The Armenian Language Program

Language Coordinator: Charry Karamanoukian

The Armenian language program of the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies (MESAAS) of Columbia University, aims at developing students’ ability to communicate in Western Armenian. The program offers three levels of instruction, and will soon include a course designed for heritage speakers.

The program begins with Elementary Armenian I (W1310) and Elementary Armenian II (W1311) in the Fall and Spring of the first year, followed by Intermediate Armenian I (W1312) and II (W1313) in the Fall and Spring of the second year. The advanced level is offered in either the Fall or Spring of the third year.

In Elementary Armenian I and II, students learn to communicate about topics relating to themselves and their immediate surroundings: family, school, daily occupations, describing people, expressing likes and dislikes, requesting and giving information about themselves and others, proper forms of greetings, etc. While doing this, students learn all of the Armenian grammar and develop all four skills of communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

In Intermediate Armenian I and II, students learn to communicate about a wide range of topics. Such topics include biographical narration, cooking and recipes, health and well-being, holidays and celebrations, travel and geography, etc. At this level, students continue to develop their skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening while perfecting the grammatical concepts to which they were introduced in the first year.

In the advanced level course, students are introduced to literary and historical topics relating to Armenian culture in general. They learn to read fiction and non-fiction texts with the help of a dictionary, listen to news broadcast, and write short essays relating to these topics.

Note: This sequence of courses is designed for students who have little or no knowledge of the language. Heritage students should get in touch with the instructor to assess their level of proficiency before registering to a course. Students with a background in Armenian who would like to take a proficiency exam to fulfill a language requirement should get in touch with the Coordinator (Charry Karamanoukian).