Learn English with the News – Lessons from Estonia: why it excels at digital learning during Covid

One of the biggest questions that came about during the COVID pandemic is how to approach the learning situation. With so many schools closed, online learning became the most important, and generally only, way to learn. So how have some countries done? Who are the winners and who are the losers of distance learning? Estonia is certainly up at the top. Watch the video and then do the accompanying English language exercises.

The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article.

Now that you’ve had a listen, let’s put your knowledge to the test with some of our vocabulary and comprehension exercises:

Estonia Online Learning | Definition match

Match the words to the correct definitions.

Estonia Online Learning | Fill in the blank

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Estonia Online Learning | True or false

Decide if the statement is true or false.


And that’s it for today’s English lesson, where you can improve your English with the news and current events. Do you have any comments or special requests for us for the next edition of Learn English with the News? Be sure to leave any feedback you have in the comments section below, as we would love to help you on your quest to learn the English language!

For other Learn English with the News segments, be sure to check out the rest of our posts:


Full Text:

As hundreds of thousands of children in the UK found themselves shut out of education during
lockdown, without access to a laptop or internet, pupils in Estonia reaped the rewards of the
Baltic country’s long-term investment in digital learning.
Long before coronavirus began to wreak havoc on the world, Estonia made the development of
digital skills, high-speed internet and a sophisticated IT infrastructure a national priority. In
2001, it was one of the first countries in the world to classify internet access as a human right.
Estonian schools have been using digital study materials and electronic school management
systems for years, so when the pandemic hit and schools were forced to close in Tallinn,
Estonian children went home where their studies moved seamlessly online.
In the UK, by contrast, online education during lockdown was patchy, with children’s learning
determined mainly by digital access. Teachers have had to rapidly develop new digital skills, and
the government’s laptop scheme to provide kit to disadvantaged children in England has been
criticised as too little, too late.
A school for seven– to 13-year-olds in Tartu, a city in the east of the country, serves as an
Way before Covid, all 340 students at this school had their own iPads, centrally managed by the
school and used routinely to deliver and learn lessons, and children were used to occasional
online study days, where they worked from home rather than in the school building while their
teachers were involved in other tasks.
Admittedly, that school is private and may be better equipped than other schools, but since
Estonia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country’s ambitious young
leaders have thrown themselves into the challenge of creating a digital state, with education at
the heart of their plans.
Not every child in Estonia had access to a laptop or tablet, but where they did not, schools, local
authorities and voluntary organisations stepped in. A team of university-trained “educational
technologists” who are based in schools worked with teachers to ensure the best use of digital
The results so far are positive. In England, there are fears that 10 years of progress in narrowing
the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers may have been wiped out by
Estonia has not only done well during lockdown, it has established itself in recent years as the
new education powerhouse of Europe, outperforming even Finland in the international Pisa
tests. With a population of just 1.3 million, the educational challenges Estonia faces are very
different from those in the UK, but its digital success may hold lessons for other countries. “