Citizen’s Day e-quiz for young people will start on 25 November
Completion of ESF programming period ended compensating Estonian language study costs
Students from Kohtla-Järve improved their Estonian language skills in Viljandi County
Employees of Sillamäe Youth Centre compiled an interesting Estonian language course for themselves
Ida-Viru County pupils of vocational schools improve their Estonian in various locations in Estonia
Procurement opened for the organisation of courses for Sunday schools of national minorities
Teachers gained confidence on CLIL additional training
MISA joined an international integration project
A pilot project completed on migration for foreigners that have come to live in Estonia
A seminar on the education of Russian-language speech therapists was held
EIF programme summary seminar for experts will be held at the end of November
The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) informs schools that a countrywide e-quiz about citizenship that has been organised for the past 11 years will be opened on 25 November and will continue until 6 December.
For the 11th time, MISA is honouring Citizen’s Day of the Republic of Estonia, which is celebrated on 26 November, with a countrywide web quiz. All 7th to 12th grade pupils of general education and vocational schools are welcome to enter the quiz. For the first time, the quiz is open for pupils of 5th and 6th grades of general education schools for whom special questions have been prepared, which have also been translated into Russian. MISA also calls young people that study abroad in classes where the language of instruction is Estonian to take part in the quiz.
The quizzes designed for pupils of lower and upper classes will start on 25 November and will continue until 6 December. The e-quiz also includes video and auditory questions besides regular questions.
“Citizen’s Day is dedicated to the citizens of Estonia, their rights and obligations. The goal of the quiz is to make young people think about citizenship and motivate them to acknowledge what it means to be a citizen and how to be a good citizen,” the Coordinator of Multicultural Education Unit, Toivo Sikk, explained.
Over ten years, about 35,208 schoolchildren have answered the quiz questions. Starting from this year’s Citizen’s Day quiz, the participants will be younger by two years.
The provincial Assembly (Diet) adopted a regulation about the citizenship of the Estonian Democratic Republic on 26 November 1918, establishing the legal definition of an Estonian citizen for the first time. Citizen’s Day has been celebrated in Estonia since 1998.
For further information, please contact: Toivo Sikk, Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, tel 659 9850, e-mail [email protected]
With the completion of the European Social Fund “Language Learning Development 2011–2013” programme, compensating the language study costs of people that have passed the Estonian language exam with positive results has ended.
Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) has compensated the costs of Estonian language studies within the last three years for a total of 2,255 people in the amount of more than 588,000 euro with the help of the “Language Learning Development 2011−2013” programme financed by the European Social Fund.
“This is not the only option the state or MISA offers to people for the purpose of improving their Estonian language skills. In this particular case, this is one activity of many and we offered a similar opportunity via the previous ESF programme. Hence, we hope that after all the details regarding the state budget have been approved MISA will continue compensating language studies. We have to await the beginning of the new year,” Head of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, Jana Tondi, commented. Tondi stressed that language learning opportunities will not disappear.
Tondi admitted that applying for compensation for costs has been very popular among language students and MISA also considered it an important method in supporting Estonian language learners. “MISA skills and knowledge about organising the compensation of Estonian language study costs would ensure the correct payment of compensation and support to people in future, because we are very keen on continuing our activities,” Tondi added.
“Half of the applications compensated within the framework of the “Language Learning Development 2011–2013“ programme were paid after passing the A2 or beginner level exam and 34 per cent were paid after passing the B1 level exam. The rest of the compensations were paid out after passing the B2 and C1 level exams.
Almost 83 per cent of applicants were women. Residents of Harju County (ca 60 per cent) and Ida-Viru County (ca 40 per cent) received the largest amount of compensation. The highest number of applications was filed in the larger towns – Tallinn, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Jõhvi and Maardu. The number of applications submitted from these towns was more than 91 per cent of the total number of applications compensated.
Within the framework of the programme, adults, regardless of their citizenship, were permitted to apply for compensation for Estonian language study costs. People that had passed Estonian language A2, B1, B2 or C1 level proficiency examinations with positive results were permitted to apply for compensation. The prerequisite for compensation was that an applicant must have passed proficiency examinations from a lower level to a higher level and compensation in the amount of up to 320 euro for each proficiency examination was paid to those that had successfully passed the language examination based on cost documents.
