Open 51 web

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ISSN 2228-0847

EATE Estonian Association of Teachers of English

The EATE Journal Issue No. 51 August 2017 STRATEGIES TOWARDS PLURILINGUALISM – A EUROPEAN PROJECT Ingrid Stritzelberger




















Experienced Educator DOCTORAL STUDIES OPENED THE DOOR TO THE WORLD An interview with Katrin Saks










Welcome speech by Erika Puusemp

Tea Tamm teaching in the computer lab

Photos by Reet Noorlaid

Piret Kärtner and Pille Põiklik bring greetings from the Ministry of Education

Committee members Kati Bakradze, Tiina Tuuling and Juta Hennoste hand out materials to participants

Ilmar Anvelt speaking about the history of OPEN!

Curious listeners

Estonian Association of Teachers of English Chair Erika Puusemp

Editor of OPEN! Ilmar Anvelt e-mail:

Current account EE331010152001597007 in SEB


Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium, Ostfildern, Germany

The aims of this project are to achieve better oral skills and to increase students’ self-confidence about taking language exams. This promotes the final goal, which is better employability of young people because of better language skills. The methodology used to achieve this are above all CLIL-style workshops, which are backed up by English. Secondly, students create their own practice material, which helps them understand language problems and language exams better. Methods of peer-teaching are used. Working together and communicating with others in international and intercultural meetings not only increases understanding but leads to a noticeable improvement of personal and professional skills. These experiences motivate young people to continue their studies and add on to their language portfolio. Here is one example to show how this works in a European context in which schools from Estonia, Finland, Scotland, Italy and Germany work together. With an international meeting in Italy ahead, participating students (who do not speak Italian but French) are prepared for the visit with language cards and phrases (level A1); for pronunciation and revision, they practice with school mates who take Italian. In Italy, all visiting international students work together with their Italian hosts in workshops which are conducted in Italian. Because of the environment and their language basics they cope; more complicated matters are additionally explained in English. Since the students live in families during their stay, they are also surrounded by the Italian language in their hosts’ homes and they can use simple phrases. Understanding the workshops and participating in conversations makes them more confident. Back home, they continue practicing their language skills with tasks and games to master the Italian language test level A1. They also create their own practice material. While teachers prepare them for the written and the listening parts, school mates practice the oral exam parts with them. With these preparations, all eight students who participated in the Italian visit and the workshops passed the language exam and can now add the A1 Italiano certificate to their language portfolio. In a European job market, this increases their employability. Acquiring more knowledge about other languages and people also serves as a personal motivation for these young people. Why did we start this project?

Picture cards

We all know these facts: a) Foreign language classes are part of high school curricula. b) Foreign language classes are often focused on written language and formal style (literature, grammar, etc.). c) A-level exams focus on skills like comprehension, analysis and essay-writing. Reality however means that in their future lives, our students need more than one foreign language in their jobs, while travelling, in their free time. Here, the most often required skills are communication skills – listening and speaking.

Happy Families

Many students take courses or attend classes in other foreign languages, be it Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian… They participate for one, two, even five years. And then? They focus on English for their A-levels and have nothing to show for their skills in other languages. We should encourage them to take European language exams (DELF for French, CILS for Italian, DELE for Spanish, etc.). But they do not feel well prepared by our traditional foreign language teaching – they lack experience in listening tasks, and above all, they do not feel confident in speaking and communicating. How can we increase their speaking skills in foreign languages? How can we give them the confidence required to take foreign language exams and to master the oral part as well as the written? For English, with exam levels between B1 and C1, students of all participating countries produce their own speaking prompts – A 4 sheets with pictures, short texts and questions to be discussed and shared them with the others. The topics are school, health, globalization, environment, work, travel, studies abroad, sports. For exam levels between A1 and B1, students also produce their own material to initiate talks about their home towns, school subjects, their interests and hobbies. They create games, for example Happy Families (for basic vocabulary and phrases), memory cards about students’ hometowns (vocabulary, explanations, stories...), snakes and ladders boards for numbers; activity games for explaining who does what where and when. When students create their own games and practice with them, they will repeat the basics; they will learn to communicate more freely without worrying about making mistakes. Thus, they will feel more confident and use more advanced vocabulary. With additional ‘communication cards’ they will be able to speak about more complicated topics, too. In video-conferences or skype meetings they can discuss prearranged topics with European partners in other language classrooms. 2

Snakes and ladders with numbers

Now they feel ready to face the exams and to pass them successfully. While the written parts are well prepared by our traditional language lessons, these additional activities cover the preparation for the oral part of European exams. Students have created their own games; they have also memorized important phrases (using phrase cards, bought or made); they have coped in various speaking situations at different levels, they have revised them with other students in peerteaching situations and have worked together online and in CLIL-style workshops. The language certificates they are awarded not only prove the students’ language skills but also their confidence; they will increase their job chances and employability. A great example for a CLIL-style workshop in which basic Estonian is used and understood is dancing Estonian folk dances with a live band. The steps are shown, explained, copied and practiced with partners. And all cope when they hear “parem”, “vasak” and “üks, kaks, kolm, neli”. Our strategies towards plurilingualism have been devised to fulfil these requirements: Successful and motivating language teaching must be authentic, meaningful and challenging.


EATE Committee member

After retiring I started “spring cleaning” my shelves and mailbox. I was surprised by the quantity of different notes, presentations and mails kept. Some of them were really insignificant and useless, but some were rather interesting to read and recall the events they were connected with. A PowerPoint presentation caught my attention. I opened it and started reading. The professional life cycles of teachers. It brought back the days when I started as a young teacher, and the years till retirement. I hope that while reading or after finishing my short overview, our readers feel the same as I did – oh, yes, that’s how it was: the first years, the years in between, the last years. In my overview, I use the ideas and conclusions of Michael Huberman’s study as presented by Tessa Woodword in her plenary talk at IATEFL conference in Harrogate in 2010. Huberman carried out and published his research in 1989. Ages ago, some will surely think. Do not jump to conclusions! I am sure that most of the ideas are very up-to-date and could be interesting and surprisingly fresh. Huberman`s aim for his research was to find out • How do teachers view their younger peers and older peers? • Is burnout an extensive phenomenon? • Are there times when significant numbers of teachers think seriously of leaving the profession? 3

• Do schools officials acknowledge the fact that many different types of teachers work in their schools and is in-service training at school planned according to individual needs of different types of teachers? Huberman interviewed teachers of different subjects, men and women, working at secondary level in Geneva canton of Switzerland. In her plenary talk at IATEFL conference in Harrogate, Tessa Woodward, the former President of IATEFL, explained her reasons for choosing the topic and Huberman`s conclusions as follows: • save listeners’ time (listeners do not have to read to read all the research papers published on the topic) • alert listeners to follow-up reading • give us all a perspective on our own career development • she believed the results contain important knowledge for those with teacher-training function. Huberman started with dividing the length of the career into six phases according to the years of teaching: • • • • •

Years 1–3 – career entry, survival and discovery Years 4–6 – stabilisation Years 7–18 – experimentation / activism; reassessment / self-doubt Years 19–30 – serenity / relational distance; conservatism Years 31–40 – disengagement / serene or bitter

Huberman characterises the first phase as the time of painful beginnings, hours of preparation work before the next class, feeling drowning insecurity, desire to be a friend to students, disappointment to find out that students do not see teachers as real people. At the same time, the beginner discovers the more positive side of them – my class, my new colleagues. From this phase, I recall the long nights I spent getting ready for the next class, recording songs and taking down the words of the songs. For present teachers, this may seem funny or silly that I had to record the songs and words, as it was not so easy to find suitable songs at that time. One thing that Huberman found surprised me. I cannot remember my desire to be a friend to my students. Friendly – yes, but not a friend. The second phase finds teachers in a more peaceful situation. They have settled down, made a commitment to the profession chosen, feel relieved as no constant direct supervision fills their days. Some earlier, some later but some never find their feet and develop a rudimentary repertoire of routines. This phase describes me during my next years as a teacher. I was happy to teach my students, happy I had chosen the job I really enjoyed, and it seemed that my students were happy with me as well. The third phase lights teachers up – they experiment with new ideas, become active not only in their “home” institution, but also beyond these. Teachers become interested in professional development: not only “How” but also “What am I teaching”. Some less positive sides of phase 3: • resolution – quit, go part-time, take on new responsibilities (mentoring …), take up a new hobby. • non-resolution – stay in the profession, but continue feeling bad. I am quite sure that years 7–18 marked a new stage in my career. The iron curtain started crumbling. Suddenly many institutions and officials in need for interpreters discovered that teachers of English could be used as such. I became very active in regional events, I never refused my help if needed. I attended as many in-service training conferences as possible, sometimes even too many. Speaking of less positive sides of phase 3 – at some point I was about to quit the job. Fortunately, my family and parents made me change my mind and I stayed at school. 4

Years 19–30 • • • • •

The older I get, the better I am! More relaxed – just one bad lesson, so what! The older I get, the better it was in the past Resistance to innovation Still there!

