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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)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Advanced Estonian I
CEUS-T 303-703

Course objectives

The advanced course serves to further consolidate the students’ knowledge of the structure of Estonian and add on to the vocabulary, especially in the areas of interest/specialization of the student. All the four skills of speaking, reading, listening and writing are further developed in this course. The course will be tailored to the needs of the students as much as possible. The students participate in selecting the texts for reading, and much of the explicit instruction of structures and usage is based on the students’ individual difficulties in the particular areas of the language.
In addition to the core vocabulary and structures enabling the student to read academic, general interest and news-texts in standard Estonian, we will explore spoken language, incl. slang, poetic language and dialectal features. We will review all areas of grammar, especially those most problematic for the students. The focus will be on syntax, i.e. comprehension and production of a variety of sentence types and construction for different communicative purposes. At this level, grammar is treated in close conjunction with vocabulary and usage.

Required texts and materials:

M.Kitsnik, L.Kingissepp. Avatud Uksed. Tallinn 2002 (textbook+ workbook+audiotape)
M.Pesti, H.Ahi. T nagu Tallinn. Pre-publication MS, available from the instructor.
J.Tuldava. Estonian Textbook. Bloomington, Indiana 1994. 

Suggested texts and materials:

R. Pool. Eesti keele verbirektsioone. Tartu 1999.
M Erelt. Estonian Language. Tallinn 2003.

 Assignments and evaluation

The assignments in this class include reading for general comprehension, close reading for translation, listening for general comprehension, listening for details, writing of short summaries, reviews, letters, and essays, preparation of oral presentations and self-recording of speech. Translation and structured grammar exercises will be assigned to practice particular structures.
Active class participation and timely submission of homework is essential.
Independent work. The students will read on their own, with the help of a dictionary

  1. Estonian fiction – short stories, excerpts from novels etc. The student selects the reading and puts together a reading plan together with the instructor. The reading will be discussed at least once a month or every other week and reported on as part of the Midterm and Final exams.
  2. One (news) article from Estonian press every week. The student selects a piece of online news, summarizes the reading orally every week and presents a written summary alongside with vocabulary notes. The written news text can be accompanied by or substituted for a segment on online TV at
  3. The student keeps a daily journal and submits it once a week for feedback. Some of the journal entries may be spoken, submitted as sound or video files.

The student will collect all independent work into a portfolio to be presented at exam times.

There will be a midterm and a final exam as well as tests following the completion of a topic. The exams will consist of both in-class oral and written parts.
15 %  participation
35 %  tests and assignments
20 %  midterm
30 %  final


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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