A recent day dedicated to the Estonian language held in Haapsalu celebrated both the current Year of the Estonian Language as well as the 150th anniversary of the publishing of Haapsalu native Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann's Estonian-German dictionary. In the spotlight at the event were student reports about the Estonian language and literature as well as projects that had participated in the nationwide "Ode to the Estonian Language" contest.
"Alguses oli sõna" ("In the Beginning was the Word") brought together students from Hiiumaa Upper Secondary School, Läänemaa Joint Upper Secondary School and Noarootsi Upper Secondary School, who presented their practical work and research. Writing reports is an important skill, as it extends beyond knowledge learned on any one specific subject.
"It's incredibly important groundwork to be laid before going to university, because in university you typically don't write a single essay or dictation exercise, but certainly do a lot of research work, papers and so on," said Tiina Brock, an Estonian language and literature teacher at Läänemaa Joint Upper Secondary School. "Students have to learn this experience, skill — yes, skill — and competence of how to do research in upper secondary school already."
Läänemaa Joint Upper Secondary School student Anna-Maria Mustkivi researched via literature textbooks and interviews how required reading has changed over time. She also highlighted what writing an academic-style paper helps teach young students.
"More broadly speaking, time management and how to manage doing things like this independently," Mustkivi said. "In terms of the work itself, formatting and references and quotes are important."
Brock noted that work published by her school's students has also included poetry as well over the years. Läänemaa alumnus Karl-Christoph Rebane, for example, published a poetry collection titled "Artokraatia" with support from crowdfunding platform Hooandja and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Editor: Aili Vahtla