In relation to the approaching income tax declaration period in 2014, MISA reminds all people that have received compensation that they must not declare received compensation as training expenses and if they have received compensation for previous years before 2013 the received compensation must be declared as additional income.
Compensating costs made in relation to Estonian language study was financed by the European Social Fund and via the Estonian state within the framework of the “Language Learning Development 2011–2013” programme.
For further information, please contact: Riina Ring, Coordinator of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 659 9030, e-mail [email protected]
Estonian language autumn school for students of technical specialities of Virumaa College of Tallinn University of Technology was held on 7−11 October in Viljandi County.
Over five days, 25 students learned about companies and cultural objects in Viljandi County and polished their academic Estonian language skills in a classroom setting. The students were introduced to Estonian native and current business fields and they enhanced their knowledge in material science, chemistry, automatics and building by visiting Mivar-Viva, Viljandi Metall, Viljand Creative Incubator, Polli Plant Breeding Centre, Sveba-Dahlen and Viljandi Aken ja Uks.
“In Viljandi County, students whose mother tongue is Russian also learned that their command of the Estonian language is sufficiently good and they cope well, in addition to improving their professional knowledge. When speaking to people in the companies, the students were told that they are very welcome as trainees or employees in Viljandi County,” the organiser of the autumn school and Estonian language teacher Kaire Viil said.
On each study day, students were also introduced to the most important Viljandi County cultural objects. Many participants of the autumn school visited Bonifatsiuse Gild, Ugala Theatre, Heimtal Museum of Domestic Life, Õisu Manor and Mulgi Culture Institute in Abja-Paluoja for the first time. “The favourite of the students was Viljandi Traditional Music Centre as an example of a tasteful combination of old ruins and modern architecture,” Viil said.
The autumn school schedule also included examining the world behind the curtains and the technical opportunities of Ugala Theatre. On the last study day of the Estonian language autumn school, the students were allowed to participate in interesting physics experiments at Orion Observatory. “The students were deeply impressed by the modern study opportunities for disabled people at Viljandi Integrated Vocational Secondary School. According to the students, this was their first more serious contact with social topics,” Viil told about the extensive experience received at the autumn school.
The organisation of the autumn school for students of Virumaa College of Tallinn University of Technology was financed by the resources of the European Social Fund “Language Learning Development 2011–2013” programme.
For further information, please contact: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 659 9841, e-mail [email protected]
Within the framework of the “Language Learning Development 2011–2013” programme financed by the European Social Fund, Estonian language courses are offered to almost 1,000 public sector employees for the purpose of improving their Estonian specialised language skills and managing their work. In October, employees of Sillamäe Hobby and Young People Centre Ulei obtained new knowledge.
Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) with the help of the programme allows public sector employees to compile their own motivational Estonian language course programme that meets the needs of their speciality. “The focus of courses supported by MISA is mostly on language study using active and varied methods. Support for the organisation of the language courses was primarily granted to organisations that were not solely focused on teaching in a classroom and planned their refresher courses to be as varied as possible, which would really help the participants in their daily business,” Coordinator of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, Tea Kotkas, explained.
Last month, teacher Merike Reiljan gave certificates to ten employees of Sillamäe Hobby and Young People Centre Ulei that had successfully graduated from the Estonian language course. The objective of the language study was to develop the professional vocabulary of Sillamäe culture specialists and to rehearse professional communicative situations in the Estonian language by using various active and communicative teaching methods.
The feedback of students shows that the people of Sillamäe were very satisfied with their language study and were especially glad for an opportunity to practice Estonian with their colleagues in an Estonian language environment.
In addition to professional communicative situations, this three-day trip also included an educational culture programme. The language practitioners were hosted by Tallinn Hobby Centre Kullo, Kanutiaia Centre for Young People, Private Hobby School HuviTERA, MTÜ Võru Noortekeskus and Gymnastics Club Janika.