It is difficult for me to agree with the statements given in Huberman`s research, especially with the two last ones. I believed and still believe that I take new things, innovative ways of teaching easily and with confidence. The two first ones could be rather right for me, but not every day and after each lesson. I was ready to analyse my classes either myself or with colleagues. Years 31–40 • • • • •

Even more relaxed Just one bad lesson, so what! Helping younger colleagues, even if they do not ask I have nothing to lose, I do what I want Bitter disengagement, despair, a sense of wasted time, younger colleagues whispering behind your back “You should retire, your time is up, let us take your place.”

Yes, these statements can be used to characterise me and my attitude after long years of teaching practice. Implications of this research: Whatever year band it is I am going through, I am not the only one there. Knowing about this work should help us to have more compassion for others in our community. We can predict later phases from earlier ones. Investing consistently in classroom experiments may help you to be more satisfied later on in your career – tend your own garden! • Schoolwide and districtwide projects may disturb your career at school. • While planning courses for teachers we should keep in mind teachers from different year bands. • Not only young and starting teachers need support. Pay attention to “veteran” teachers, their skill and energy should be made use of. • • • •

Although the research was carried out years ago, for me it has not lost its freshness. It made me look back at my work, compare my own experience, encourage young people to choose the profession I loved and enjoyed. Dear readers, when or if you read this summary, think of your own days, classes, years at school. I am sure that you will find the ideas, explanations, descriptions, implications as if written for you, about you. Life changes, goes on, but some things help us anytime, anywhere.

Leena Punga and Tessa Woodword in Harrowgate, 2010 5


Teacher and teacher trainer Türi Coeducational Gymnasium

IATEFL, the organisation that unites thousands of teachers of English and presently involves 131 member countries all over the world, held its annual conference in Glasgow on 4–7 April 2017. The conference, packed with hundreds of fascinating talks, was the meeting point for many of those. The sessions were led by more or less well-known experts, trainers, authors and teachers, which posed a big challenge: how to make up your mind? As it is impossible to convey everything in this short space, I will present my most memorable bits and pieces of the four days. Sarah Mercer reminded us in her plenary talk that language learning is a deeply social and emotional undertaking for both teachers and students, which means that healthy psychology has a crucial role in it. Students do not learn from people they do not like. Psychology wise, teachers can make a huge difference in the lives of their learners every single day, decreasing the discipline problems by at least 30% through good relationships. However, while helping learners to connect mentally and emotionally to their language learning, Mercer advised teachers to nurture their own well-being. Both students and teachers have mindsets. We can focus on the growth or keep to what we have got. By having the growth mindset, where attributes are more malleable, one can improve their abilities. Problems can be overcome with effort and perseverance, and failing is a chance to learn something. A fixed mindset with more static attributes, however, takes what is given. In the case of difficulties, nothing can be done to overcome them. Failing proves one is no good at something. Nevertheless, changing the mindset is tricky but possible. Many teachers seem to suffer from professionalism in the sense that they very often put their students’ needs first. In order to survive, we need to become a little more teachercentred in our priorities and take care of ourselves first – “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. Sarah Mercer assured the audience that teacher’s professional well-being is not an indulgence, it is a necessity for good teaching. Happy teachers make for happy learners. Believing that in EFL ’Big Grammar’ is the main problem is to miss the point in language learning. Most learners understand the basic sense of many words, but lack the exposure to – and awareness of – the way how these words interact with grammar and with other words. We need to teach vocabulary form this perspective. Hugh Dellar suggested that when teaching ‘words’, we need to pay more attention to collocation and co-text as well as colligation – the interaction of grammatical categories in syntactical structures, e.g. verbs of perception (hear, see, 6

Willow Tearooms, designed by R.Mackintosh. A perfect place for your afternoon tea

notice, watch) colligate with ‘-ing’; ‘happen’ does not colligate with passive, etc. Examples are as important as definitions, for they prime students for normal usage. The priming process can be a shortcut by providing highreward input that condenses experience and saves time. Noticing makes a solid base for language acquisition. We mostly notice things when we have been introduced to them. Dellar reminded that a good way for reinforcing vocabulary is translation. The power of twoway translation lies in the fact that it forces greater noticing and attention to patterns. When translating into L1 is relatively easy, then translating the same text back into L2 well is much harder.

Kelvingrove Art Museum

The final day of the conference offered a superb show by Jane Setter who focused on the vital role of intonation in successful communication. In her highly entertaining talk, where she actually performed a few songs from My Fair Lady and made the audience join, she told that some elements of tonality, tonacity and tone, which make up intonation, are teachable and some learnable, but it is high time we got intonation out of negligence. Jamie Keddie, who spoke about using YouTube stories for classroom, argued with the prevalent idea of reducing teacher talking time. He said, “Keeping TTT down is the same as being a hairdresser who can’t use scissors. On the contrary, rather than being discouraged, TTT should be developed to be dialogic, asking questions and engaging students”.

Street with graffiti

Eventually, a lady teaching in Saudi Arabia opened my eyes on how different taboo topics can be. When we consider politics and salary not suitable for debates, then she cannot discuss pop music or dating with her students. Coming to think about that, yes, the world is very different... Attending conferences is not barely work. I enjoyed strolling the streets of Glasgow, taking daily the path along the River Clyde from my hotel to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. Apart from boasting rich architecture of Art Nouveau and Rennie Mackintosh’ inheritance, the city has a lot more to offer culture-wise: Kelvingrove Art Gallery, George Square and the City Chambers,

‘Armadillo’- the nickname of one of the three buidlings the 51st annual international IATEFL conference took place. 7

Glasgow Cathedral and necropolis, the Lighthouse and the Glasgow School of Art, to name just a few. I thank EATE for the opportunity to visit the conference and make acquaintance with the city I grew fond of. Glasgow, I’ll be back! And finally, if you would like to try a short quiz on Glasgow, here it is : • • • • •

What does “Glasgow” mean? (“Dear Green Place”) What are Glaswegians fondly called? (Weegies) What is Glasgow’s underground system fondly known as? (The clockwork orange) Name the famous sewing machines manufactured in Glasgow and exported worldwide. (Singer) What does it mean if a Glaswegian … offers you a “piece”? (a sandwich) … “did a Dexies”? (ran off from a taxi without paying) … “goes up the road”? (goes home)

Learn more about the conference from


Narva College of the University of Tartu

For more than 10 years, Narva College, with the support of the US Embassy in Tallinn and the British Council, has been striving to connect ELT and CLIL practitioners and researchers from Estonia and abroad for the “discussion and dissemination of research and good practices in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) with a special focus on research insights, innovative ideas and hands-on techniques” (Frontiers in CLIL and ELT, 2017). The conference has evolved from an ELT-specific issues conference (with the first conference held in 2006 entitled “New Approaches to Teaching English in a Multicultural World”) into a multi-focused (ELT, FLT, CLIL, Multiculturalism, teacher training) international conference. The recently hosted (on March 23-24, 2017) conference was another step to diffuse borders and build bridges between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, as well as between content and language teaching. This year’s conference attracted speakers and participants from 15 countries (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, the USA). 35 presentations were made on the following conference topics: English Language Teaching and Learning; Content and Language Integrated Teaching and Learning; Multilingual and Multicultural Schools. The key issues discussed in the presentations focused on materials design, learner-centred teaching and learning, digital world of CLIL and ELT, and the like.


