UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Tallin Skyline


Estonian Level 1 Beginners

Course description: The Beginners’ Estonian course is intended for those who have no previous knowledge of the language. The course runs over three ten-week terms and each session is two hours long. It develops all four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The course covers:

Topics: pronunciation, the alphabet, sound mutations and grades, some basic grammatical concepts, common greetings and everyday conversation, gradually introducing some aspects of Estonian culture.

Functions: Students are encouraged to engage in dialogues and classroom conversations which familiarize them with a steadily growing everyday vocabulary and a correct grasp of Estonian grammar. Functional language for everyday life in Estonia is covered: shopping, ordering food and drinks, invitations, travelling.

Grammar: present and past tenses of the verb, the system of noun cases, agreement between nouns and adjectives, the number system, word order and syntax, idiomatic expressions.

Study materials: The textbook used in the class is Colloquial Estonian (C.Moseley, Routledge 2008). Students will be expected to successfully complete all the lessons in this course, including grammar, vocabulary and exercises, some of them done as class work and some as homework assignments.

In their last term, however, they will be given some additional material (supplied by the teacher) as they approach completion of the Colloquial course. This consists of exercises and class assignments from other textbooks: Teach Yourself Estonian (M.Kitsnik & L.Kingisepp, 2008) and E nagu Eesti (M.Pesti & H.Ahi, 2006), Saame Tuttavaks (S.Tomingas, 2011), used as a basis for written work and conversation in class.