Teacher Merike Reiljan praised the students of Sillamäe Hobby and Young People Centre Ulei and the interesting language study activities designed by the organisation: “It was an excellent experience to have such active and creative cooperation with students! The course also included preparing and filming an excellent short film “Life of Insects I” and “Life of Insects II” to introduce the organisation, but also arranging an extremely interesting Estonian language day. Although in the beginning the students were a little afraid about the creative part of the courses and language practice, this has now changed completely,” Reiljan confirmed and continued: “All of this – extremely fun and educational language practice, new contacts and friends, enriching and intensive cultural programme and an excellent reception and very friendly people – is just pure joy now. Ideas, impressions, positivity, joy, yearning, anticipation, activeness and boldness characterise the students after the course.”
To date, 785 people have successfully completed the Estonian language refresher course within the framework of the “Language Studies of Public Sector Employees” activity of the “Language Learning Development 2011–2013” programme financed by the European Social Fund. 181 public sector employees that will receive their certificates before the end of 2013 are currently continuing their studies.
More than 300,000 euro has been invested in the Estonian language studies of public sector employees that have been organised from 2011−2013 and are being held with the support of the European Social Fund.
For further information, please contact: Tea Kotkas, Coordinator of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 659 9061, e-mail [email protected]
This autumn, pupils of three Ida-Viru County vocational schools whose mother tongue is different than Estonian language will improve their Estonian language skills on study tours and language practice in the region of Lake Peipus as well as on Saaremaa Island with the support of the European Social Fund programme “Language Learning Development 2011–2013”.
Pupils of tourism management and multimedia specialities of Narva Vocational Centre visited Setomaa and Valga County in September and Pärnu County, Kihnu Island and the region of Lake Peipus in October.
In November, Saaremaa Island will be visited over two days. The objective of the study tours is to give young people an opportunity to obtain professional knowledge and expand their understanding of the Estonian cultural space.
The pupils prepared a video as a part of the study tour to Pärnumaa and Kihnu island. The video can be viewed on Youtube.
In October, pupils of software and database management and computer services specialities of Sillamäe Vocational School improved their Estonian language skills during their three-week language practice at Kuressaare Training Centre. Ten young computer specialists learned the Estonian language in class and in joint classes related to their speciality with other pupils at Kuresaare Training Centre.
During their free time, the Sillamäe pupils visited Kuressaare Animation Days, the most important Kuressaare cultural objects, art exhibitions and participated in hobby classes at the vocational school. “It is good to learn Estonian at Kuressaare Training Centre; we are already remembering forgotten words and we have an opportunity to learn Estonian at a higher level than in common classes as well as in speciality studies. The teachers here are very good and we learn many new expressions,” a participant of the language practice, Aleksei Korovitšev, said.
Students of the first and second courses of cooks of Sillamäe Vocational School visited Estonian Agricultural Museum exhibitions and attended a learning programme entitled “Rye bread on our table” on their one-day trip to Tartu County. In November, a three-week practical training and auditory Estonian language study at Olustvere Service and Rural Economics School was held for students of the first and second course of cooks of Sillamäe Vocational School.
Students of the second course of warehouse keeper speciality of Ida-Virumaa Vocational Centre will undertake a two-week Estonian language course and specialised language practice at Järvamaa Vocational Centre and will visit the sights of Paide.
The language practice and study tours of pupils of vocational schools are organised within the framework of the activity “Additional language studies for students of vocational education institutions and adult students of upper secondary school” of the European Social Fund programme “Language Learning Development 2011–2013”.
For further information, please contact: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator of MISA Lifelong Learning Unit, tel 659 9030, e-mail [email protected]
Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) is searching for an organiser for the additional training of teachers of Sunday schools of national minorities via a procurement procedure.
The objective of the additional training is to offer the teachers of Sunday schools of national minorities new pedagogical and methodical knowledge and competences.
“More than 30 Sunday schools of national minorities registered as hobby schools in the Estonian Education Information System that offer classes for children in their mother tongue and culture are currently active. Although teachers that have pedagogical as well as linguistic education work at Sunday schools, many teachers are only active speakers of the language. They are active people that have an intention to contribute to the preservation of their culture; however, they are not teachers by education and they need methodical skills to perform their work,” acting Head of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, Kristina Pirgop, explained.
The activities are financed from the state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research and within the framework of the “Estonian Integration Strategy 2008–2013”.
