“I don’t want to grow old. Meetings with students seem to be anti-aging injections. Besides, I need these meetings with young people not to lose track of the time and to hear Armenian from their lips,” Davit Gyurjinyan, Head of the Language Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, a graduate of Armenian State Pedagogical University and Chairman of the ASPU Board, said during a master class held on March 19. The event was organized by the Chair of Armenian Language and its Teaching Methods after Ashot Ter-Grigoryan.
During the meeting with students and lecturers, Mr. Gyurjinyan spoke about his student life, his first steps as a lecturer and his current activity. “It is important to work because languages and pedagogy are the most sensitive fields,” he stressed.
“It is one thing to speak Armenian, it’s another thing to master it. People, who speak Armenian, should not think that they are fluent in the language and can do everything with the language," Mr. Gyurjinyan said. He assured everyone that the main function of the Language Committee is to protect the Armenian language and solve every issue related to the language.
The meeting was followed by a Q&A session. The future teachers asked Mr. Gyurjinyan a number of questions, including the current issues of language education at elementary schools, ways to solve them, republishing of textbooks, etc.
As an author of textbooks, Mr. Gyujinyan stressed that when compiling a textbook they see to it that the chosen material meets the demands of schoolchildren with its quality and thinking. He confessed that sometimes they rush and don’t choose the best material. He added that teachers keep in touch with the authors and send them their comments and observations. Mr. Gyujinyan regretted to say that they do not have a corresponding group who will carry out an in-depth monitoring and peer review of the material, correct and exclude mistakes in textbooks. Speaking about the creation of e-textbooks, he emphasized that it is necessary to take into consideration the many nuances and opportunities that they can provide.
“Although I spent most of my time in front of the computer, I am attached to paper and books,” Mr. Gyujinyan said. He advised the future teachers to constantly learn, demonstrate a strong will and never give up what they have won with their knowledge.
The attendees asked other questions as well – ranging from mistakes and bloopers captured on live television to the creation of joint textbooks and organization of final exams.
“There are numerous questions as the language is inexhaustible. We should organize such meetings more frequently,” said Julietta Gyulamiaryan, a professor at the Chair of Armenian Language and its Teaching Methods after Ashot Ter-Grigoryan.
Heghine Khachatryan, Dean of the Faculty of Primary Education, cited an African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” She added that it is important to cooperate. “We are looking forward to the next meetings,” she said.