The hills were alive with the sound of Estonian language last week
Story written by Heidy Eskor-Kiviloo
The second Worldwide Estonian Language Week „KeelEST“ was held last week, which brought together virtual language learners from all over the world. The aims of the week were to learn and teach the Estonian language and to introduce Estonian food culture at school, work, and home.
The organizers from the Estonian Institute invited people from all over the world to participate in a diverse programme of Language Week activities from 21st until 27th of September. There were many virtual activities as well as `real life´ ones. During Language Week, KeelEST shared lunch ideas on the Nami-Nami food blog in a virtual language-cooking school. There were also recommendations from gourmet chefs at the Bocuse d’Or competition in Tallinn. Volunteer language teachers gathered in cafes and also held language focused orienteering games.
Universities, Estonian communities, schools, kindergartens and societies in at least 20 foreign countries also initiated Language Week events. Among other things, Estonian language postcards were displayed on the windows of Tartu College in the centre of Toronto, great recipes were exchanged at the Estonian School in Stockholm, a workshop “Look in the kitchen!” was held in Hungary, children made a picture dictionary of food-related language learning in Riga, and the Estonian Centre of Mikkeli organized a kama café in Finland. The Estonian Institute published a world map on the website keelest.ee, where each student could indicate which country he or she was studying Estonian in.
“Today, language learning is not limited to the knowledge acquired in school, instead one must be able to see opportunities for language learning in everyday activities as well,” according to the Head of the Estonian Institute Katrin Maiste. One of the goals of Estonian Language Week was to share with the world virtual language learning environments and other opportunities to learn Estonian, taking into account the limitations of the current travel restrictions and lockdowns.
The organizing of Worldwide Estonian Language Week KeelEST is supported by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Culture, the Integration Foundation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs