From December 2019 to January 2020, our team of three third-year students of the Translation Department at Artsakh State University implemented a project called the Creative Group. It consisted in teaching English to children from rural communities of the Martuni region of Artsakh. The goal was to teach in a non-standard format, improving the children’s grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. We also worked to make the courses interesting and to share our love for the English language.
The programme was funded by the Caucasus Institute. We learned about the grant opportunity on Facebook and decided to use our professional skills to teach English to children in our home villages. There are no English clubs there, you need to get to Stepanakert for additional classes, and few families can afford the fare. We couldn’t even imagine that one of the five programs selected in the competition would be ours.
The first challenge we faced when implementing the program was selecting the children. We decided to give tests to students from the 4th to the 7th grades from Taghavard, Taghavard-Kaler, Shekher and Karmir Shuka villages of Martuni region. Out of about 70 children, we had to choose only 25. As the location for the courses, we chose the Karmir Shuka community school, which is located at an equal distance from the target villages.
The course was interactive, based on interesting games. We held the classes three times a week for two hours, but the children were so enthusiastic that they kept asking us to hold the classes every day.
From the very beginning, we decided that Mariam would work on the vocabulary, Lilit on grammar, and Diana on pronunciation. At the end of the course, we awarded graduation certificates to our students in a warm and festive atmosphere. We believe that our program has succeeded because we were able to instil love and interest towards the English language among the children.
Authors: Artsakh State University students Mariam Karamyan, Diana Manvelyan and Lilit Margaryan