From 8th to 11th March, the Estonian language teachers from abroad meet in Tartu to celebrate Estonian-language day. 60 teachers from 13 countries gathered to exchange experiences and enhance knowledge.
The meeting was opened on Thursday by the minister of education and research Ms. Mailis Reps. She thanked teachers, who are the ambassadors of Estonia’s culture and Estonian language in different countries all over the world. They often are driven by the mission and respect to Estonia.
„Knowledge of Estonian-language is one of the key prerequisite for returning to Estonia, continuing studies in Estonia or being active member of the society in Estonia,“ said the minister Ms. Mailis Reps. „The decision of child’s language learning is made by the parent, but often all parents are not familiar with the studying opportunities of Estonian language in foreign countries or it is not valued high enough. The teachers, schools and societies have very important role in acknowledging Estonian language’s necessity and opportunities to the parents.“
The participants are experienced teachers as well as eager and active parents who have established play schools and children’s clubs to keep their knowledge in Estonian while living abroad.
On Friday, the presentations and discussion took place in the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia. On Saturday, the meeting will continue in the Estonian National Museum. Logopedic counselling, returning to Estonia and using national culture in teaching focus topics of the meeting this year.
The meeting for Estonian-language day was founded nine years ago by Estonian teachers abroad. Previously, the meetings have been held in Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden and the Netherlands. For celebrating a hundred years of the Republic of Estonia, the meeting takes place in Estonia.
During the on-going academic year, about four thousand children are studying Estonian language. Estonian is taught at 80 institutions: in general education school, Sunday schools, societies and kindergartens.
Teachers, sent by Estonia, are working in Luxembourg; Riga, Latvia; Pechory and Upper-Suetuk, Russia. The Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia funds studing Estonian language abroad and the educational programmes are implemented with support by the Estonian Institute.
Read more about studying Estonian language abroad here.