The opening plenary talk ("Language skills for future success" by Piret Kärtner and Pille Põiklik, Estonian Ministry of Education and Research) served as an umbrella for all the conference sessions by defining foreign language skills as one of the strategic 21st century skills among others (e.g. digital literacy, entrepreneurship, creativity, etc.). To meet the goals, the Ministry is developing a new Estonian foreign language strategy, which will be completed by the end of 2017 and the key words of which are increasing motivation, quality, and diversity in language studies. The tone of the discussion in the conference area of English Language Teaching and Learning was set by plenary speakers Jen MacArthur (USA) and Enn Veldi (Estonia). Enn Veldi (“Characteristics of English vocabulary”) stressed the importance of understanding what language we are to teach in the global world. Linguistic studies (e.g. corpus linguistics) help EFL practitioners in their teaching of today English, which has become a pluricentric language with several standard varieties. Jen MacArthur (“Thirteen ways of using poetry in the EFL classroom”) demonstrated a practical side of EFL by presenting hands-on techniques of using English poetry in the class to develop all language skills. Her presentation, delivered via Skype from the USA, was an inspiring example of how new technologies change the world of English language teaching. These plenary talks were followed by 19 presentations in parallel sessions under the topic of English Language Teaching and Learning (with all the abstracts available in Frontiers in CLIL and ELT: Programme and Abstracts, 2017). What unites these presentations is their focus on the learner-centred approach characterised by such features as active learning, collaborative learning, differentiated instruction, digitally enhanced classroom, authenticity, creativity and formative assessment, etc. Both presenters and participants agreed that innovations should be critically evaluated and applied to meet the needs of a particular target group. In this ever-growing digital era, in which the attention span of students shortens rapidly, and they may suffer from “clip thinking” and “digital amnesia”, teachers have to face the challenges of teaching foreign languages to the Internet generation and find together solutions and tools to make the ELT process engaging and effective. The conference is a good platform to share and generate ideas. In comparison with previous ELT conferences held by Narva College of the University of Tartu, the area of Content and Language Integrated Learning occupied a more prominent place in the conference programme. Three plenary talks on the topic of CLIL (Phil Ball “CLIL in three dimensions”, UK/Spain; Jean Linehan “The CLIL classroom: Lessons that incorporate the four language skills to explore content and develop language”, USA/Serbia; Mark Levy “What makes a successful CLIL programme? What we’ve learned from 20 years of the Ministry of Education-British Council Bilingual Project in Spain (and what we’re still learning)”, UK/Spain) ensured a comprehensive coverage of CLIL know-hows. Phil Ball and Mark Levy, from the perspective of successful development and implementation of CLIL programmes and materials, shared the expert opinion on the factors which contribute to the success and effectiveness of a CLIL programme. These include: supportive and collaborative classroom environment, self-reflection and in-service training, cooperation with parents and stakeholders, and purposeful application of CLIL methodology based on conceptual, procedural and linguistic dimensions. On a more practical note, Jean Linehan offered a good model of CLIL class arrangement based on learning stations and a tool to verify its correspondence to the key principles of the CLIL classroom (i.e. content, cognition, communication, culture, learning skills, etc.). The ideas were further developed in parallel sessions under the topic of CLIL and Multilingual and Multicultural Education. The experience of implementation of CLIL and multilingual education in Greece, Spain, Belgium, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia and Estonia provided thought-provoking discussions on how to move on and keep the momentum gained. The challenges and opportunities of CLIL include designing adaptable curricular models, suitable for language teachers, and including all the fundamental CLIL components for local implementation in teacher training. CLIL is winning more and more countries, followers, target groups and languages. With the expansion and diversity of CLIL frontiers, as pointed out by Phil Ball, the balance between the limitations of CLIL methodology and freedom of its application should be maintained in favour of both content and language learning. Cooperation between CLIL-ers on the national and international levels is essential for sustainable development in all CLIL aspects, as exemplified by the two-way language immersion model in Estonia launched in cooperation with US researchers from the University of Minnesota (Professors Diane J. 9

Tedick and Tara Fortune). Multilingualism and multiculturalism are seen as an asset and an opportunity rather than a challenge or an obstacle. To answer the question implied by the conference title Frontiers in CLIL and ELT, it may be concluded that both ELT and CLIL are changing their shape and content by merging and influencing each other. It is best seen and felt when researchers and practitioners present their findings and experiences on integrated conference platforms. The conference has revealed that the borders and limitations in CLIL and ELT do not hold ground and allow for the shift of frontiers towards new 21st century challenges. REFERENCES Frontiers in CLIL and ELT. 2017. Available at:, accessed May 25, 2017. Frontiers in CLIL and ELT: Programme and Abstracts. 2017. Available at: default/files/nc/abstracts_2017_1.pdf, accessed May 25, 2017.


Pärnu College of the University of Tartu

Narva College of the University of Tartu hosted the 6th international ELT conference “Frontiers in CLIL and ELT” on March 23–24, 2017. The tradition of international ELT conferences started in 2006, having been preceded by international research conferences on multiculturalism and identity issues, first organised in 2003. The conference aims were to provide a platform for the discussion and dissemination of research and good practices in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) with a special focus on research insights, innovative ideas and hands-on techniques. Looking back at it, it is clear that these aims were achieved, the focus was well established, and ideas and techniques were shared and keenly learned from colleagues. The conference received strong support from the US Embassy in Tallinn and the British Council. Participants were given a warm welcome by Kristina Kallas, Director of Narva College, Bradley A. Hurst, Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Tallinn, Ursula Roosmaa, Country Director of the British Council for Estonia, and Vjatšeslav Konovalov, Vice-Mayor of Narva. All speakers stressed the importance of learning languages, sharing great experiences and good practices, and collaboration between stakeholders. The conference schedule included a number of plenary sessions on both days, which were followed by parallel workshops and paper presentations. Presenters came from Estonia as well as (in no particular order) Greece, Serbia, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Spain, Poland and Belgium. The conference was kicked off by the first plenary session in which Piret Kärtner and Pille Põiklik from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research presented an overview of the current situation of learning foreign languages in Estonia, language attainment levels and trends in the number of learners and interest in language learning. 10

The following plenary speaker, Phil Ball, representing the British Council Europe and potentially a Guinness record-holder for writing the highest number of CLIL books in a short period of time (probably 12 in the space of a few years), made an insightful presentation “CLIL in three dimensions�. Those who had not CLILed yet, might have converted into staunch CLILers after this. Phil Ball also delivered a workshop on designing CLIL materials for the language class, providing listeners with numerous tips and sharing practices for presenting content and language in a harmonious way. The first day was concluded by a reception which was intercepted by a highly enjoyable and hilariously funny performance from young actors of Impro Theatre. The show contained a number of sketches or games which involved members of the audience for certain roles and tasks (no one was harmed in the process).

A view of the conference auditorium

Those waking up early in the morning on Day 2 were able to take a crisp walk along the promenade before the sessions started and appreciate the huge restoration and building work completed in Narva, and perhaps contemplate what it means to live on the eastern edge of the European Union. The conference was re-opened by Enn Veldi from the University of Tartu who reminded us of the development of the English language and the many factors influencing its word stock. Jean Linehan followed by telling of her CLIL experience and peppering her talk with acronyms from the obvious CLIL to VARK to LBD, all of which she explained and put into context in her own circumstances.

Martin Junna from Impro Theatre entertaining the audience

The day continued again with parallel papers until the 6th plenary session delivered by Mark Levy, British Council Spain, relating experiences and lessons learned in Spain in the Bilingual Project. The conference was concluded in high spirits and in 2019 there is hopefully the 7th ELT conference to attend in Narva.

Photos by Tiiu Vitsut Conference listeners with plenary speaker Enn Veldi in the foreground 11


Tallinn Jewish School

The 9th National Public Speaking Competition run by the English-Speaking Union of Estonia was held at Tallinn Secondary School of Science on March 1, 2017. This year each participating school had the right to register two students, and so 39 participants competed in the National Final of the NPSC representing different schools of Estonia from Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi, Jõhvi, Jüri, Saue, Viimsi. More than 90 supporters and guests came to enjoy the speeches prepared in advance on one of the seven themes, which were announced in November 2016: 1. “Peace is not an absence of war.” 2. “The UK will be stronger when it leaves the EU” 3. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 4. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” 5. “Why Diversity is Important? Are we ready for it?” 6. “Despite recent challenges, both external and internal, the Open Society remains the best hope for the future of the human race” 7. “Are we looking for the truth or are we looking for something to believe in?” 8. ‘’The greatest challenge of today’s youth.’’ 9. “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” Ene Saar, Headmaster of the School, Michelle Hughes, First Secretary, UK Embassy, and Zinaida Jevgrafova, ESUE Chair and Convenor of the NPSC, welcomed the audience and wished the participants good luck. In the first round the speakers had to deliver their 5-minute speeches on one of the seven themes. Then they answered up to 3–4 questions from the audience. The judges had to choose the four best speakers of a heat. In the second round, the semi-final, 12 winners of their heats had to prepare a 3-minute speech on a topic chosen by them 15 minutes before that. No question-and-answer session followed this round. The following participants progressed to the semi-final (student, teacher, school, theme, title of speech): 1. Aleksei Lanberg, Irina Angelova, Tallinn High School of Humanities, Peace is not an absence of war, The Illusion of Peace 2. Anna Maria Rüütmann, Kaia Norberg, Tallinn English College, The greatest challenge of today’s youth, Easy, right? 3. Kristin Anett Remmelgas, Anne Kaljurand, Gustav Adolf Grammar School, Are we looking for the truth or are we looking for something to believe in?, Truth is Illusion 4. Jegor Rozanov, Jelena Hmeljova, Jõhvi Gymnasium, The meaning of life is to give life meaning, Be ready to hear what whispers in your ear 5. Kristin Raud, Tea Tamm, Tartu Kristjan Jaak Peterson Gymnasium, The greatest challenge of today’s youth, The challenge of being a snowflake 6. Anna Marie Paabumets, Marcus Hildebrandt, Hugo Treffner Gymnasium, The greatest challenge of today’s youth, Finding the Golden Key 7. Sten-Jan Sarv, Merike Kaus, Viimsi Secondary School, The greatest challenge of today’s youth, The Distance Between Us 8. Kretel Kopra, Kristi Vahenurm, Tallinn Secondary School of Science, Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right, A moment is all that exists, strive for a better next one 12

9. Elo Vahtrik, Reeli Kaselaid, Tallinn German Gymnasium, The greatest challenge of today’s youth, Youth, Pregnancies and Unrealistic Expectations 10. Tanel Marran, Annika Rego, Tartu Jaan Poska Gymnasium, The meaning of life is to give life meaning, The pilgrimage called Life 11. Oskar Samuel Rebane, Tiina Hendrikson, Pärnu Koidula Gymnasium, Are we looking for the truth or are we looking for something to believe in?, The post-factual age 12. Taavi Karvanen, Piret Ploom, Saue Gymnasium, Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right, My mind and the placebo – overcoming the inherent disbelief held by today’s youth All rounds of the Public Speaking Competition were judged by qualified professionals who are teachers, professional public speakers, communication experts, or former winners. Their decision was made according to the Judge’s Guidelines of the ESU IPSC Handbook 2017. Here are the key points that were taken into account: 1. Expression and delivery – use of voice, audibility, use of language, appearance on stage, use of gestures. 2. Reasoning and evidence -– original approach to topic, clear structure (opening, body, ending), main ideas supported by evidence / examples, argument / alternative viewpoints, contact with audience, clear purpose. 3. Organisation and prioritisation – creative structure, strong introduction and conclusion, signposting – arguments categorised / labelled, easy to follow and understand, managing time. 4. Listening and response – handling questions, courtesy, originality, relevance of the answer.

Judges and finalists


The Judges for the Final were Elizabeth Horst, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Richard Pike, UK Embassy, Suliko Liiv, Professor, Tallinn University, ESU Estonia member, Phillip Marsdale, International Language Services, ESU Estonia member, Indrek Laul, Estonian Piano Factory, President, AmCham, James Oates, CEO, Cicero Capital, BECC, Chairman. 13

According to their decision, the best speakers of the National Final 2017 were: the winner – Anna Marie Paabumets, Hugo Treffner Gymnasium; the runner-up – Sten-Jan Sarv, Viimsi Secondary School. Audience’s choice – Tanel Marran, Tartu Jaan Poska Gymnasium.

The winner – Anna Marie Paabumets

The runner-up – Sten-Jan Sarv

We are very grateful to all our supporters: the embassies of the US, the UK and Canada, the British Council, Tallinn City Government, and many others. Our special thanks go to Kristi Vahenurm and Tallinn Secondary School of Science who provided an extremely hospitable atmosphere and made the long day much more pleasant for everyone.

The cups

Audience’s choice – Tanel Marran

Anna Marie Paabumets represented Estonia at the International Public Speaking Competition 2017 in London in May where she competed with about 50 participants from all over the world. She had to prepare two new speeches and did very well. We are very proud of her. 14


It has been almost a week since I arrived back from London. The memories are still fresh and the constant posts on Facebook from other participants are still keeping them alive. I was asked to write a short summary on the whole experience in London and, to be honest, it is almost impossible to put it in words. These past six days embody one of the most special moments of my life and this is not an exaggeration. Having had the opportunity to spend a whole week in London with the most talented public speakers was truly an honour. All the energy, positivity and hospitality that I encountered has left me grateful and has motivated me to continue to pursue my aspirations.

Hugo Treffner Gymnasium, Tartu

Anne Marie with Lord Paul Boateng, ESU International Chairman, and Jane Easton, Director-General, at the Royal Institute of Great Britain, May 12, 2017

But how did I get to London? Frankly, the announcement of my victory in the national final came to me as a huge surprise. I even remember joking with my teacher before heading to the contest, “Oh, of course I’ll go to London!” And to our surprise, I was going! I guess the quote “Some of the best things in life appear when you least expect them” isn’t really that wrong. The national final was in March and only two months separated me from London. All that took place before the victory had been just a fun experiment for me, but what followed was something entirely different. Within those two months, I had to prepare two five-minute speeches on the topics “To Define is to Limit” and “Peace is not an Absence of War”. In the end, I was quite pleased with my two speeches, but the writing process turned out to be more difficult than I had expected. In order to prepare a good speech, one has to do a lot of research which means reading various articles, essays and consulting with teachers. This can be quite time-consuming and, therefore, without noticing it, March had turned into May and it was time to start packing. I had never been to London before, therefore it was like killing two birds, or actually three, with one stone: 1. Having the chance to visit the world’s culture capital and its most popular sights. 2. The opportunity to meet talented people from all around the world. 3. The chance to look into the daily procedures of the English Speaking Union and meet its members So, what did the group of 45 teenagers do in London? On our first day, we were taken to the Globe Theatre where we took part in a workshop led by an actor from the theatre, his name was Tom. He taught us how to use our voice and body language to our advantage. We recited fragments from Shakespeare’s plays in different moods complimented by various gestures, etc. Later on, we also had the chance to see the theatre from the inside which was an amazing experience since it was the exact replica of the one from 400 years ago.


