U.S. Embassy and COAF Continue Expansion of English Language Courses Throughout Armenia

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan and the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) announced today the continued expansion of two English language training programs sponsored by the Embassy and co-funded and operated by COAF. The courses will be offered specifically in several of Armenia’s rural regions.

By continuing and expanding these two programs – the “English Access Microscholarship Program” and the “Expanding English Access – Reaching Remote Regions with New Technologies Initiative” – young Armenians in rural communities will have increased access to tools proven to aid with English-language learning.

“We are providing increased opportunities to the rural youth, to help them excel academically and develop professionally,” said Jacqueline Deley, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. “English is a valuable skill that can help young Armenians achieve their academic goals and enhance their economic prospects.”

Ms. Deley was joined by Anoush Yedigaryan, COAF executive director, during a launch event to kick off this year’s offerings of these two successful English programs.  The two noted that promoting the quality of English education is one of the key goals for both for the U.S. Embassy and COAF.

The Access program is a two-year microscholarship program. COAF has already successfully implemented two previous Access programs, and this kick off marked the start of a new two-year cycle. During the next two years, the Embassy and COAF will be able to use the Access program to engage 90 bright, yet economically disadvantaged students, aged 13-16, from the Aragatsavan, Hatsik, Tumanyan, Akori and Debet communities of Armenia. This means the program is expanding its outreach in Aragatsotn, Armavir and Lori provinces.

“As a direct result of the program, rural youth will increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their communities, gain the required skills and increase their competitiveness for future career opportunities,” COAF Director Anoush Yedigaryan said. “In addition to the language training, the initiative will also focus on building local capacity by involving rural teachers as assistants to the Access program teachers.”

The second program launched today, the “Expanding English Access – Reaching Remote Regions with New Technologies Initiative,” will offer a course that combines both on-line and off-line learning. Each week, the participants in this new initiative will study English online, via the highly interactive Moodle platform.  The students will also participate in several face-to-face sessions. Throughout 2015 and 2016 this new online initiative will serve 320 students in nine different hubs. The students will be from areas where resources for English learning are limited or non-existent. The program is focused on 17-35 year-olds –young adults who do not generally have access to English-language classroom resources or instruction. The curriculum intends to strengthen the students’ knowledge and skills in two types of English: social, conversational English and business communication.

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The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that employs community-led approaches aimed at improving the quality of life in rural Armenia, with a particular focus on children and youth. COAF’s target development areas are education, health, social and economic development. COAF launched its programs in 2004, starting in one village and expanding to 22 villages in Armavir and Aragatsotn Marzes of Armenia. Since 2014, COAF has expanded its outreach and launched development programs throughout a number of rural communities of the Toumanyan Region of Lori Marz. To learn more, please visit am.coafkids.org and www.coafkids.org or contact by phone: (010) 50.20.76; mobile: (Anahit Evoyan).