Course in Modern Western Armenian, A
Exercises and Commentary

(ISBN: 0-9617933-2-5)
1989 New York
269 pages
Size: 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Language(s): English, Western Armenian

Teaches Western Armenian for those who understand English.

The textbook is designed in modules, making it possible to assemble a course based on these materials in almost any way one chooses. The tutorials and exercises are designed to make self-instruction or multilevel individualized classroom instruction—a common situation in Armenian classes—relatively easy.

Since the tutorials lead the student through the discovery and analysis of the grammatical points, the exercises are given almost entirely to reinforcing, integrating, and contextualizing the various grammatical points. To this end the exercises are copious and the answers usually immediately evident to the student. The aim of the exercises is to create fluency through habit and confidence in language skills. The tutorials, on the other hand, are designed to develop the students' skill at observing, analyzing, hypothesizing, and deciphering the language: the kinds of skills that will help the students become self-sufficient readers and listeners and independent language learners. For this reason, the tutorials have been written in the form of a dialogue between an imaginary student and teacher. The textbook is front-loaded with vocabulary and back-loaded with grammar, so that in the early stages, when students are usually more adept at learning vocabulary than grammar, they have the satisfaction of being able to speak about many subjects without the obstacle of grammatical subtleties.

The remaining chapters of the book provide a practical introduction to Armenian word-building, etymology, language history, dialectology, Classical Armenian, spelling, and punctuation. There is also an annotated bibliography to guide students in further study and enrichment of their skills. These units, in conjunction with the first five to ten chapters in the companion volume, can form the basis for a one-semester introduction to the language and its history, as a kind of Armenian language appreciation course. Or they can simply be used as the need arises during a full-year or two-year course. Individually or taken together they have been found to benefit both native and non-native speakers, which is, in our view, reason enough to justify their inclusion in a separate volume devoted to the language, its words, its structure, and its history. Our hope is that this course will reveal for students some of the wonder and pleasure we have found in studying the Armenian language over the years.

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