Languages

The school promotes multilingualism with a French speaking section and more than 10 European languages taught in the mother tongue programme or as foreign languages. The pupils also have the possibility to pass language exams in English, 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 to Primary 2)

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).

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 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 of the employees of the institutions and agencies of the European Union (applies to the official languages of the EU).

We provide lessons in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Estonian, Bulgarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Greek and Hungarian. 

  • First language (L1)– at Primary 1 (P1), at the latest. 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.
  • Second language (L2)– at Primary 1 (P1), at the latest. L2 must be French, German or English.
  • Third language (L3)– at Secondary 1 (S1).

Additionally, Estonian studies are compulsory from Primary 3 to Primary 5 (1 lesson per week) and optional subjects Latin (from S3) and Old Greek (from S4) can be chosen. Language years are offered as electives only in case the particular language is requested by at least five pupils. In case of Estonian, the number of requests is not considered.

It is important that L2 is different from L1 and also L3 must differ from L1 and L2.

International foreign language exam possibilities at Tallinn European School

Students, who learn English, French or German as a foreign language, have the possibility to take an English, French or German internationally recognized exams. The French and German 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. The English exam takes place in May/June and November/December.

Registration to the French and German exams are made in accordance with the rules that are enforced by The Republic of Estonia 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 students and they 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.

3. English – Pearson Test of English

Tallinn European School is an approved Pearson Test of English Centre.

The Pearson Test of English is designed to reward positive achievement in English language learning as a foreign language. It integrates all four skills (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing) and focuses on assessing the ability to communicate in English, rather than test-taking skills. PTE is recognised globally and accepted by national education authorities as evidence of a required level of English.

The PTE Young Learners is a fun English language assessment for students aged 6 to 13. The PTE General can be taken in 6 different levels of proficiency (A1, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and accredited by Ofqual in the UK.

More information can be found here.