Non-Estonian speaking youth will start learning Estonian in Estonian families and camps

Career counsellors training programme starts
A Citizens Day essay contest for students is underway

Updated online Estonian language e-tests are now available
Youth workers are invited to participate in methodological training

Non-Estonian speaking youth will start learning Estonian in Estonian families and camps



Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) is supporting nine organisations with more than € 108,000, in order to organise Estonian language instruction for 7-18-year-olds in Estonian families and project camps.

Within the framework of part one of the project competition titled “The Integration of Youth in the Informational and Cultural Space”, support has been provided to the 6th School in Narva, Estonian Sports Club Kalev, Semolen Training, Keila Rural Municipality, the nonprofit Süda Estonian Social Centre, the nonprofit Spend Free Time in Võrumaa, the Kohtla-Järve Ahtme Upper Secondary School, Tallinn Laagna Upper Secondary School and the nonprofit Estonian Union for Child Welfare.

The activities will be conducted until November 2012, and the organisations receiving the support are planning camps for 642 young people, including 303 who are citizens of third countries living in Estonia (EKRK) and young people with undetermined citizenship, while the same number are young people with Estonian citizenship; and an additional 36 EKRK young people will participate family study within the framework of the project support. The study of the Estonian language in Estonian families and camps is one of the most popular activities in the integration field since 1998 and in total MISA has supported the participation of approximately 18,500 young language learners and support students in camps and family study.

The results of a study commissioned by MISA in 2009 show that camps where young people learn Estonian primarily by communicating with their contemporaries and which are based on the young people’s common interests, such as sports camps, promote communications in Estonian between young people of various nationalities.

“The same study showed that young people that have participated in Estonian family life within the framework of family study often maintain their contacts with the Estonian family and being in a family is the most direct way for them to see, experience, understand and learn each others’ languages, culture and customs,” Lianne Ristikivi, MISA Culture and Youth Work Coordinator.

According to Ristikivi, the same study also showed that as a result of family study and camp study courage among the young people to use the Estonian language and, regardless of the their nationality, the young people’s mutual understanding and tolerance improved, as well as their understanding of the other nationality’s culture increased.

For more information, contact: Lianne Ristikivi, Culture and Youth Work Coordinator, phone 6 599 028, e-mail [email protected]

Career counsellors training programme starts

The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) started cooperation with Tercare OÜ within the framework of a project titled “Career Study Courses for Working Adults with Insufficient Estonian Language Skills” in order to organise in-service training for 13 career counsellors who will conduct career education courses for working adults with insufficient Estonian language skills.

The theme of the in-service training is taking into account nationality specifics when preparing and carrying out career education courses, as well as the introduction of the curriculum for career education courses and its practical implementation. The career counsellors are career information specialists from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, as well as career coordinators from the information and advisory centres in East-Viru and Harju Counties.

“The popular position is that only those who have lost their jobs need career education. We wish to end this stereotype and to provide career education to working people, including those who have seniority and experiences and not those who are very young,” Eduard Odinets, MISA Head of Lifelong Education said.

According to Odinets, the foundation hopes that, despite the fact that they are busy, working adults will find the time to participate in career study, in order to consider their work-related future with an experienced and well-training specialist and to improve their career-related outlooks for the future.

The budget for the project is close to 102,000 euros and its activities will continue until the end of 2012. The project is being financed by the European Social Fund and Estonian budgetary measure titled “The development of learner-based and innovative vocational education and expanding the opportunities for lifelong education.”

For more information, contact: Riina Ring, Lifelong Education Unit, phone 659 9030, e-mail [email protected]

A Citizens Day essay contest for students is underway

The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) and the Ministry of Education and Research announced an essay contest for Citizens Day titled “What does being an Estonian citizen mean to me”; in the course 7-12-grade students are invited to submit essays.

The purpose of the competition is to collect the topics that interest students and their opinions about being citizens, to recognise the students and increase tolerance among young people.

“The selection of the topic for this year’s contest is not accidental. The implementation of the new national curriculum started to be introduced in the schools as of 1 September of this year, and one of the most important keywords in the new curricula is citizen activism,” said Irene Käosaar, Head of the General Education Department at the Ministry of Education and Research.

