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

Sander Nõmmik
Author Sander Nõmmik

The Integration and Migration Foundation is to provide free A2, B1 and B2 Estonian language courses to 500 people this autumn, the registration for the courses has commenced.

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 foundation until 30 August. 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 the 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. 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 have 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 foundation. “The courses are designed to develop and improve people’s skills in Estonian and to broaden their everyday vocabulary.”

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.