Q&A: Estonian language courses and other study opportunities 

Jana Tondi, Head of Language Studies at the Integration Foundation, gives an overview of what opportunities we offer to learn and practice Estonian and how the relevant process has been organised.   

What Estonian language courses is organised by the Integration Foundation? We offer free courses for learning and practising Estonian in the Estonian language house and language schools. The Estonian Language House (see link) works in the composition of our foundation in Tallinn, Narva, Kiviõli and Paldiski. Language schools are selected by public procurement.   

What courses are you offering right now? Starting from 25 September at 12 o'clock, we expect to enroll in Estonian language courses at A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1 and take place from October to March this year in Tallinn, Keila and online. These courses have a total of 400 study places. 

Who can sign up for the mentioned courses? All Estonian language courses organised by our foundation are intended for adults living in Estonia who have an Estonian personal identification code. All information about courses and registration is carried out in our online self-service (see link). 

Where can I find information about the courses? It can be found in the self-service, under the ‘My services’ tab, via the services search. When you click on a language course, the level, schedule of the course, short description, name of the teacher and the language school, and the email address of the organiser will be displayed. Ask for detailed information about the contents of a course from the organiser of the course, whose contact details are provided in the description of the specific course. 

How do I search for a language course in the self-service? You can select courses according to the time that a course starts (such as from 3 October), level, and location. 

Does the Integration Foundation offer any other options for learning Estonian? In addition to language courses, we offer various activities supporting language learning for language practice, such as communication practice and study trips. In doing so, we strive to ensure that language learning goes along with joint activities.    

An independent learning remains important. On our website you will find a comprehensive overview of the available educational materials. These include e-courses in Estonian to reach A2 (see link) and from A2 to B1 (see link).     

We are also investing in training existing and new partners so that we can continue to offer our customers well-organised language clubs, cafés, and educational programmes. This year, for example, we will organise group leadership training for 40 organisers of language clubs and cafés. We also plan to train museum employees to organise educational programmes for people with different language skills. 

Where can I find more information on activities that support language learning? Information is available in the self-service of our foundation (see link) and in the website calendar (see link). To register, as with courses, you must enter self-service. 

Why does the Integration Foundation no longer organise public registration for courses? We map the needs of those interested in Estonian language learning and, based on the results obtained, provide the necessary learning opportunities (courses, activities supporting language learning, educational materials). We map our needs first and foremost with the free consultation that we offer to everyone interested in Estonian language learning. Please register for counselling by e-mail [email protected] or by calling free of charge at 800 9999. 

What is the reason of this change? Our advisors help plan the best language learning journey. They analyse each person's language learning needs and existing experiences and offer a suitable language learning format (course, activities supporting language learning, educational materials). The information obtained in this way allows us to inform interested parties directly about suitable learning opportunities that will be opened. At the same time, everyone can monitor all study opportunities via self-service and website calendar. In both cases, each person has to choose suitable options and register in self-service. 

Our self-service portal is accessible for everyone around the clock. It allows to explore online various options for learning Estonian, sign up for a suitable service, cancel the registration, as well as keep track of studies. 

To make monitoring of study opportunities as easy as it could be, we publish information about study opportunities and start registration at the same time and in the same place – on Thursdays at 14 in self-service (see link). At the same time, we duplicate the information in the website calendar (see link) and publish reviews on social media (see the account of Estonian language house in Tallinn and the account of Estonian language house in Narva on Facebook). 

Why should I start my language learning journey with a consultation? With the consultations and the self-service portal, we want to ensure the better availability of services as well as simplify learning the language for our clients and increase the quality of language training. Through these changes, we are offering a suitable study format on the necessary level based on the needs and proficiency of the learners.