Integration Foundation supports national minority cultural associations
The Integration Foundation has launched the latest in its series of national culture society project competitions, which is designed to support the promotion of the languages and cultures of national minorities in Estonia. Non-profit organisations whose objectives as stated in their statutes meet those of the planned activities will be supported as part of the project. The applications submitted must be related to at least one of the following fields:
- raising people’s awareness of and keeping them informed about national minority culture associations and their activities in Estonia;
- recognising the multicultural nature of Estonia and introducing and learning about national minority cultures through public events (lectures, exhibitions, seminars, TV and radio programmes, leaflets and so on);
- developing cooperation between the national minority cultural societies which operate in Estonia.
The deadline for applications is 4.00 pm on 27 August 2008.
Estonian society is interesting and multicultural. The cultures of other nationalities enrich our everyday lives. People of 121 different nationalities live in Estonia, and there are more than 200 active national culture associations. Every year many of them organise a variety of events, concerts and lectures at which they promote their cultural heritage. The Integration Foundation has supported many of these events over the years.
For more detailed information please contact Kristina Pirgop from the Culture and Youth Work Unit.
Project for the development of teaching in Estonian in Russian-language vocational schools comes to an end
The Integration Foundation’s “Development of Teaching in Estonian and Relevant Study Materials in non-Estonian Vocational Schools” project reached its conclusion in June. Its aim was to create the conditions for high-quality Estonian language studies and to develop methodology for Estonian-language studies among Russian-speaking groups in vocational education institutions. The project was designed for language and specialty subject teachers of Russian-speaking groups in vocational schools, but steps were also taken to support the development of professional Estonian language skills by directors.
More than 300 teachers received training and 23 (e-)teaching materials and methodology books were issued as part of the project, which was financed by the European Social Fund. These materials are available from kutsekeel.ee.
For more detailed information please contact Helena Metslang from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
“Support for the Transition of non-Estonian General Education Schools to Bilingual Studies” project comes to an end
The “Support for the Transition of non-Estonian General Education Schools to Bilingual Studies” project was implemented so as to prepare schools with Russian as the language of instruction for the transition to Estonian-language studies starting from the 2007-2008 academic year. It represented the continuation of the “Enhancement of the Competitiveness of Teachers in non-Estonian Schools” project, beginning in February 2007 and ending in June 2008.
Both projects were carried out by the Integration Foundation in association with the Ministry of Education and Research.
For more detailed information please contact Ave Osman from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Evaluation of results of ESF projects "Enhancement of the Competitiveness of Teachers in non-Estonian Schools", "Support for the Transition of non-Estonian General Education Schools to Bilingual Studies" and "Development of Teaching in Estonian and Relevant Study Materials in non-Estonian Vocational Schools" ends in June
The evaluation was designed to assess the effectiveness of the projects and to provide recommendations for the planning of subsequent integration-based activities.
The evaluation included an online survey conducted among those who took part in the projects and interviews with key figures, while assessment of the vocational school project also incorporated focus groups with members of the target group.
Evaluation revealed that there has been a significant change for the better in people’s attitudes to studying Estonian, particularly among students. Nevertheless, Estonian language skills remain largely dependent on consistency and the forms of study that are offered. Training on the methodology of teaching Estonian needs to be organised, predominantly in terms of methodology related to the teaching of functional language skills. In many cases there are few people in schools who can speak Estonian, and while the teachers do attend courses, they do not communicate in the language. One solution would be for several teachers from the same school to attend the courses so that they are then willing and able to practise using the language with each other in the workplace.
The evaluation also showed that the current language courses are provided with a thorough grammatical basis but not emboldening learners to communicate in the language. Summer language courses and camps should be arranged at which the teachers and students are in an Estonian-language environment, and a range of joint activities should also be promoted. Teachers could attend work placements for practice in schools with Estonian as the language of instruction, and students could also study certain subjects in other schools in Estonian. Language courses should be closely connected with real life in Estonia: examples should be provided which help learners to understand the cultural and physical environment around them. Interactive learning formats also need to be developed.
The recommendations made based on the evaluation of the results of the projects will be taken into account in the planning of the vocational studies activities of the “Language Studies Development 2007-2010” programme, which forms part of the “Lifelong Learning” measure, a priority of the “Human Resources Development Plan” of the “National Strategy for the Use of Structural Resources 2007-2013”.
For further information please contact Merlin Mägi from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
“Staff Excursions within Estonia for Language Practice” project comes to an end
June saw the conclusion of the “Staff Excursions within Estonia for Language Practice” project, whose aims were to support the formation of an open, democratic and multicultural society in which the people living in Estonia enjoy equal access to education and employment opportunities through improved language skills and social competence and to ensure that rescue workers and police officials working in the public sector who speak languages other than Estonian obtain the level of language skills required by law and for their work.
Four stages of language courses were held as part of the project, in which 447 rescue workers and police officials studied Estonian in Tallinn, Paldiski, Jõhvi, Kohtla-Järve, Narva and Sillamäe.
Lifelong Learning Unit launches simplified public tender for “In-service training of language and specialist studies trainers from informal adult education institutions in the field of integrated language and specialist studies”
The tender is designed to boost the competence of language and specialist studies trainers from informal adult education institutions in order to carry out integrated language and specialist teaching. In-service training on the topics of “Different methods and ways of teaching languages”, “Language skill levels and determining them: Setting goals in learning” and “Integrated learning of language and professional skills” will be organised to this end. The deadline for submission of applications is 11 August 2008.
For more detailed information please contact Riina Ring from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Lifelong Learning Unit launches simplified public tender for organisation of training on basics of multiculturalism and language learning for trainers of adult learners
The “In-service training of language and specialist studies trainers from informal adult education institutions on subjects related to the field of multiculturalism and language learning” tender is designed to boost the competence of language and specialist studies trainers from informal adult education institutions in order to teach people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In-service training on topics related to multiculturalism and language learning will be carried out to this end.
The deadline for submission of applications is 1 August 2008.
For more detailed information please contact Riina Ring from the Lifelong Learning Unit.
Support for the studies of Estonian for non-Estonian speaking children in preschool institutions
In spring the Centre for Educational Programmes of the Integration Foundation organised the “Studies of Estonian for Non-Estonian Speaking Children in Preschool Institutions” project competition. A total of 1,359,580 kroons was allocated in support of Estonian language studies and related activities for preschool institutions as part of the competition.
39 kindergartens submitted applications for the competition, 27 of whom received funding. Ten were located in Harju County, ten in Ida-Viru County, five in Tartu, one in Võru and one in Kohila.
For more detailed information please contact Marje Sarapuu at the Centre for Educational Programmes.
Support for Estonian-language teaching
791,709 kroons is to be provided in support of the teaching of subjects in Estonian in basic schools during the 2008-2009 academic year. 20 applications were received as part of the “Support for Estonian-language subject teaching” competition. 14 schools received funding: six in Harju County, three in Ida-Viru County, one in Lääne-Viru County, one in Valga, one in Pärnu, one in Tartu and one in Haapsalu. As part of the project, Estonian-language teaching is being provided in the following subjects: art, music, work studies, physical education, nature studies, Estonian literature, social studies, history, people studies and geography.
For more detailed information please contact Tiina Kuurmaa at the Centre for Educational Programmes.
Training of national culture society teachers in their motherlands
As a result of the project competition organised by the Centre for Educational Programmes of the Integration Foundation this spring, six national culture society Sunday School language and culture teachers will be undertaking in-service training in their motherlands. The training courses will be held in Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The total value of the grants issued is 366,093 kroons.
For more detailed information please contact Eda Silberg from the Centre for Educational Programmes.