Entertainment wise, we were taken to see the musical Wicked in the Apollo Victoria Theatre, which I think dazzled all of us. The whole performance with its costumes, special effects and vocals was just world class. In addition to the musical, after the thirst day of competing we also went bowling. Burgers and bowling, what could be better? However, the majority of our time was spent in Dartmouth House which is the home of The EnglishSpeaking Union. In the elegant drawing rooms of the mansion we practised our speeches and it was also the location for the opening and closing ceremonies. Almost everyone agreed that the competition itself was not the main focus during that week. In fact, it was totally overshadowed by the loving atmosphere that prevailed in the venues of Dartmouth House, on the platforms of the London Underground or during our walks in the heart of London. All that love and support made even the toughest ones teary-eyed when it was time for the final good-byes. Thank you, London, thank you ESU and especially a huge bow to all the participants, mentors and organisers who made this possible! This week changed me more than I could have imagined. It taught me the power of voice and mind. It taught me not to be afraid to speak out. It gave me a peek inside of the lives of 44 other young people from all around the world. And what’s most important, this project taught me not to be afraid to try out new things. Even if you fail and don’t win the “grand prize” in the end, the experience that you gain outweighs the rest of it. Imagine if I hadn’t had the courage to participate in the national competition, thinking that I was not good enough… Yes, you are! Everyone has the potential to do something great and exciting, so do not be afraid to take part in all kinds of projects because you never know when it will be your chance to shine! Side note: A special thanks to the chairman of the ESU Estonia Zinaida Jevgrafova who has made it all possible. Thanks to her, the young public speakers from Estonia have had the chance to participate in the international competition and spread their country’s culture for nine years already. All that determination and motivation to give young people a chance to fulfil their potential is truly admirable. Let’s hope she will keep up the good work!

How well do you know Toronto? (photos p. 30) 1. Yorkville, an affluent neighbourhood, dates to the 19th century. 2. St Peter’s Estonian Lutheran Church in Mt Pleasant Road, architect Michael Bach, completed in 1955. 3. University of Toronto Robarts Library, opened in 1973 and named for John Robarts, the 17th Premier of Ontario. 4. Casa Loma, constructed from 1911 to 1914 in the Gothic Revival style as a residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. The architect was E. J. Lennox. 5. Estonian House on Broadview Avenue. It houses several Estonian organisations, including the Estonian school and kindergarten. 6. Mona Lisa mural in Kensington Market, a multicultural shopping area. 7. Art Gallery of Ontario, one of the most distinguished art museums in North America. A sculpture by the British sculptor Henry Moore in the foreground. 8. Chinatown, Dundas Street West, has been a centre of the Chinese since the 1950s.



Miina Härma Gymnasium, Tartu

In February, I visited Washington DC to attend the annual AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference and book fair. I received a scholarship from Tartu meant to aid teachers’ professional development. Of course, that covered only a part of the cost, but I still made a memorable trip of it, staying for a week and also seeing the famous landmarks of the city. The conference took place in the huge Washington Convention Centre and was big in every way. There were more than 12000 attendees, close to 600 different events, sessions and activities and, of course, a book fair with 800 exhibitors. I had the privilege to meet famous authors, attend their book readings and discussions, take part in 12 sessions and tour the book fair for hours. Choosing the most interesting sessions and places to be was a challenge in itself. There were dozens of events taking place simultaneously. My main goal was to listen to different creative writing sessions and to meet some of my idols in the writing world. Everything else was a bonus. The conference was mainly dedicated to writing programmes, publishers and new fields in literature.

Me in front of the conference posters introducing the keynote speaker and other events

The Convention Centre was huge

The Book Fair included hundreds of small and big publishers and writing programmes

This year some of the key words that I picked up to be important or relevant in the field of literature were ethnic writers, the gender of the writer, flash literature, combinations of different media to create something new, breaking stereotypes, etc. One of the sessions I attended was called “The Long from the Short: Turning Flash Pieces into a Novel, Novella, or Memoir”. This interested me because I teach a selective course of creative writing to high school students every year. As I knew that flash is a piece of writing with the length of approximately 1000 words, this seemed something I could possibly use in my classroom. It was pointed out that the benefit of writing flash is bigger tension in the story; flashes can be potential ‘building blocks’ for longer texts, or students are not as intimidated by writing a short 17

piece rather than a chapter of a novel. Another interesting session I listened to was called “Docupoetry and Investigative Poems�. This session introduced a new way in poetry where the writer uses all sorts of historic materials to tell a story. These can be archive documents, photos from a family album or even Wikileaks. The reason and motivation behind this kind of poetry is that not everybody gets to share their story when we think of big historic events, but personal histories are often even more interesting. I had the amazing opportunity to see, meet and hear the talks of many famous writers. One of the most memorable reading and conversation events was with Karen Joy Fowler, Hannah Tinti and Jennifer Egan. They all read a short excerpt from their new or yet unpublished books, and then had a very interesting talk led by a moderator. A few ideas that really resonated with me were that even famous authors feel anxiety when they have a new idea to write about something, or that they all were big readers long before they became writers. That is always a good reminder for me to teach my students as well that all writers read a lot and reading has many benefits besides just reading the story.

I met Ann Patchett, the author of many famous bestsellers

Emma Straub gave me an autograph for her book Modern Lovers

I was in Washington DC for a week and had the pleasure to explore the city as well. I walked a lot and visited many Smithsonian museums lined up near the Capitol and all other famous landmarks. All the Smithsonian museums are free, which is a bonus. I also really loved Georgetown, a district which has canals, cafes and little boutiques. It really had a very European feel compared to the wide streets downtown. Overall, this trip was very memorable and the conference gave me many new ideas and a lot of motivation to keep teaching creative writing, and I can use many ideas in other classes as well. I am already planning to go to the same conference held in Tampa, Florida, next year. 18

Roy Lichtenstein's optical house in a sculpture park near the Smithsonian Natural History Museum


Professor Emerita Brooklyn College (City University of New York)

The Town1 has a population of some 14,000 and is located in the Hudson Valley, a lovely part of New York State that once inspired the American landscape painters who came to be known as the Hudson River School. The Town is also home to a university that brings it a youthful population that ebbs and flows according to the academic calendar. A number of vineyards and orchards flourish on the Town’s outskirts and I first came here some 35 years ago to go apple picking with my daughters. When she was about 16, my younger daughter discovered the joys and challenges of rock climbing and returned to the Town with some school friends to explore the chalk cliffs that dominate the long view of the Town. She soon excelled at the sport, met her husband and has made the Town her home. Sixteen years ago, I bought myself a tiny cottage about ten miles away from her house. In the process of finding some interests of my own in the Town, I started going to the Place, an arts center that offered classes in yoga, chanting, and tango, original play readings, a Christmas concert by some local musicians, a garden dotted with interesting sculptures by local talent, and exhibitions of art work by local artists. A music class for small children delighted my grandson when he was three, and for a few years, we both enjoyed a nature talk featuring live animals. The Place is also rented out for parties, weddings, and short summer programs for older children. I not only enjoyed the events but I liked the atmosphere: there were plenty of people of my generation, and it was easy for me to chat with the person who sat next to me at a concert or a performance. Over the years, I started to volunteer. I baked for the refreshment table which was part of intermission at every performance, and helped out at the Barn Sale which, twice a year, was an important fundraiser. I was happy to become a “member”, at a reasonable price (far less than membership at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City), and even to become an “Arts Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church. Partner,” contributing a larger amount Above the Clouds at Sunrise. 1849 to support a particular event. About three years ago I read in the local Town newspaper that the Place was having serious financial troubles. The current Board at that time proposed to abandon the Place and set itself up as managers for events to be offered at other local sites, such as school gymnasiums or church halls. The proposal raised a lot of eyebrows and such strong opposition that the Board disbanded. At the time this development was unfolding, I got a call from Gerry, a man I knew to be a VIP of the Place, to ask if I could contribute some extra funds to keep the Place going at its current location—a property which he, in fact, owned. I turned 1

