of the Language Friends programme ‘Keelesõber’, the Integration Foundation offers Estonian language learners the opportunity to practice the language with skilled Estonian speakers via e-channels. Both language learners and mentors can join the programme.
‘The purpose of the Language Friends programme is to provide Estonian language learners further opportunities for practising communicating in Estonian and to encourage them to use the language on a daily basis. In the programme, a language learner talks to a volunteer Estonian language mentor on various actual topics at a suitable time and on a suitable channel,’ said Ave Landrat, Head of the Language Friends Programme of the Integration Foundation. ‘We are very pleased that 250 volunteers have already registered to help Estonian language learners. This means that the same number of language learners can start practising Estonian with the help of their language friend,’ added Ave Landrat.
Language learners who already speak Estonian at least at the A2 level and who wish to practise speaking Estonian are welcome to participate in the Language Friends programme.
The Integration Foundation welcomes new Estonian language mentors, whose mother tongue is Estonian or who speak Estonian at the mother tongue level, to join the programme. The volunteer Estonian language mentors are tasked with talking with the language learners in Estonian a few times a week on various topics via the channels suitable for them. No previous teaching experience is required.
Both language learners and language mentors can register to participate in the Language Friends programme by filling in the registration form on the website of the Integration Foundation at integratsioon.ee/en/language-friends-program.
The leaders of the Language Friends programme of the Integration Foundation bring together mentors and language learners and instruct them in choosing communication channels and conducting conversations.
Within the two years after launching, the programme has brought together 1,837 language friends: 979 language learners have been able to hone their language skills with the help of 858 volunteer mentors.