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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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Advanced Estonian II
CEUS-T 304/704
Piibi-Kai Kivik

The final semester of Estonian language study will consolidate areas of structure and vocabulary selected collaboratively with the student, focusing on individual difficulties and interests. The advanced topics in structure include on the one hand participial and other constructions typical of formal writing and on the other hand the specifics of contemporary spoken language, including idioms, and features of conversational speech such as discourse markers or phonetic reduction.
Focus will be on syntactic means of text construction, clause combination and paragraph building.

The classes will seek to further develop the speaking skills by providing a variety of conversational topics and tasks, listening comprehension will be practiced with the help of audiotapes of natural conversation, movies and TV news broadcasts. Writing tasks will address the need to write in different genres. Reading materials will include academic texts of the student’s choice, as well as selections from Estonian literary classics.

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.

Fiction and feature films
Ristumine peateega (Highway crossing): The play by Jaan Tätte and the feature film (Acuba Film 1998). VHS.
Toomas Nipernaadi: the novel in short stories by August Gailit (selected stories for reading) and the feature film Nipernaadi (Tallinfilm 1983).VHS.
Tõde ja Õigus. A.H. Tammsaare. Selections from the novel. OR  Other work of fiction.

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 include individual work with texts and audio/videotapes, vocabulary and structures exercises as well as short essay writing. In addition to the textbook material, the following independent work will be assigned: 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 replaced by 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 two longer reports on individual projects.

i) an individual (guided) study of an issue in the structure, lexicon or use of Estonian (morphology, syntax, expression of a concept, communicative  function, specialized vocabulary), to be reported in the form of systematized notes, references, tables, rules and examples. Use of at least two sources in addition to textbooks required, these may be in English. The aim of the project is to provide experience in independent study of the language structure and use of language reference materials.

ii) essay-type report  (4-5 pages minimum) on an area of readings. The student will select an area of interest (e.g., in relation to his major) and read academic and popular texts, basing his project report on these. The same report will be presented orally. The aim of the project is to acquire and actively use the vocabulary of the field of research, be able to read and effectively summarize scholarly or specialized texts, present ideas in an essay format in coherent writing, speak about this field informally and in the form of a formal presentation.

There will be a midterm (March 2, in class) and a final exam (Apr 30, 8-10 a.m.) 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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