Integration Foundation offers online Estonian practice with native speakers

Well over 100 Estonian learners have signed up to Keelesõber already (photo is illustrative).
Well over 100 Estonian learners have signed up to Keelesõber already (photo is illustrative). Source: Integration Foundation

The Integration Foundation (Integratsiooni Sihtasutus) is offering Estonian language learners the opportunity to practice communication by chatting with volunteer Estonian language mentors.

The initiative falls in the foundation's Keelesõber program, and takes place via e-channels, the foundation said via a press release Wednesday.

So far, 130 native speakers of Estonian have volunteered for the program, with more expected on an ongoing basis, the foundation said.

Ave Landrat, Head of the Keelesõber program and coordinator at the foundation's Estonian Language House said: "The Keelesõber program started last spring, and has united 885 people for the purpose of learning and practicing the Estonian language. 410 volunteer mentors have been helping 475 Estonian language learners to improve their language skills via virtual conversations. Regular communication in Estonian has helped many language learners to improve their language skills and overcome the language barrier. The positive feedback from the participants encouraged us to continue the program this year as well."

Language learners who already speak Estonian at least at basic level and who wish to receive additional oral Estonian language practice are welcome to participate in the Keelesõber program, the foundation says, by registering here.

The same link should be used by native speakers volunteering as language mentors.

The task of a volunteer Estonian language mentor is to communicate with language learners in Estonian on various general topics, using suitable e-channels, one to two times per week, the foundation says, adding that no previous teaching experience is required.

The leaders of the Integration Foundation's Keelesõber program collect data from language learners and mentors alike, help them make contact, and guide them in choosing conversation formats and conducting conversations.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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