AVC as an Invaluable Resource

As a math tutor majoring in philosophy in the University of Washington, Erica Vartanian understands the importance of words and language. “Philosophy has trained me to think twice about everything I say, hear, and read, and I do not take words for their face value anymore”.

Her focus on the importance of language has also led her to enroll in Armenian language courses offered at the Armenian Virtual College. With a desire to better communicate within her surrounding Armenian community, as well as with her relatives, Erica took the Elementary and Pre-Intermediate Armenian courses offered at AVC in conjunction with her university studies.
Erica was raised Armenian and spoke the language, and visited Armenia in the summer of 2006 when she was 12 years old—even being soaked on the holiday of Vartavar to her surprise! Her sister is currently the treasurer of the Armenian Cultural Association of Washington, and both of them attend many of the organized monthly events. “It’s exciting that so many people come together to keep our traditions alive”, she stated.

What finally encouraged Erica to enroll in the classes was her realization that her Armenian itself was heavily influenced by Farsi—to the point she felt she had to re-learn a language she believed she knew her entire life. “I had to re-learn so many words and expressions because my family used a lot of Farsi vocabulary, and so was I, without even knowing it.”

Armenian Virtual College was recommended to her by a friend in the Armenian community who was taking Western Armenian courses, and after completing only two courses with AVC, Erica states her communication skills have already improved tremendously, and that it has opened the doors to wider communication with Armenians who speak different dialects: “Before AVC, I only spoke the way that I speak with my family, but now I have a broader cache of vocabulary that allows me to communicate with Armenians who speak other dialects as well! It is an invaluable resource to me as I continue to participate in the Armenian community.”

Erica recommends AVC to anyone who wants to learn the language, as she believes it is a great resource, and noted both her incredible instructor and the virtual tours as additional reasons that also set AVC apart. “Marina, my instructor, was always sweet and patient with me, and was always ready to answer my 20 questions during our teleconferences. She always helped me in learning new vocabulary and in improving my communication.” Erica added: “I also loved the virtual tours offered, which gave students a taste of some history and culture”. Erica plans to widen her focus and enroll in AVC’s chess courses as well as their courses on Armenian history.

Erica is already planning her next visit to Armenia, and among planning to see Zorats Karer, Goris and experiencing Vartavar as a willing-participant, she also plans to visit the AVC offices and continue her talks with Marina in person!
By Lena Tashjian
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AGBU Armenian Virtual College (AVC) is an accredited online learning institution that facilitates Armenian Studies through new technologies. Launched in 2009, AVC classes are open to anyone who is interested in Armenian Studies, creating a virtual classroom for students who do not have access to traditional, face-to-face Armenian educational programs, while supplementing the curriculum of those who do. The launch of the e-Book Series marks AVC's expansion in a new and exciting direction.