Integration Foundation to provide free Estonian classes to 500 people in autumn


Registration for the A2, B1 and B2 Estonian language courses starting around the country in September is now open. The courses will be run with the support of the ‘Activities supporting integration in Estonian society’ programme of the European Social Fund. Advance registration is open to anyone interested in the courses on the website of the Integration and Migration Foundation until 30 August 2015. Those expressing an interest will be informed of the exact dates and venues of the courses by the organisers.

“We need to keep contributing to Estonian language studies at the beginner and intermediate levels,” said Anne-Ly Reimaa, the deputy secretary general for cultural diversity at the Ministry of Culture. “The better the people who live here speak Estonian, the more effectively they’ll be able to participate in social life – it’ll be easier for them to find a job, they’ll find themselves part of Estonian media space and they’ll enjoy greater social activity.”

The Estonian language training courses at the beginner and intermediate levels (A2, B1 and B2) will start for the first groups on 1 September 2015. Each course will last 100 academic hours. The aim is to offer language training to at least 540 residents of Estonia and new immigrants who speak another mother tongue, come from another cultural background and have insufficient skills in the official language. 

“We’re currently awaiting tenders to find Estonian language trainers and to run the courses around Estonia,” said Jana Tondi, the area manager for language and cultural immersion at the Integration Foundation. “The courses are designed to develop and improve people’s skills in Estonian and to broaden their everyday vocabulary. It’s important that the knowledge they gain on the courses helps them make more use of Estonian in their studies, at work and in their daily lives. And it’s important to us that the language skills people need on an everyday basis and that they use in their work improve. People have to be able to feel confident when speaking the language in ordinary situations and have the courage to use the knowledge they have. We also hope the courses turn more attention to situations that pop up in real life and to people’s actual needs.”

The Integration Foundation has previously coordinated and supported Estonian language training via the state budget through the Ministry of Culture and the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals as part of the “Estonian Integration Programme 2008-2013”. More than 1500 people have taken part in language courses.