A series of short essays, focusing on the Estonian- Georgian film” Tangerines”, Elmo Nüganen’s “1944”, Mart Sander’s one-man show “ Behind the Random Denominator”, organizations’ get-togethers and other cultural events. The essays are written in basic, but clear Estonian, with only a few grammatical and usage errors. Engaging and well- rehearsed presentations about the 1989 “The Baltic Way”, Estonian animation films with a clip from Rein Raamat’s “Hell”(1983), Interesting Places in Tallinn, Memories from Jõekääru.
While the above may sound like a review of what takes place at a fraternity or sorority meeting at Tartu College, you may be surprised to find out that, it is actually a brief overview of the end-of-term assignments presented by the students taking the second semester of the Elementary Estonian (EST 101) course at the University of Toronto. In the 2016 winter term, 8 students (out of 10 who started in September) from varying linguistic and cultural backgrounds decided to join a steadily growing Estonian language community in the diaspora. Some may consider one year of study sufficient for their purposes. Others might pursue it further and keep improving their fluency in the language as well as their knowledge of the culture that it represents. This year there was record number of regular undergraduate U of T students that took the course. Approximately half of the original 10 students had Estonian roots. To be able to successfully complete the course and fully master the material, required dedication and commitment. Many students did not miss a single class over two semesters of twice a week classes. The majority of students attended 95% of classes. This was definitely a group of very dedicated and motivated Estonian learners!
It is a significant achievement for young people from different backgrounds to study our language, history and culture. They have become advocates, passing on their knowledge to friends and peers, and contributing to Estonia and everything Estonian.
Congratulation, EST100/101 class of 2015/16! You were great! I hope to see you At ESTDOCS and other Estonian events and at Laulupidu!
If you are interested in taking EST100/101 (Elementary Estonian) or EST 200/201 (Intermediate Estonian in 2016 Fall /Winter , please contact Marju Toomsalu ( ) for information and placement. After getting permission from Marju, auditors will need to enroll in person in the Department of Slavic Language and Literature at the end of August. Classes will be held Monday and Thursday evenings 7-9 p.m. at University of Toronto St. George campus.
U of T Estonian course Estonian Life (1)