Across the globe there are millions of people who can speak English, but only one million speak Estonian. The language is part of the Finno-Ugric group, related to Finnish and Hungarian. Tallinn University’s summer course in Estonian Language and Culture offers an opportunity to study an unusual and entrancing language, all amongst the backdrop of a well-preserved medieval city. The course aims to familiarize a wide range of international students not only with the Estonian language, but also with the country’s rich culture, history, art and lifestyle.
After a short written test, students will be divided into groups based on their initial proficiency in the Estonian language.
The courses will then foster skills at the following levels:
Beginner – students will develop basic Estonian communication skills and master day-to-day conversation. The course programme includes pronunciation practice, listening comprehension and easy communication.
Intermediate – students will further develop their speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar skills. The students should be familiar with basic Estonian structures. The course programme includes activities on various everyday-life situations.
The languages of instruction are Estonian and English and course materials are distributed during the course.
Timetable for language classes
09:30 – 11:00 Language lessons
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – 13:00 Language lessons
NB! The timetable may vary depending on the group.
In the afternoons following language classes, specialised lectures and discussions will take place, delving into aspects of Estonian culture, history, art, music, and traditions. Students will be presented with material that not only reviews and analyses Estonia’s past, but also its present social and political conditions. Read more about Cultural Programme
Further instruction outside of the summer period of the program is available through a follow-up online course offered by instructor Mall Pesti.
See also other video interviews with Tallinn Summer School participants and read the diary of 2013.
The course is suitable for students of all levels of competence in the Estonian language, from complete beginners with no practical experience to conversationally capable speakers. The three week intensive course contains 60 hours teaching language.
A total of 3 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits will be awarded for the combined linguistic and cultural elements of the program. In order to get the summer school certificate, students have to participate in at least 75% of the classes and pass an exam at the end of the course.
A similar course is also offered at Tallinn Winter School.
Read also about degree studies in English at Tallinn University!