Document Type


Subject Area(s)

education, language


This article considers the circuitous route of knowledge exchange from South (New Zealand)-to North (Finland)-to regional South (Estonia) by examining the development of Võro language nests (keelepesä) in Estonia. Language nests reflect the global nature of educational knowledge exchange as well as the importance of networks of languageresearchers and activists in this policy inspiration. Estonia is a fascinating case for understanding the international spread and local development of the language-nest approach in a post-Socialist context. The authors draw on concepts of policy borrowing and diffusion and the “grammar of schooling” to explore the spread of the language nest approach and its appropriation in Estonia. In particular, the article explores (1) the ways the language nest strategy emerged as an approach to early childhood language learning that “stuck” in Estonia, and (2) the factors that facilitated and frustrated the adoption and adaptation of the language nest in southeastern Estonia. The authors conclude that the take-up of this global approach to non-dominant language preservation in Estonia offers key lessons about local adaptation, including the possibility of borrowing, and the limits of program dispersion globally.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2019 Kara Brown and Mariko Faster. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

APA Citation

Brown, K., & Faster, M. (2019). Language nests on the move: The Case of Võro Pre-Primary Education in Estonia. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 5(3).