I’ve changed proper nouns throughout this account.


him down: I don’t have “deep pockets,” a term fundraisers use to describe affluent — and generous — donors. A few weeks later, Gerry called me again to ask if I would like to serve on a new Board. His invitation surprised me, but made me feel wonderfully “empowered.” I was being called upon, in effect, to be part of a rescue mission on behalf of an organization I really cared about. It didn’t take me long to discover that the Place, situated on a quiet country road about five miles from the Town center and well-stocked with trees and pretty views, had a number of very serious, systemic problems which had worsened over the 30-something years of its existence. Poor drainage carves pot holes into the parking lot which is in need of serious resurfacing. Parts of the property, including the wonderful sculpture garden, turn to deep puddles after heavy rain storms which, in recent years, have become quite frequent. But the most stubborn problem is the ownership of the Place itself. It is the property of, and home to, Gerry and his wife Kate. Both are outstanding artists and art teachers wellknown in the area, who have lived and worked on the property for many years. It was here that Gerry came up with the idea of the Place itself and put a great deal of heart and soul into making it happen. All concerts, readings and other events occur in a large building, a former shed or a barn which is situated a brisk one-minute walk from their home. Gerry converted the structure into what it is today: a large area that can hold about 150 chairs and a (removable) platform that can serve as a stage, two bathrooms, a small kitchen and two offices which between them can accommodate five desks and some office equipment. But over time the building has deteriorated. The plumbing needs major (and costly) renovation, the roof over the porch leaks, and the sound system is quite inadequate for all but the softest chamber music. The problem is, who is going to foot the bill? The only person who can get a bank loan to do all the necessary work is the owner of the property, but many expenses would have to be met before a loan could be sought. Who would pay them? The Board agreed to, provided Gerry agreed to sell. But since he didn’t want to sell, nothing happened. Frustrated by this impasse, some members of the newly constituted Board (of which I was part) felt that the Place should move to a new site. They were also confident that a less problematic location would revitalize membership and support both of which had been slipping. But no affordable sites were found in the Town. That satisfied a large number of supporters who heard through the grapevine about this plan and argued that the Place is so deeply identified with its current address that it must remain where it is. A few public meetings were held to air the problems and look for solutions. Local supporters of the Place (who at the first meeting numbered about 75, fewer at a second meeting) had some interesting and telling comments. “The Place,” someone said, “needs to attract a younger crowd.” (True, the average age of audiences was around 55.) “Impossible,” a woman said who described herself as the mother of two college-age children, “kids want to go to clubs, drink, dance and ‘hook up.’ They have no interest in what the Place has to offer.” “The Place is outdated,” another person offered. “Its program was unique 35 years ago. Now there are clubs all over the place where cool bands play and comics perform. And there are new galleries which feature local talent, new gyms that offer yoga and all kinds of fitness programs. Why come to a place that is a bit out of the way?” Months went by exploring these issues. In that time, I was getting to enjoy being a Board member. A kind of camaraderie developed among us—four men and me. We had a common goal (the survival of the Place) and a shared antagonist (Gerry and Kate who were holding on to their property and their sole ownership of the Place for dear life). Our meetings, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, depending on the level of crisis we felt we were at, were made more congenial by snacks, and even some wine. But by the middle of 2016 we began to feel that the situation had reached an impasse. Gerry and Kate were not receptive to any suggestions. First one and then another Board member resigned, until finally by December 2016 only one remained, a very dedicated man who had served for years as book-keeper/ accountant to the Place. We hoped that our gradual disappearance would move Gerry to take action, to agree, for instance, to divide his property, and allow the Place to buy part of it from him, but this didn’t happen. In fact, he got together some new potential Board members who, he felt, would bring a new spirit and inspiration to the Place. But it is spring now, and while the website that serves to announce events at the Place is still up, there are no more performances, only a few art classes taught by Gerry himself. About a month ago, the website announced a drive to collect $15,000 to keep the Place going. There hasn’t been any follow-up on that. I picture Gerry and Kate looking out their windows and wonder if they lament the old days when 20

the driveway at the Place was full of cars, full of activity as people came around to events. I mourn the passing of a wonderful local institution. But my heart has hardened. Gone are the days when I took out my checkbook and reached for my pen.


Department of English Studies University of Tartu

Last summer I explored two regions of France – Champagne and Burgundy. Both regions have a lot to offer from the perspective of cultural history. The present article focuses on Champagne and combines the information found in the literature with the first-hand experience gained from visiting the region. To begin with, there is a traditional question for students of the history of the English language – explain why the words ‘nature’ and ‘champagne’ differ as far as stress is concerned. The word ‘nature’ occurs in the prologue to the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, which shows that the word was used in English in the 14th century. At that time, it was pronounced with stress on the second syllable. Thereafter earlier French loans in English underwent a stress shift; that is why ‘nature’ carries stress on the first syllable in contemporary English. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), ‘champagne’ was attested for the first time in English in 1664, and in this word stress is on the second syllable. Champagne means ‘rolling open countryside’, which is characteristic of the region that gave its name to the world-famous sparkling wine known as champagne. In Champagne, we stayed at a gîte – a French concept for a family-run rural holiday house. The 200-yearold house in Trélou-sur-Marne is one of several houses that belong to a family of local champagne producers. They make champagne from their own grapes. The family owns two vineyards at a distance of twelve kilometres from their home. They have a special tractor, which is used in viticulture. The family has made champagne for three generations, and one of their daughters is an oenologist (wine specialist). On the second morning of our stay in Trélou, our landlady Sylviane invited us to a tour of the family wine cellar, which lasted for an hour or so and ended with a session in a purpose-built tasting room. We sampled four types of champagne that the family makes.

A tractor used in viticulture

Sylviane showing her wine cellar 21

Several things are worth mentioning. First, the shape of champagne glasses has changed in recent years. A photo illustrating the article shows the present fashion in champagne glasses. Second, what struck me was the size of the wine cellar of the household – it contained dozens of thousands (perhaps more) of neatly arranged champagne bottles, kept at a constant temperature of ten degrees. Third, the number of small-scale champagne producers is very large indeed. For example, the commune of Trélousur-Marne alone, which has a population of about 1,000 inhabitants, has twenty-five champagne producers. The total number of wine-growing champagne producers is reported to be around 19,000 in France. Usually, we are familiar with the names of only the largest champagne houses that own global brand names. The local supermarkets sold good champagne at a fifty per cent discount, which made the beverage more affordable for us. The most common category Champagne glasses of champagne is brut (1891), an adjective that the OED defines as ‘unsweetened’. My generation grew up with a somewhat sweeter sparkling wine that was characterized as medium-sweet. One can explain this difference by the fact that a somewhat sweeter taste was widespread in the previous centuries, and its popularity continued in some regions outside France. Having gained some first-hand knowledge of how small producers make champagne, it was time to visit Épernay – the capital of the champagne industry where the headquarters of many large-scale producers are located. The most important street in that town is Avenue de Champagne. We visited the House of Mercier. The name is derived from the name of Eugène Mercier (1838–1904) who founded the company in 1858. The visit began with a tour of the 18-km-long underground network of cellars by a miniature electric train. The House of Mercier also impresses visitors with a giant wine cask (an equivalent of 200,000 bottles) built for the 1889 Paris World Exposition. The visit ended with a tasting session.

