Testimonial by Anna Mehrabyan

Assistant Editor, Council on Foreign Relations, USA

3 weeks 2019 Armenian language summer school

ASPIRANTUM’s summer program is one of, if not the, best way to learn Armenian over the summer. The length of the program, the environment, and, most importantly, the quality of teaching made it a productive and educational experience.

The teacher, Sona Mnatsakanyan, was attentive to detail and to the level of each student, crafting materials that were interesting well-developed, and highly personalized. Over the course of 3 weeks, I gained over 100 words in my vocabulary that were both specific to my interests and also generally important for the understanding of common texts. The texts we read were a good mix of known and modern, helping me learn and understand Armenian as it is written and developed today rather than only as it once was conceptualized. Sona also introduced us to a wide variety of Armenian authors and poets. She used every opportunity to highlight the importance of formal rules and their conversational counterparts, so I left understanding why the language was spoken and written the way it is. I came in as a heritage speaker, and Sona was able to turn casual understanding into formal knowledge without resorting to rote memorization. I learned grammar not in a vacuum, but in the form it is actually used. The materials, like texts or grammatical exercises, which Sona prepared herself were also always carefully constructed and helpful.

The other students were also, without exception, motivated, interested, open-minded, and committed to learning and helping each other learn. This was the ideal environment in which to learn Armenian even at different levels. Though our class was quickly split into two classes to accommodate the different levels of Armenian, we remained friends and still frequently used each other’s knowledge areas to our advantage and to learn more about Armenian from different perspectives. Sona and Anahit (the teacher of the second group) also made every effort to expose us to fascinating events that were occurring every day, so we attended discussions together which helped put the language into a variety of contexts.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but also left with a deeper understanding and utilization of Armenian grammar, literature, and vocabulary. The teachers are top level experts who have a passion and a talent for explaining complicated concepts and making language accessible and a joy to study.

I leave knowing more about Armenian and the incredible ways it’s being innovated on and used today.

Anna Mehrabyan is learning Armenian with Sona Mnatsakanyan in 2019

Anna Mehrabyan is learning Armenian with Sona Mnatsakanyan in 2019

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Armenian Language courses offer participants to master skills in written and oral modern Eastern Armenian. We also aim at helping students to rapidly deepening their knowledge in colloquial Armenian. Reading and interpreting Armenian texts from different periods may be included in our Armenian curriculum. Before the start of the classes students will receive an online support from our Armenian language instructor.

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