Steve Roman, ERR News
A free, online course aimed at teaching basic Estonian to native Russian-speakers was launched on March 14, a date celebrated in the country as Mother Tongue Day.
Keeleklikk, which translates to "Language Click," incorporates work by professional actors and writers, and uses animation and short film clips to make the learning experience engaging, its developer, the Norwegian-Estonian company Chironmedia, said in a statement.
Designed to bring learners up to an elementary level of proficiency, or A2 level, Keeleklikk not only lets users work at their own pace, it also gives them the option to have one-on-one contact with a teacher who can correct homework assignments and return them by e-mail. Leelo Kingisepp and Marju Ilves, authors of the widely-used Estonian tutorial "Naljaga Pooleks," developed the course contents.
Project director Asko Uri told ERR News that the goal behind Keeleklikk is fundamentally to help Russian-speakers "get jobs and keep jobs."
"Lack of knowledge of the Estonian language is one of the main factors hindering job searches: among the registered unemployed in Estonia, nearly a quarter do not speak the language at the required level," his company's statement said.
Keeleklikk is paid for by the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Education and Research.
Estonian Teaching Goes Online With Free Course (1)