Encouraging language accessibility, and, as a result, ensuring perception of cultural diversity
Foreign language clubs (Russian, English languages, etc.) continue to operate within pre-school educational institutions of the Republic of Armenia (according to parents’ preferences and choice) through additional education programmes. A number of measures aimed at disseminating and promoting the German language are implemented by the Republic of Armenia and the Federal Republic of Germany. The measures include trips, opportunities to receive university and Masters’ degrees, mutual visits organised for pupils, teachers and directors, training courses organised by German specialists, as well as and other measures.
From 6 to 8 April 2015, at the initiative of the Armenian Association of Germanologists and German Language Teachers, through cooperation between the International Union of German Language Teachers and the Armenian State Pedagogical University, an international scientific conference entitled “Multilingualism in the Institutional Context: German as a Second Foreign Language” took place. Scholars and experts from Germany, Georgia and countries of Central Asia — Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan — and Marzes of the Republic of Armenia participated in the scientific conference.
The co-operation between Armenia and China is being expanded in the sphere of education. Construction of a high school with advanced teaching of the Chinese language, which is going to be a unique educational institution, have been launched in Armenia. Currently, steps are being taken to include Chinese as a foreign language in general education schools of Armenia. Student exchange programmes, training courses for Chinese language tutors, principals and pupils are actively growing; educational trips to China are being organised. In this context, importance is attached to the role of the Confucius Institute operating at Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences in the dissemination of the Chinese language and culture in Armenia. The Institute closely co-operates with different schools., The 2nd international sinological conference entitled “History and Perspectives of Co-operation between Armenia and China”, the “Spring Fest” event and the forum entitled “21st Century Silk Road: Perspectives and Co-operation” were organised, and the Centre for Chinese Studies was opened in the reporting period.
The Chair of Slavonic Linguistics also operates at Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences and always organises Days of Slavonic Writing a; The Centre/Chair of Indian Studies, the Chairs of Arab Studies and Persian Studies operate at Yerevan State University. The Caucasus Centre for Persian Studies, the Goethe Institute, the “Alliance Française” and others also function. During the past three years after becoming a full-fledged member of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the number of pupils learning French has increased by 14 percent. The most successful project for educational co-operation between France and Armenia is the establishment of the French University in Armenia. It is envisaged to continue the development of the above-mentioned higher educational institution with the perspective of turning it into a regional educational and cultural centre, ensuring new conditions in buildings, establishing new faculties, increasing the number of students and introducing the scientific research component. Another major project was the foundation of the French lyceum designed for advanced teaching of French starting from the 5th grade. It is planned to hold the International Academic Olympics in French language in 2017.
The Pan-Armenian Olympiad in Armenian Studies and the contest for history teachers of the Armenian Apostolic Church are held every year. Particularly, in 2015, 100 participants from 9 countries (Spain, Iran, Russia, Syria, Georgia, Estonia, France and Armenia) took part in the Pan-Armenian Olympiad in Armenian Studies for pupils. The children competed to test their knowledge of Armenian language, literature, history, culture, as well as history of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
From 2006 the subjects “Greek Language” and “History of Greek Culture” were included in the educational programmes of all courses for the specialisations “Tourism” and “Service in hotels and tourist complexes” of “Yerevan State Armenian-Greek College of Tourism, Service and Food” SNCO
Nearly 230 students study Greek language and literature and Greek grammar at the College, and according to the curriculum, students are introduced to Greek history, culture, Greek mythology, Greek traditions and customs.
The foundation of language and culture centres of different nations in Armenia is also a manifestation of cultural diversity. During the past years, the Armenian-Indian Centre of Excellence, which carries out activities in the three main directions (education, research and exchange of professionals), was opened at YSU.
Foreign applicants admitted to state higher vocational education institutions of the Republic of Armenia, with no command of Armenian language, are admitted to the preparatory faculty (departments) of higher educational institutions for a period of one year. In those departments, they learn Armenian and study the examination subjects for admission.
Foreign, including Diasporan Armenian students from 33 countries mainly study at state universities of the Republic of Armenia, as well as at the following universities: Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University and the European Regional Educational Academy. The specified students are mainly citizens of Iran, India, Syria, Georgia, Russia and the USA.