Estonia is the northernmost and smallest of the three Baltic republics with a population of 1.3 million people. The country will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2018, when it will also hold the rotating European Union (EU) presidency. Outreach to the relatively segregated Russian-speaking population in Northeast Estonia is a mission priority, especially in light of recent heightened tensions between Russia and its neighbors. Narva (57,000 people; 2.5 hours from Tallinn) is Estonia’s third largest city, both a NATO and EU external border city where 97% of residents are native Russian speakers The region’s economic situation is significantly worse than the rest of the country, with factory closures contributing to an unemployment rate nearly twice the national average. Polling data indicates a majority of residents in Narva and Ida Viru County are skeptical and distrustful of U.S. intentions in Estonia (specifically with regards to NATO) and do not support U.S. policy towards Russia. Recent experiences with the positive impact of the previous Fellows (and ETAs) have showcased the significant impact on the English-language facilities on students and community members.
Host Institution: Tartu University Narva College
Tartu University Narva College, located in the northeast of Estonia, is a regional college of the University of Tartu and has a student body of 650. It has a solid track-record of hosting Fellows, most recently in academic year 2016-2017. It is the only institution of higher education in Estonia that prepares teachers for Estonian schools with Russian as the language of instruction (the state language of Estonia is Estonian), and it also offers professional higher education studies in Youth Work, Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Systems Development. Narva College’s mission is to act as the leading force driving the development of a knowledge-based society and to be the guarantor of its continuity in Ida-Viru County, to serve the society through study and research work, to offer its students the best opportunities for self-development and decent education, to help them apply their knowledge in the society, and to promote development of connections between the various cultures in Estonia. The College has served as a great venue for Embassy sponsored educational (CLIL and English Teaching conferences), cultural (Narva Jazz Club) and entrepreneurship events (TEDx). Internet and free WiFi are available throughout the campus and in most parts of town. The College’s cafeteria is the best place to eat in Narva.
- The Fellow will work with English language majors (teaching Practical English, Structure of the English Language, Academic Writing, English Language Teaching Methods and Introduction to American Society), and with IT and entrepreneurship students (teaching Practical English, English for Specific Purposes and Oral Communication skills) to professionalize their English skills.
- The Fellow will provide supervision of student research at both the B.A. and M.A. levels.
- The Fellow will help organize and participate in English language teaching conferences for in-service teachers in Narva and at other venues.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Contribute to the Embassy’s Public Affairs-led outreach activities at the American Corner (e.g. monthly American film screenings and speaker programs), English Teaching, and STEM education events.
- Support teachers and visit students in the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) in Narva.
- Help supervise and provide guidance for the teachers from the current Narva and Sillamae Access groups.