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NeilTuesday 18th of January 2005 11:07:21 PM
Primary language - What foreign language teaching is there in the primary sector in Estonia? What languages are taught and how old are the pupils?
JadokesaTuesday 18th of January 2005 11:13:46 PM
- This is not exactly on topic, but a bit.
I'm wondering how many that are interested in learning Swedish in Estonia? I've heard that many would like to learn Swedish, but I'm a bit unsure. What have you heard from others?
Helen FlemingThursday 20th of January 2005 06:48:56 PM
Hi Neil, - Foreign language learning starts in I kooliaste (grade 1-3) in Estonia with A language. In II kooliaste (grade 4-6), B language is added. In III kooliaste (grade 7-9), both languages are learned equally. In gümnaasium (grade 10-12), the students may choose another foreign language (C).

English, Russian, German or French are learned as A, B and C foreign languages. The schools are free to choose, which languages of those 4 to teach more. In schools where language other than Estonian is used in teaching, Estonian will be the A language. Spanish, Finnish and Swedish are also learned as a C language. In some schools, Latin is taught as a facultative subject in addition. In gümnaasium, foreign language learning may be integrated with some other subject. A part of a lesson, some lessons, a part of a subject or the whole course may be in the foreign language.

By the end of the põhikool (grade 9), the pupil is assumed to have acquired European Council's level B1 [url=http://www.alte.org/can_do/framework/level2.cfm]Threshold[/url] in his A foreign language. By the end of gümnaasium, the pupil is assumed to have acquired European Council's level B2 [url=http://www.alte.org/can_do/framework/level3.cfm]Vantage[/url] in at least one of his foreign languages.

Helen FlemingThursday 20th of January 2005 10:58:39 PM
Jadokesa, - Sweden has had a considerable influence over Estonia in the past and Swedish is taught as a C foreign language at Tallinna Gustav Adolfi Gümnaasium, Noarootsi Gümnaasium and some other schools. Among universities, Tartu Ülikool has Scandinavian department, which teaches Swedish, Norwegian and Danish by turns. Tallinna Pedagoogikaülikool offers Swedish as a facultative subject. Many language schools together with Svenska Folkhögskolan i Estland offer Swedish language courses. Clearly, Swedish is not the most popular foreign language in Estonia, but gladly and eagerly learned here.
NeilWednesday 04th of May 2005 06:51:29 PM
- Have I understood this correctly? Kids start with their first foreign langauge at the age of ... (6?) and start their second foreign language at the age of (9...?).

keaWednesday 04th of May 2005 07:13:40 PM
- I am not sure exactly how things are at the moment, it also depends on schools. When I was a kid then I started to study English in kindergarden already and when I went to school (age 7) then we had English and Russian in the first grade. I think that today the main foreign language is English which starts pretty early already and then few years later an other one (Russian I think) comes (and later is possible to choose a third one). But I don't know the ages when exactly something starts.
Helen FlemingWednesday 04th of May 2005 10:51:01 PM
Neil, - Little Estonians are bound to start school at the age of 7. Thus, foreign language teaching can begin at the age of 7 (grade 1), but must start at the age of 9 (grade 3) the latest. The second foreign language can be started either at the age of 10, 11, or 12. When and with which language foreign language teaching is started, is decided by school and depends largely on the whereabouts of it. The schools in urban area are more likely to start early, while cozy little rural ones spare children.

I went to school at the age of 7 and started with Russian as my first foreign language in grade 1. At the age of 10 (grade 4), I started my second foreign language – English, which was accompanied by 2 years of German classes in gümnaasium.

NeilTuesday 10th of May 2005 11:21:03 PM
- You Estonians are very lucky to begin learning languages so early! The state of foreign language learning in English primary schools is terrible by comparison!