Preparation of the National Curriculum
In the field of education and Estonian language study, the preparation of the National Curriculum for Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools was initiated and will continue along with the preparation of the related Estonian language subject syllabus. An agreement was reached regarding the development of the Estonian language state examination into a two-part examination based on source texts. As a result, preparations for the new type of examination have begun, and the continuing education of Estonian language teachers has been expanded. Sample subject syllabi of Estonian as a second language will continue to be developed for new immigrants learning in schools where Estonian is the language of instruction, as will the corresponding continuing education of Estonian language teachers. The measures for the implementation of Estonian language study and adaptation programmes will be developed and implemented in cooperation with the owners of the schools. The measures for helping persons enjoying international immunity to adapt to Estonian society and learn Estonian are developed in cooperation with local governments and the Integration Foundation.
Support is provided to the Estonian Association of Native Language Teachers for improving the quality of language instruction and encouraging pupils to participate more actively in language-related activities as well as for improving the native language teachers’ contacts and continuing education opportunities. Furthermore, support is provided to the Tallinn University Native Language Teaching Information Centre. Estonian language competitions are held for basic school and secondary school pupils in cooperation with the University of Tartu and Tallinn University, while Estonian language courses continue to be provided at The Gifted and Talented Development Centre, University of Tartu.
Institutions of higher education have started providing more courses in the field of self-expression in Estonian, and the national programme Preparation and Publication of Estonian Language Textbooks for Institutions of Higher Education (2008–2012) was initiated in 2008. The programme covers all areas of research (exact sciences, chemistry and molecular biology, technical engineering, medical science, geoscience and bioscience, agricultural sciences, social sciences, humanities) and has resulted in the completion of the first textbook drafts and the preparation of publication contracts. A study aimed at determining the level of Estonian language skills of first-year students will be conducted in cooperation with the University of Tartu.