Course topics and learning outcomes
The intended outcome of the course is level A1.1 (beginners). After completing the course, the student can talk about themselves and express their knowledge of Estonia in simple sentences. The students can cope with everyday communication (e.g. buying a ticket, ordering a meal) by using the basic knowledge of the language. Students can identify and name the historical figures and landmarks of Estonia, and discuss topics related to the recent developments (period of transition) in the Estonian society. The course yields 6 ECTS.
We use mostly the communicative language teaching method combined with other methods, e.g. the functional-notional approach. Beyond grammatical discourse elements in communication, we are probing the nature of social, cultural and pragmatic features of the language. We are exploring pedagogical means for 'real-life' communication in the classroom. We are trying to get our learners to develop not only linguistic accuracy but also fluency. We are equipping our students with tools for generating unrehearsed language performance 'out there' when they leave our classrooms. And our classroom practices seek to draw on whatever intrinsically sparks learners to reach their fullest potential.
The three-week study period covers six units, taking the learner to the breakthrough level (A1):
1. Let's get acquainted!
After having covered the material of this chapter you can greet and say goodbye, introduce yourself, tell where you live, where you are from, and where you were born, you can tell what you mother tongue is and which languages you know/learn/understand, you can form a few simple questions, you know countries, languages and nationalities, numbers from 1 to 10.
Grammar: personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, conjugation of the verb in the Present Tense, locative cases (in/at/on/from).
2. What is your favourite colour?
After having covered the material of this chapter you will know the colours, you can name some clothes, you know the vocabulary of some food and beverages, and you can talk about you favourites (colour, food, beverage, song, singer/band, book, and writer).
Grammar: Singular Genitive case, Plural Nominative case, possessive pronouns.
3. What is your lucky number?
After having covered the material of this chapter you will know numbers from 11 to ∞, are able to buy a bottle of water, handkerchiefs, a dictionary, postcard, envelope, and stamp, you can tell how old you and you family members are, you can tell the time and your address, you know some cafe-related vocabulary.
Grammar: Singular Partitive case, constructions “I have../I don´t have… “
4. In a café
After having covered the material of this chapter you can suggest going into a café and ask about vacant seats there, order food and drinks and ask for different kind of information, you understand the menu and are able to talk about your likes and dislikes (what you like and what you don’t like).
Grammar: numbers + Singular Partitive, Singular Comitative – With what?, singular Abessive - Without what?, Singular Allative – Do you like? I like …
5. My family and relatives
After having covered the material of this chapter you can talk about your family and relatives, can tell how old you and your relatives are, know some professions, can describe how people look like, and know more adjectives.
Grammar: Simple Past Tense
6. My day. Excuse me, where is the…?
After having covered the material of this chapter you can ask and tell the time, you know daytimes, weekdays, months and seasons, you are able to talk about your day, and to buy different tickets, you will learn how to ask where something is located and how to ask about city transport.
Grammar: Adessive and Inessive. Question – when?, -ma and –da-infinitive. Locative cases, postpositions.
7. “Kauneim linn on Eestis Tartu !”
After having covered the material of this chapter you know the history and some interesting facts about Tartu, you are able to talk about Tartu with simple phrases and know how to ask the way in Tartu.