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Keeleklikk & Kultuuriklikk – Independent Estonian language and cultural learning

Geographic Area

Estonia

City

Nationwide

Language

Estonian

Type of Information

Project or programme

Organisation

chironmedia

Contact Person

Kai Timmusk (Login to send email)

Contact Person Function

Manager at chironmedia

Project Start

01/07/2011

Ongoing Project

Yes

Summary

Launched in 2011, Keeleklikk (‘tongue click’) is a digital course designed to support independent learning of the Estonian language for beginners (levels 0-A2), based on the student’s prior knowledge of English or Russian. Kultuuriklikk (‘culture click’), which followed in 2013, is a digital course for students at a B1/2 level of Estonian language that introduces Estonian history and culture from ancient times to the present.

The two courses consist of videos, animations and exercises to help remember what has already been learned. Both courses are aimed at adults and are free of charge and accessible at any time to all registered users.

 

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

The Estonian government has continuously made efforts to improve Estonian language skills among foreign residents, as language skills have a major impact on people’s job opportunities and daily lives. These online courses were thus developed to improve Estonian language skills among people who have little or no proficiency in Estonian.

The developers of the courses faced two particular challenges: first, how to make language learning more appealing and, second, how to support independent learning of Estonian at a higher level and introduce Estonian culture to the learners. The team opted to incorporate interactive exercises, cheerful videos and animated sketches that guide the learner. To address cultural learning, they created a specific course, Kultuuriklikk.

 

How does it work

Keeleklikk is an online language learning tool that consists of 16 comprehensive language learning units. They include 200 animations, over 100 videos explaining grammatical concepts and roughly 1,200 exercises. Keeleklikk also allows students to communicate via email with an Estonian language teacher. This course is suitable for both independent study and classroom use. It is intended for students with a previous knowledge of either English or Russian.

Kultuuriklikk is an online learning tool that consists of 24 videos. 13 of the videos reflect on Estonia's history and 11 deal with contemporary topics. A renowned Estonian scholar and folklorist gives cultural talks in the videos. Exercises help students remember what they have learned. Also incorporated in the course are a dictionary, animations and commentary. The commentary explains the language used in the videos as well as different cultural phenomena.

Since the online courses are accessible anywhere with an internet connection and at any time, language learning does not depend on where a person is located or their daily schedule. Students can also progress through the course at their own pace.

 

Results

The project team set goals of 750 registered users for Keeleklikk and 5,000 for Kultuuriklikk but very quickly surpassed these goals. There were more than 38,000 registered users in total by 2016.

Feedback from users has been generally positive. Even though the courses were aimed at people living in Estonia, new subscribers join from all over the world.

 

Evaluation

The user feedback form focuses on how the learners perceive the efficiency and user-friendliness of the courses. The forms also ask users to comment on the content of the courses. Most of the feedback has been positive, and users find the course useful.

However, some users have suggested that there should be fewer (or no) animations. Others note that some exercises are too long and lack excitement, and for many learners the first chapters of the language course were too easy.

The language course Keeleklikk received an award from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science as well as the European Commission’s Award for Contributions to the Development of Foreign Language Teaching in 2012. It also won the grand prize and was the public’s favourite in the Ministry of Education and Research’s 2014 language developments competition.

 

Who will benefit?

Direct beneficiaries of the courses include Russian- and English-speaking people who want to learn Estonian language and get to know Estonian culture. Other beneficiaries include language schools that teach Estonian language. Public school teachers in Estonia can also use materials from the culture course for classes where Estonian history and society are discussed.

 

Source of funding and Resources used

Keeleklikk (language course) was financed by the European Social Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science. The total budget for the project was 328,450 EUR.

Kultuuriklikk (culture course) was financed by the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Integration and Migration Foundation ‘Our People’, and the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. The total budget for the project was 79,915 EUR.

The project teams for both courses consisted of nearly 30 people, including actors, editors, programmers, language teachers, animators, etc.