“Our wish is that young people develop into entrepreneurial and responsible citizens who dare to and are able to take part in democratic processes, by participating and managing them,” Irene Käosaar explained.

The contest entries will be evaluated by a 5-member panel, which includes Irene Käosaar, Head of the General Education Department at the Ministry of Education and Research; Siiri Tooming, chief specialist at the Cultural Diversity Department of the Ministry of Culture; Toivo Sikk, Coordinator of Language Immersion at the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People; Janek Murakas, teacher at the Viimsi Upper Secondary School, and Dmitri Rõbakov, civics and history teacher at the Tallinn City Centre Russian Upper Secondary School.

There will be one first prize, two second and third prizes, as well as an incentive award in each of the two age groups of the competition.

To participate, students should submit an essay that is up to 2 pages long (about 3,600 characters) between 10 October and 11 November to the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People at Liimi 1, 10621 Tallinn or by e-mail to [email protected].

The detailed terms and conditions for the competition are available at
Citizens Day is dedicated to Estonian citizens, pride in citizenship and the provision of information regarding the rights and obligations of being a citizen. Through the years, the tradition of celebrating Citizens Day has turned into nice tradition – into Citizens Day Week, during which many institutions celebrate Citizens Day. Citizens Day Week is dedicated to all the creative and active people living in Estonia. The motto of this year’s Citizens Day is “Grown to be a Citizen”. For more information about celebrating Citizens Day, see the website at

Updated online Estonian language e-tests are now available

The TESTEST website of the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) has been supplemented with new tests and made even more user-friendly.

The old website, which was completed in January 2010, comprised only one set of test assignments and did not explain precisely for whom or what these tests were intended.

The new updated TESTEST provides the user with four times as many test assignments and using the website has been made more convenient and comprehensible. Also, information on the types of tests, language proficiency levels, and Estonian language proficiency examination is now provided in five languages (Estonian, English, Russian, Turkish and Ukrainian).

The improvements allow a large number of people to take the tests and provide them with more opportunities for checking their Estonian language skills.

TESTEST is an interactive testing and practice environment, which is directed at Estonian language learners who what to get feedback regarding their language skills. It also provides support to those who wish to attend Estonian language courses or plan to take Estonian language proficiency exams, but cannot decide which level course or exam to choose. The website targets adult citizens of third countries (including those with undetermined citizenship) living in Estonia, and TESTEST promotes the integration of third-country nationals into Estonian society through the development of language skills.

TESTEST allows the test taker to choose between different language proficiency levels (A2-, B1-, B2- or C1-level) and constituent skills (writing, listening, reading and speaking). The tests are checked by a computer programme that provides feedback regarding the success of the effort according to individual questions, as well as statistically, and directing the test taker to a more appropriate level, if necessary. Information on the structure of the proficiency exams and the assignment types and options are also provided on the website. The tests have been prepared by specialists from Tallinn University and the National Examination and Qualification Centre.

TESTEST was developed by Juku Lab OÜ, a provider of web-based study environments, who are promoters of e-education. The project is being financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (EIF), the Ministry of Culture and MISA.

TESTEST is available online at Additional information can also be found on TESTEST’s Facebook page.

Youth workers are invited to participate in methodological training

The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) invite youth workers to attend practical training sessions related to the methods used in the Language Camp Handbook and the compendium titled The Youth Worker in a Multicultural Environment, which are part of the “Methods Captivate” series. The training course will be held on 28-29 November at the Kohtla Mining Park and Museum.

The course will be carried out by Leelo Kingisepp, a methodologist of Estonian language education, and Aurika Komsaare, an expert on simulation games and university lecturer.

The working language for the training is Estonian; whispered translation from Russian will also be provided onsite. Each participant will receive the entire text of the publications, as well as worksheets and tools for carrying out these methods in their work. Those who complete the training will receive a certificate from MISA.

The training can accommodate 10 Estonian-speaking and 10 Russian-speaking youth workers. Please register by 23 November by filling out the form on the MISA website. The necessary additional information for participating in the training course is also available on this website.

The participants will be provided with free transport, training materials, overnight accommodations and catering. The training is financed by the Ministry of Education and Research.

For more information, contact: Lianne Ristikivi, Culture and Youth Work Coordinator, phone 6599 028, e-mail [email protected]