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Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
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Introductory Estonian I
CEUS-T 103/503

Course Objectives

The course will concentrate on contemporary Estonian with the emphasis on everyday communication. Introductory Estonian is meant for beginners with no knowledge of Estonian. The aim of the course is to give the students grounding in all of the four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The class covers basic structures of the language and basic vocabulary for the topics in chapters 1-12 of the main textbook. The classrooms are oriented to communication and maximum use of Estonian, while English-language explanations and occasional translations are not avoided altogether. 
By the end of the course the students will have an understanding of the system of Estonian and be able to interact in a variety of everyday situations (e.g., introduce themselves, buy bus tickets, order food), maintain a simple conversation about themselves and their family, read and write short texts (e.g., classified ads, simple descriptions).

Required texts and materials:

H.Ahi, M.Pesti  E nagu Eesti. Tallinn, TEA 2001 + CD.
Main class textbook, available at IU bookstore
J. Tuldava. Estonian Textbook. Bloomington, Indiana 1994.
Used for reference. Available for purchase from the RIFIAS office, Goodbody Hall 344.
Course materials prepared by the instructor, available on Oncourse.

Suggested texts and materials

In the bookstore:
Estonian-English-Estonian Pocket Dictionary. Tallinn: TEA.
E. Veldi. Eesti-Inglise sõnaraamat. Estonian-English Dictionary, Tallinn: Koolibri, 2002.
A. Jõgi et al. Inglise-Eesti sõnaraamat. English-Estonian Dictionary. Tallinn: Koolibri, 2002.
In theWells Library:
P.Saagpakk. Eesti-Inglise sõnaraamat. Estonian-English Dictionary. Tallinn:Koolibri 1992 or Daedalus books 1982 (Yale linguistic series).
J. Silvet. Inglise-Eesti sõnaraamat/ English-Estonian dictionary. Tallinn: Valgus, 1989-1990.

Assignments and requirements

At the end of the semester you will receive a final course grade. It is derived from the following components:

Participation: 30%
Homework (oral and written assignments, presentations, journal): 30%
Quizzes and chapter tests: 15%
Midterm exam (oral interview and written): 10%
Final exam: (oral and written components): 15%

Homework is given every day; and it is due the following morning in class. You may turn in late homework to receive feedback from your instructor. However, you will not receive credit for late homework. Bonuses or extra credit are not given for extracurricular events.


Language learning requires greater participation in the classroom than most other subjects in the university curriculum. Students are expected to attend ALL classes. Students are allowed to miss three instructional hours during the course of one semester without grade penalty. Absences beyond three instructional hours will result in grade penalty of 2% per day. Additional absences can be considered by the department only with proper documentation of attested medical needs for which a doctor's note will be required, and with the possibility of a tutoring requirement to preclude class disruption for other students.

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