For further information, please contact: Kristina Pirgop, acting Head of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, tel 659 9024, e-mail [email protected]
Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) contracted content and language integrated learning (CLIL) courses for teachers of upper secondary school where the language of instruction is Russian or Estonian and Russian.
The courses were organised by SA Omanäolise Kooli Arenduskeskus and altogether 120 teachers had the opportunity to participate in two training courses “CLIL. From theory to practice” and “CLIL. From theory to practice. Language support”.
According to the teacher of the Tallinn training group, Tatjana Kodas, the teachers that participated in the course mentioned in their feedback that the teachers gained confidence and got many new ideas for classes from the training, observation of classes and the following discussions.
“During the training, the teachers confronted their scepticism towards opportunities and the success of teaching a subject in Estonian. The participants admitted that they now believe that it is possible to efficiently teach a subject in Estonian and do it in a way whereby a teacher communicates only in Estonian in a school where the language of instruction is Russian,” Kodas said when speaking about the impressions of the participating teachers.
“Training participants highlighted that the efficient teaching of a subject in Estonian was possible when a teacher knows and uses content and language integrated learning methods and follows CLIL principles in his or her classes. During the course, the teachers could actively use the Estonian language and develop all aspects of their own language skills in a safe and supportive environment. Teachers whose mother tongue is Estonian felt the need to support Russian-speaking teachers in the improvement of Estonian language skills and the groups were formed based on the principle that at least one Estonian-speaking person was included in a group, who could offer language support, if needed,” Kodas explained.
Kodas added that the participating teachers considered the training very valuable, unique and supportive of developing teachers in all ways. The participants of this additional training considered the presentation of a learning portfolio an important event for further development. A learning portfolio is a tool that helps pupils follow and support their development and systemise an acquired body of knowledge, providing an opportunity to repeat or find necessary material, if necessary. A learning portfolio is also designed for motivating pupils.
CLIL courses were organised with the support of the Ministry of Education and Research.
For further information, please contact: Maarja Mänd, Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, tel 659 9853, e-mail [email protected]
Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) participated in a two-year international project entitled “Voluntary work as a key to integration”, which was financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers fund Nordplus Adult and the Ministry of Culture.
The coordinating partner of the project is the Kouvola department of Palmenia Lifelong Education Centre of Helsinki University, and the Volunteers’ Centre of the Aalborg region in Denmark is also partnering in the programme along with MISA. The project will continue until July 2015 and during the project an overview of voluntary work and the part immigrants play in it in partnering countries will be given. Supplementary material will also be prepared that helps an immigrant to assess his or her development of professional skills to prepare in a better way for a job search and/or studies. A large part of activities also involves making contacts and developing cooperation between NGOs, employers and volunteering immigrants of different countries.
“Studies show that participating in the work of NGOs and volunteer work is lower among immigrants than nationals. Volunteer work is a good opportunity to learn about the society you live in. Volunteer work is a good way to actively participate in society and therefore increase your own future job opportunities as well as expand your social network,” Coordinator of MISA Civil Education and Migration Unit Martin Eber commented.
Eber added that an important goal of the project is to increase the transparency of volunteer work as a non-formal learning environment and as a result of these activities various supplementary materials and instructions will be prepared that will be made available for all interested on the MISA homepage.
For further information, please contact: Martin Eber, Coordinator of MISA Civil Education and Migration Unit, tel 659 9067, e-mail [email protected]
A three-year European Union immigration pilot project ImmigrationPolicy2.0 was completed in October, in which the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) participated as the representative of Estonia by assisting in the development of web-based services for foreigners that have come to live in Estonia in order to facilitate finding information and participation in society.
“The long name of the project, “Participatory Immigration Policy Making and Harmonization based on Collaborative Web2.0 Technologies”, suggests that the web platform is intended for involving immigrants and improving their awareness. We tested the information portal that was created during the project on users in five countries: Estonia, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain that cooperated in developing the portal,” Coordinator of MISA Civil Education and Migration Unit Tea Tammistu said.
“The information portal offers various information regarding immigration legislation, labour market, support services and similar information on various EU countries. The web platform helps immigrants more easily find relevant information about residence permits, citizenship, work and educational life as well as other important areas. The portal also allows people to express their opinion, participate in improving services and policies and compare practices of different countries,” Tammistu explained. Tammistu added that a more general objective of the project is also facilitating making and harmonising immigration policy at European Union level in addition to providing direct assistance to immigrants.
Altogether 863 users contributed to improving the portal, including 697 nationals and 166 migration experts and officials. In Estonia, 124 nationals and 19 migration specialists provided their feedback about the portal.
The project was financed from the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Commission and the state budget via the Ministry of Culture.
The immigration portal is available at the address http://www.immigrationpolicy2.eu/portal. The information portal is in Estonian, English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, German, Turkish, Greek and Serbian languages.
For further information, please contact: Tea Tammistu, Coordinator of MISA Civil Education and Migration Unit, e-mail [email protected]
In October, a seminar was held within the framework of an additional training project of Russian-language speech therapists in Estonia where the topics regarding the education of people with special needs, the development needs of people working with them and modern methods were discussed.
Within the framework of a cooperation project of the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA), Narva College of Tartu University and Russian Herzen State Pedagogical University, a seminar entitled “Education of Russian-speaking speech therapists in Estonia and Russia” was held in Tallinn on 24 October with the participation of speech therapy experts from Estonia and Russia.
The seminar is part of a project that offers additional training on speech therapy for 55 people that participate in trainings and practice programmes both in Estonia and Russia. All presentations of the seminar will be assembled into a collection and will also be made available on the MISA web page.
It is estimated that 15 per cent of kindergarten children and basic school pupils require Russian speech therapy in Estonia.
“Unfortunately Russian-speaking speech therapists cannot study speech therapy based on Russian in Estonia although there is an urgent need, because differences between languages affect the method of teaching. This is not a common situation, because it is unlikely that a person who has problems with their mother tongue is able to effectively learn some other language,” the Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, Sandra Nuudi, commented.
The project has three target groups. The first target group comprises speech therapists that have appropriate higher education and work with children whose mother tongue is Russian, undergraduates that are in the process of acquiring their Master’s degree and Estonian-speaking speech therapists. The second target group is teachers who have studied special needs education. The third group is teachers who have not studied special need education, but wish to work with Russian-speaking children.
“During the project, a three-day trip to Tartu just before the seminar was organised for the employees and students of Herzen Pedagogical University (Russia) to give an overview of the work of speech therapists and special needs education in Estonia. On the first day, the guests visited Narva College of Tartu University where the project’s training for 55 speech therapists was held. Various schools, kindergartens and other institutions connected to special needs education were visited in Tartu within the framework of the programme,” Nuudi said in describing the programme.
“The universities’ experts also discussed future activities regarding cooperation to enhance the quality of special needs education, and especially the education of speech therapists, in both countries. One of the goals of the project is to prepare a new basic subject syllabus for speech therapists by the end of the project,” Nuudi added.
The project is financed within the framework of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross-border cooperation programme 2007–2013 (90 %) of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and from the state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research (10%).
For further information, please contact: Sandra Nuudi, Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, tel 659 9855, e-mail [email protected]
A summary seminar on implementing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (EIF), the objective of which is to analyse the ending EIF programme, projects implemented with the help of the programme and their impact will be held on 29 November.
The seminar is organised by BDA Consulting OÜ and a collection of the best projects implemented within the framework of EIF along with analyses will be prepared for the seminar. Various experts related to the integration area from the public sector as well as other institutions will participate in the seminar.
“The general objective of the project, which also includes a study tour, is to analyse the results of the fund in 2007–2013 and enable, via a study tour, the exchange of the good experience of other Member States of the European Union, develop cooperation between cities and become aware of joint projects. Without analysing what has been done, it is not possible to move forward because the new programme must be better and take into account the practical experience of the previous programme,” the Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, Sandra Nuudi, said.
The general objective of EIF programme is to support the efforts of Member States to ensure that European third-country nationals with different economic, social, cultural, religious, language and ethnic background were able to meet the requirements of the residence permit and to facilitate their integration to European society and the society of the country where they reside. The fund deems integration to be a two-way process to help improve communication, adaptation and mutual understanding between European third-country nationals and citizens of the Member States.
For further information, please contact: Sandra Nuudi, Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, tel 659 9855, e-mail [email protected]