Testimonial by Jesse Siragan Arlen

PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA, USA

2 weeks 2016 Armenian Language Winter School

I was very pleased with my experience in Armenian language winter school 2016. First, it was very impressive how affordable the program was, which of course was a big help to those of us in graduate school who came (my year there were seven of us who participated, and the majority of us were in graduate school or early career academics). In terms of logistics, I could not rate this program more highly.

The teacher and organizers were both personal and professional, responding very quickly to any and all inquiries and making everything about the application process and other logistical arrangements as smooth and painless as possible. They also recommended housing, and gave help with matters such as local phone service, how to navigate local transportation including taxis, food, and other recommendations on things of cultural interest to do while in Yerevan. We participants instantly bonded, and I am still in touch with most of them, some of whom I now consider to be significant colleagues and collaborators. My year there was one teacher, who indefatigably led us throughout the intensive course. She has a very effective and modern methodology, and incorporates well both reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, supplementing the textbook that was used with exercises, activities, and grammar instruction of her own creation. Of course, everyone enters these types of programs with different language levels.

They did a good job of trying to accommodate everyone, including creating an advanced level that took place as the last session of the day for those of us entering with higher linguistic capabilities. This advanced level was a real highlight for me personally, as it incorporated listening to poetry, academic lectures, and other talks with contemporary movies and TV shows, in order to target comprehension in the various registers of the language. In the future—if there are enough participants to support it—it might make sense to expand to two teachers conducting parallel courses on two levels: one for beginning-intermediate students and the other for intermediate-advanced students. Of course, one other major bonus of this program is that it takes place in Armenia, so that when formal classroom instruction ends, one is instantly surrounded with opportunities to hear and use the language in one’s daily activities.

Other Testimonials.

Yakir Paz

Post-Doc, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

“The intensive winter course I participated in was a great experience not only of learning but also social and cultural. I highly recommend it. During the course we completed an entire overview of Armenian grammar in a very well structured and clear manner.”

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Alyssa Maria Mathias

PhD Candidate, Ethnomusicology, UCLA, USA

“This is a unique and well run course, perfect for anyone hoping to make good progress in a short amount of time. I recommend the Armenian Language School to anyone learning Modern Eastern Armenian.”

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