Récoltant manipulant on the label denotes a grower whose champagne is made from one’s own grapes

The tomb of Dom Pérignon

We also visited some other places associated with the history of champagne-making. One of them is Hautvillers – a beautiful village where one can visit the tomb of Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638–1715), a Benedictine monk. The contribution of Dom Pérignon to champagne-making is evaluated differently by different authors; for example, a brief introduction to French wine claims that he “invented the cork 22

stopper in the Champagne region”. The church where he is buried belongs now to Moët & Chandon. Part of the cultural knowledge regarding wine concerns the names for different sizes of wine bottles. The capacity of a regular wine bottle is 0.75 litres. The following names are used in English: nebuchadnezzar – 15 litres, equivalent of 20 regular bottles; balthazar – 12 litres, equivalent of 16 regular bottles; salmanazar – 9 litres, equivalent of 12 regular bottles; methuselah – 6 litres, equivalent of 8 regular bottles; jeroboam – 3 litres, equivalent of 4 regular bottles; magnum – 1.5 litres, equivalent of 2 regular bottles; wine bottle – 0.75 litres; half-bottle – 0.375 litres; quarter bottle – 0.1875 litres. Some authors claim that ‘magnum’ is the best bottle size for champagne. There is even a joke that it is a perfect idea to order a magnum with a meal especially if your dinner companion does not drink. However, large bottles are rarely seen in everyday life. Finally, one should mention a few more terms denoting sparkling wine from other regions of France, as well as Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy. The quality is often excellent, and the price is much more affordable.

Sizes of wine bottles

Sparkling wine made elsewhere in France, as well as in Luxembourg, is known as as crémant ‘creamy’ followed by the name of the region, such as Crémant de Bourgogne ‘crémant from Burgundy’, Crémant d’Alsace’, or Crémant de Bordeaux. A recent discovery for me has been Saint-Hilaire, Blanquette de Limoux, which comes from Limoux in south-western France. This is said to be France’s oldest sparkling wine, a predecessor of champagne that was created by Benedictine monks over 450 years ago. Legend has it that Dom Pierre Pérignon had visited the abbey of Saint-Hilaire in Limoux on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, learned how to make sparkling wine there, and on his return, took this knowledge to the north (Michelson 2012). The term ‘sekt’ (first attested in English in 1930) denotes sparkling wine made in Germany or Austria. The etymology of the word goes ultimately back to the French word sec ‘dry’. Sparkling wine made in Catalonia in north-eastern Spain is known as ‘cava’ (cellar); the word was first attested in English in 1978. Sparkling wine made in Italy is known as ‘prosecco’ (first attested in English in 1881). The OED informs us that the name is probably derived from the name of the town Prosecco near Trieste.

REFERENCES Faith, Nicholas. 1988. The Story of Champagne. London: Hamish Hamilton. French Wine. 101 petit guide. Aedis. Michelson, Marcel. 2012. France’s oldest sparkling wine fights for its future. limoux-idUSLNE85C00820120613 (accessed on 1 May 2107) Stelzer, Tyson. 2013. The Champagne Guide 2014–2015. London: Hardie Grant. Mercier Champagne. Oxford English Dictionary.



Why do you call yourself a conference tourist? During my PhD studies, I was lucky to participate in many conferences, mostly thanks to my supervisor, Prof. Äli Leijen, who has always encouraged her doctoral students to go to conferences and present their research results. This “tourist” isn’t actually the right name. Participating in the conferences is not just fun, you have to introduce your work, be ready to discuss and defend your conclusions, you should find new contacts, you should keep your eyes and ears open and learn-learn-learn. Conferences open the opportunity to meet the best researchers in the field, the ones who you usually cite in your articles. These contacts are most valuable. Which exotic countries have you visited? The farthest countries always seem to be most exotic. I’ve been to Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan, also to America for several times but the most memorable trips were to Oman and South-Africa. Which events have been most valuable for me as a researcher? – then I’d say BETT in Malaysia and AERA conferences in America. Why was Karey Yuju Lan appointed the reviewer your doctoral thesis? I met Prof. Lan first in Tallinn, at the ICWL conference in 2014. After she had listened to my presentation, she came over and congratulated me on it. We had a long and pleasant conversation which ended with her invitation to the ICCE conference in Japan that she organised and chaired. So, her conference in Nara was the next time we met. The reason why she was invited to be my opponent was the fact that she was familiar with my studies, she is also doing her research in language studies, plus she is a highly-acknowledged and highly-rated scientist in the world. How would you compare working at school and at college? This is a good question. Even though they both concern teaching, working at school and at college is very different. I was working in Pärnu Koidula Gymnasium for almost 16 years. Even though I enjoyed it tremendously (wonderful students and very good colleagues), I must say that compared to working at college, this was very, very hard. Long days, a lot of communication, a lot of homework and preparation… At college, I have fewer classes. This leaves me time to do other things as well, mostly projects and research, international communication and supervising students. What is your next big challenge? Well, I cannot really say that I’ve set new big goals. I rather move step-by-step. At the moment, I’m preparing a new research on teachers’ beliefs of self-regulation. This takes acquiring a new methodology, grounded theory, and several new data analysis methods that I haven’t practised before. 24

What is your favourite spot in Pärnu? The sea, I guess. When I was younger, I used to go walking at the seaside a lot. Not only at the beach but also at Valgerand and Tahkurand. How did you become a teacher? I enjoyed learning English at school. I was pretty good at it compared to most of my classmates. However, I remember wondering why it is so difficult to acquire a foreign language. We were all learning so hard, but almost none of us was able to use it. This is when I started to think on language teaching methodology. My decision to become a teacher was impelled by my personal experience of how a foreign language should not be taught. Was English one of your favourite subjects at school? Absolutely. I have always adored the sound of the English language. And I also enjoyed learning it. What do you do when you are not working? I like to spend time with my daughters. We go swimming together, sometimes to spas. We like to travel a lot. After visiting Taiwan, I learned about the MSSR method (Modeled Sustained Silent Reading), this is what we are practising now. This is a good method to support your children’s reading habit and take time for reading for fun for yourself. What has working for EATE given you? People. Many wonderful people I didn’t really know before. Meeting with them, discussing important issues, preparing for seminars and conferences… this has always been very enjoyable. Katrin Saks was interviewed by EATE Committee members.

Katrin Saks with her supervisor Prof. Äli Leijen and reviewer Prof. Karey Yuju Lan



Editor of OPEN!

David Crystal. The Story of English in 100 Words. London: Profile Books, 2012. This book has been written by David Crystal (b. 1941), a guru of English linguistics – an author of a great number of books, a consultant, contributor or presenter on several radio and television programmes and series, an appreciated speaker at IATEFL conferences. The Story of English in 100 Words is an unusual history of the English language. Mostly the histories of English divide the development of the language into certain periods like Old English, Middle English, etc. and view the changes in grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation. In this book, however, the author has chosen a hundred words in the order they entered the language, starting with the oldest and finishing with the most recent ones. Thus, the book consists of a hundred mini-essays about the English language, as often the author does not deal with one particular word only but uses it as a starting point for discussing various aspects of the language. The book begins with ‘roe’ (5th century). In 1929, archaeologists found an ankle-bone of a roe-deer in an Anglo-Saxon cremation cemetery. The six runic letters carved on the bone could be deciphered as RAIHAN. In Old English ‘roe’ was written as ‘raha’ or ‘ra’, and -n could have been an ending expressing possession (‘from a roe’). Naturally, it is only a conjecture, but Crystal calls ‘raihan’ “a candidate for the first discovered word to be written down in the English language.” An example of 10th-century poetic language is ‘bone-house’, written as ‘ban-hus’ then. It does not mean a building where human or animal bones were kept, as one might think, but is a figurative expression for the human body. Other variants were ‘bone-hall’ (‘bansele’), ‘bone-vessel’ (‘banfœt’), etc. Such poetic coinages were called kennings. The name of the language – English – dates to the 9th century. As David Crystal says, “English was first, England came later.” For a long time, various forms were used for the country, e.g. ‘Engla lande’, ‘Englene londe’, ‘Ingland’. The spelling ‘England’ became the norm in the 14th century. It may be surprising how many different spellings the word ‘music’ had in the 14th–16th centuries – ‘musiqe’, ‘musyque’, ‘musyk’, ‘musik’, ‘musice’, and even stranger ones like ‘musycque’, ‘mewsycke’, ‘moosick’, and ‘mwsick’ (I did not list all of them). Among the latest ones, I would like to point out words number 94, ‘LOL’, number 97, ‘muggle’, and number 99, ‘unfriend’. The author calls ‘LOL’ an example of textspeak and adds that it caused confusion when it first appeared on computer and mobile phone screens. Some people used it in the meaning ‘lots of love’, for others, however, it meant ‘laughing out loud’. Nowadays it is nearly always used in its ‘laughing’ sense. From 26

