The school promotes multilingualism with a French-speaking section and 11 official European languages taught in the mother tongue programme or as foreign languages. The pupils also have the possibility to pass language exams in French and German. 

Currently, Tallinn European School offers the following two language sections:

  • English language section (from Nursery 1 to Secondary 7)
  • French language section (from Nursery 0 to Primary 5)

Instructions are generally given in the language of the respective section. The second language chosen (L2) becomes the language of instruction for Human Sciences (starting from S3), History (from S4), Geography (from S4) and, if chosen, Economics (from S4).

If a respective language section exists, pupils will be enrolled in the language section that corresponds to their mother tongue (or a language stronger than their mother tongue).

For the school year 2023/2024, we provide lessons in 11 different official EU languages: English, French, German, Estonian, Italian, Spanish, Finnish, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Romanian. 

  • First language (L1) starting from Primary 1 (P1). The pupil must choose his/her mother tongue as L1. In case there is no respective mother tongue learning possibility at Tallinn European School, the pupil’s L1 is his/her language of instruction of his/her language section, English or French.
  • Second language (L2) starting from Primary 1 (P1). L2 must be French, German or English.
  • Third language (L3) starting from Secondary 1 (S1).

Additionally, Estonian Host Country Language lessons are compulsory from Primary 3 to Secondary 2 (one lesson per week) and optional subjects Latin (from S3), L4 (from S4) and L5 (from S6) can be chosen. 

SWALS are those pupils whose mother tongue/dominant language is an official language of an EU Member State but for whom no language section in their mother tongue/dominant language (L1) exists in school. At TES SWALS are enrolled in the English or in the French section. Very often the language of the section is the pupil’s L2 while the pupil’s mother tongue is the pupil’s L1.

If necessary, Tallinn European School may consider, in cooperation with parents, arranging intensive courses (SWALS) or providing other learning support for diminishing a pupil’s lag in a language.

Tallinn European School provides mother tongue teaching (so-called Mother Tongue Programme) for SWALS at Primary or Secondary level if it is requested at least for 5 (five) children.

International foreign language exam possibilities at Tallinn European School

Students, who learn French or German as a foreign language, have the possibility to take French or German internationally recognized exams. The tests can be taken for free.

European School foreign language curriculum is established under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with 6 language levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. The same framework is used for French and German internationally recognized exams.

The French and German exams take place in April and May.

Registration to the exams is made following the rules that are enforced by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and Innove.

1. French – DELF

DELF is a diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education to prove the French-language skills of non-French candidates. The exams will assess four competencies: understanding of oral speech and written text and oral and written self-expression. More information can be found here.

French exams are meant for TES S2-S6 pupils who can pass the language levels A2, B1 and B2.

2. German – Goethe Zertifikat B1 and Goethe Zertifikat B2

Goethe-Zertifikat B1 and B2 confirms the independent use of German and complies with language level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. More about the exams at Goethe Institut can be found here.

German exam is meant for TES S6 students and they can pass the language levels B1 and B2.

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