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Estonian for beginners is an elementary course in spoken Estonian, designed for the training of foreigners living in Estonia. The program follows a competency-based curriculum design. Learners are focused on the specific tasks they will need to accomplish through language. The competency-based approach that will be used throughout the training period focuses not only on language, but also on the cultural context and purpose of the communication. The competencies reflect basic survival needs like buying food or clothes, handling emergencies, asking for directions. There are other competencies, which are part of ordinary social transactions, such as discussing home and family, requesting clarification, or making plans for free time.

The core vocabulary is presented in dialogues. In addition to the core vocabulary supplemental vocabulary will be given, which may include single words, expressions, and sentences pertaining to the given topic.

The length of the beginners' course is 120 academic hours. Most language learners of our school pass the A2-level exam after completing the beginners' course. They continue studying on next levels, the descriptions of which are brought out on the Estonian page of our home page.
 To greet people formally and informally.
To say goodbye.
To introduce oneself.
To ask for clarification.
To thank, to apologize.
 To ask and answer personal information questions (country, state, age, date of birth).
To name the months and count numbers from 1 to 1 000000.
To name the ordinals 1st – 10th.
To name countries and nationalities.
FAMILY To identify family members, speak about family relations.
To ask questions about family.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND To define the job titles.
To talk about professional background.
To ask about other peoples’ occupations.
SHOPPING FOR FOOD To identify food items.
To name the colours.
To name items of measure and weight.
To ask for food and their price, make shopping lists, select and buy food.
To locate places where to buy food.
AT A RESTAURANT To express likes and dislikes.
To order food in a restaurant.
To complain in a restaurant.
To ask for the bill.
To make a reservation on a phone.
To ask and buy drinks and snacks at the bar.
TYPICAL DAY To tell the time.
To name the days of the week.
To name everyday activities.
To describe one’s day.
HOBBIES To talk about people’s hobbies and make plans for the free time.
TRANSPORTATION To request information about different means of transport.
To buy tickets.
To have a small talk in a bus, train or plane.
To order a taxi.
DIRECTIONS To identify essential public and service institutions in town.
To say where objects are located.
To give and follow directions.
HEALTH To name the body parts and describe one’s physical condition.
To buy medication at the drugstore.
To give advice.
To make appointments.
CLOTHING To name items of clothing.
To describe different patterns.
To inquire about sizes and conditions of clothes.
To buy clothes.
To make complaints.
To make compliments.
To describe people’s appearance.
HOUSES AND HOMES To identify pieces of furniture.
To describe an apartment or a house.
To select and rent an apartment.
To inquire about a hotel room.
To locate the rooms in a building.
To name the ordinals 11th – 100th.
WEATHER To describe the weather and to understand weather news on the radio, on the Internet and in the newspapers.
To name the seasons.
TELEPHONE To leave and receive messages over the phone.
 To get hair cut.
FEELINGS To describe one’s emotional state, feelings and attitude towards others.
POST-OFFICE To identify and pay postage, address envelopes and packages.
To send and pick-up packages.
To start and end a letter.
EMERGENCIES, ACCIDENTS, SAFETY To report accidents to the police, fire department and the ambulance.
THEATRE, MUSIC, CINEMA, TV To get information about theatre, cinema, TV and concert programs.
To book and buy tickets.
To understand TV programs.
TRAVELLING To speak about different places in the world.
To speak about different countries, nationalities and languages.
To characterize people.
ESTONIAN HOLIDAYS To identify Estonian holidays and talk about the traditions associated with them.
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