there, the author proceeds to explain other abbreviations and emoticons used in text messages and says that their novelty is often overestimated. He quotes an anonymous essay from 1875 which starts, “An S A now I mean 2 write 2 U…” ‘Muggle’, a word coined by J. K. Rowling, should be well known to the friends of Harry Potter as a person who has no magical powers. It could be associated with the word ‘mug’ in the meaning of a foolish or incompetent person. Starting and ending friendships is easy nowadays. Facebook instructs, “If you unfriend someone, you’ll be removed from that person’s friends list as well. If you want to be friends with this person again, you’ll need to add them as a friend again.” Although ‘unfriend’ as a verb was chosen ‘Word of the Year’ in 2009, Crystal says that it occurred as a noun as early as in the 13th century. Shakespeare describes a character in his Twelfth Night as ‘unguided and unfriended’, and Quakers (a religious sect) called a non-member an ‘unfriend’. I hope that these examples gave you an idea how David Crystal introduces his material – based on solid research but presented in a somewhat entertaining manner.


Allecto AS

Hogarth Shakespeare is a series of timeless stories by the Bard retold by today’s well-known novelists to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl is the third in the series after Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time (The Winter’s Tale) and Howard Jackobson’s Shylock is My Name (The Merchant of Venice). Margaret Atwood’s The Tempest, Tracey Chevalier’s Othello, Gillian Flynn’s Hamlet, Jo Nesbø’s Macbeth and Edward St Aubyn’s King Lear are to follow. Anne Tyler took the publishers’ challenge to tackle a Shakespearean plot and tried to create a 21st-century update of a spinster in need of a ‘guiding hand’ in the character of Kate Battista, a reluctant pre-school teacher in Baltimore living at home with her ageing father, an academic on the verge of a scientific breakthrough. The imminent acclaim is threatened by the approaching deportation of a brilliant eastern European lab assistant, Pyotr, whose visa is about to expire; so Kate needs to agree to a marriage of convenience. The goal of the author has not been to adhere closely to the play, and some readers might find Anne Taylor’s interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew a bit tepid. There is no intense eroticism or crackle of sexual energy as there was between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1967 film based on the play. The Kate on the pages is not as temperamental as Taylor’s Katharina or as shrewd by appearing timid and tamed but actually having wrapped everyone around her finger by the end. There is no sophisticated mockery as in the musical Kiss Me, Kate, though there is the expectation to see the line of “Kiss me, Katya” once we meet Pyotr, or sinister undertones of Kate being kept in deprivation and mentally abusive conditions in order to subdue and break her as sometimes the play is interpreted.


Tyler’s Kate seems to have more of a bark never followed by a bite than any other Katherine before. Her waspish tongue, in response to the statement by her younger sister, a recent vegetarian, that potato chips are her meal-time vegetable, utters – “Fine, let her die of scurvy” – but such outright comments are never followed by an equally pointed action as Kate prefers the status quo and seldom takes matters to her own hands. Appropriately for a modern shrew, it is Kate who has to tame herself by seeing that change and growth are necessary as well as liberating. This taming is a subtle process that does not involve vociferous exchanges, flying projectiles or bursting into song. Even Kate’s final speech, which in the play shows Katherina’s complete submission, has about as much kick as a lame donkey is a work in progress because, for some reason, it addresses issues that aren’t present in the plot; though I find the idea, that strong women sometimes need to and can obey and serve their husband without having to be judged traitors to the cause, somewhat refreshing. Vinegar Girl is a summery cocktail of a romantic comedy, far more treacly sweet than acidic, about finding a partner who takes you as you are and does not try to tame, subdue or break you; a pleasant and lightly peppery read.


Editor of OPEN!

Wikipedia is widely used as a source of reference by most of us, but opinions about it differ. Complaints are often heard that Wikipedia is not reliable. It is true that the quality of Wikipedia articles is uneven, but everyone can improve it. Even if you notice that a comma is missing, you can add it. As can be guessed, the language with the largest number of Wikipedia articles is English – more than 5.4 million, but the number of articles in other languages is also growing quickly. Estonian with more than 157,000 articles does not stand out in a bad way compared with the languages of the neighbouring countries (Finnish – more than 414,000, Latvian – more than 77,000, Lithuanian – almost 182,000). Such a large language as Russian occupies the 7th place in the world with nearly 1.4 million articles, but it is surprising that Swedish as a relatively small language holds the 3rd place with nearly 3.8 million articles. The University of Tartu in cooperation with Wikimedia Eesti has launched an ambitious project to increase the number of Wikipedia articles in Estonian to a million (Miljon +). Naturally, the number of Estonian articles in Wikipedia can be increased by writing original articles, but another way is to translate articles from other languages. To promote translation into Estonian, translation contests (tõlketalgud) have taken place since 2011. The initiator and principal organiser has been the language adviser at the Estonian Representation of the European Commission (currently Jana Laurend, earlier Rita Niineste). In recent years, I have been invited to be one of the members of the jury, as until 2016, I used to work as lecturer in translation studies at the University of Tartu. 28

This year’s yield was 152 articles from 42 participants. The majority of articles had been translated from English, but a number of other languages (e.g. Swedish, French, Finnish, Russian, Czech, German, Spanish) were represented as well. Some participants had used the same article in several languages (e.g. Swedish and English) as sources for their Estonian versions. The articles submitted for this year’s contest covered a wide variety of themes, but the topics of space, science fiction and feminism seemed to receive more attention than others. This year’s winner uses the pseudonym Sacerdos 79. He had translated profound articles from several languages (English, Finnish, Russian, etc.), e.g. on Canberra, Oklahoma, the Polish-Ottoman War. The first prize was a 1000-euro gift token that the winner could use for travelling to the chosen destination. The second and the third place were divided between Krr005 and Melilac. The articles translated by Krr005 mostly concerned the feminist movement in Sweden; they were translated from both Swedish and English. Melilac had mainly translated articles on Polish and Lithuanian history; originals in many languages had been used (e.g. English, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian). Hopefully, the translation contests continue in the following years, and therefore, I invite teachers of English (and other foreign languages) to participate and/or encourage their students. For example, you might give the translation of a Wikipedia article as a task to the whole class or to some individual students. While choosing articles for translation, take a theme that interests you and you are knowledgeable about. It may be useful to look at articles in several languages (you can find a list of languages in which the article has appeared on the left side of the screen). For example, if you are unsure whether to translate a lengthy article on a British or American theme in full or to shorten it, you might look how the article has been done in Finnish or German. Even if you understand only a little, you may find something useful in the structure of the article, etc. Think what is useful and necessary for the Estonian reader. The organisers of the contest recommend to choose articles that are related to the curricula of schools and universities. In principle, no knowledge is superfluous, but do we need to know small details about a little Czech village or biographies of 16th-century German nobility? Therefore, think whether it is necessary to translate an article in full or to shorten it. Together, we can make the Estonian Wikipedia more interesting and useful for everyone.

REFERENCES Miljon +. Miljon eestikeelset Vikipeedia artiklit aastaks 2020. Vikipeedia: Tõlketalgud 2017.


How well do you know Toronto? (answers on p. 16)









Photos by Ilmar Anvelt 30




Tasty lunch in the canteen of MHG

Nora Toots and Krista Ummik

Leelo Kaskmann spoke about grammar games

Margit Kirss spoke about evaluation

Leena Punga was EATE Chair 2007–2017

Inna Leiman introduced a project in Tajikistan

The enthusiastic photographer of EATE Reet Noorlaid

Photos by Reet Noorlaid


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