“Estonian language learning for third-country nationals” impact study

The results show that satisfaction with the language course offered as part of the language training was high among the participants, with 85% of participants either satisfied or very satisfied. Satisfaction with different factors and aspects of the language course varied but was generally above average: for example, 87% to 90% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the competence of the teacher, the teaching format and the teaching materials, and similar levels of satisfaction were found about the duration, location and time of the course. However, there was less satisfaction or less very high satisfaction with, for example, the amount of independent work (69%), the length of the course (75%) or the size of the study group (76%). Although the number of the course drop-outs was relatively low, the most common reasons for those who did drop out were heavy workload at work and/or school (44% of respondents), overlapping work and/or study schedules with the course (39%), and lack of time due to children or other family commitments (33%).

The impact of the language course on the participants’ language skills was high: participants rated the impact of the course on listening and understanding Estonian the highest (93%), while the impact of the course on writing skills was rated the least highly (79%). The impact on reading and speaking in Estonian is fairly similar, with around 85% of respondents rating it as having a strong or somewhat strong impact on both.

In addition to the impact on participants’ language skills, we also looked at the impact of participation in the course on aspects of people’s daily lives, including networking and integration into Estonian society in general. Participation in the course has had the most positive effect on improving participants’ communication skills, but also on the increased use of Estonian in everyday life and on feeling better and more comfortable living in Estonia in general. However, it is least felt that participation in the course promoted or increased the number of Estonian-speaking acquaintances of the participants after the course.