Discover Armenian is designed for those who want to learn
how to speak, read, and understand Western Armenian in real life situations. It
can be used as a stand-alone course, as a curriculum for home schooling, or as a
supplement to formal classes. The goal is to make Western Armenian come alive
with sights, sounds, stories, songs and cultural content. The course is highly
interactive and flexible, permitting each learner to study according to his or
her own style or pace. Since the ability to understand Eastern Armenian and
Church (Classical) Armenian constitutes part of the proficiency and cultural
knowledge of Western Armenian speakers, the course provides a basic introduction
to them as well.
Each unit has three main sections:
Discover In this section you will discover words and grammatical forms using pictures and audio as well as written clues and explanations. This section has four parts: (1) Vocabulary, (2) Conversation, (3) Grammar, (4) Reading.
Practice In this section you will have the chance to practice what you have discovered. The exercises are based on useful words and phrases from everyday speech. In Practice mode, the program corrects each answer as you go along. When you select the wrong answer, the program will prompt you to try again. If after several attempts you are unable to select the correct answer, you can select the Show Answer button. Ideally you should do the practice exercises until you make few or no mistakes. This section also has four parts: (1) Vocabulary, (2) Conversation, (3) Grammar, (4) Reading.
Master In this section you will have the chance to test your mastery of the material. The Master section aims to help you measure your progress and to challenge you by presenting what you have learned in new contexts or with some new material so that you develop skills and strategies to maximize your newly acquired knowledge of Armenian for the three core communications skills: speaking, understanding and reading. In Master mode, the program grades the answer when you complete all the answers, or you select the Check button. This section can be used as a pre-test before starting the unit, to see how much you already know, or need to learn, as well as a proficiency test after completing the unit.
Each unit has a story and a song. The story feature is usually an English language article on some important aspect of Armenian history or culture. The songs are a time-tested way of reinforcing language skills as well as important for their cultural content. In addition, singing is an important part of Armenian community life and knowledge of songs is part of the linguistic and cultural proficiencies of Armenian speakers. The song units permit you to sing along with the vocalist, or to sing karaoke, by lowering the recorded vocal volume and singing to the accompaniment.
The 5 Basic Units are designed for complete beginners and those who do not feel proficient in the Armenian alphabet. These units teach hundreds of basic phrases used in ordinary conversation as well as several hundred words. They also teach the alphabet and Armenian pronunciation in a fun and engaging way that has stood the test of time. Finally, the basic units introduce more than 75% of the most important grammatical patterns and suffixes for Armenian nouns and verbs. With this basis, you will be able to carry on simple conversations, meet people, tell about yourself, and ask simple questions, and negotiate your way through dinner in Armenian.
We recommend that everyone go through the Basic Units, since they provide the framework and methodology for the program, especially the grammar discovery sections, which are quite short. If they are too easy, you can always skim them quickly and move on. Youre in charge of your course of study.
The 18 Thematic Units are designed to deepen your knowledge of Armenian relating to different subjects or topics. These units can be studied in any order, depending on your interests and needs. You can skip around within or between units or work through each unit in order.
The program puts a number of utilities at your disposal through out the process:
1. Unit Map this menu is always available on the left side of the screen. It shows you where you are in the unit by highlighting the section you are currently working on.
2. Lesson Map this is a complete map of the program and is located in the Help Menu, which enables you to access any screen directly from the index.
3. Dictionary this dictionary is a floating box, which you can keep open and use at any time to check a word or phrase.
4. Phrasebook this is a compendium of common expressions and everyday dialogues which you can refer to independent of the lessons.
5. Culture/Music this is a menu of all the story and song units
6. Grammar this gives a complete summary of all the grammar presented in the lessons, plus paradigm charts for quick reference.
7. Help in addition to guidance about the program, the help menu contains options for setting the environment, sound levels, and other global aspects of the program.
8. Alphabet for all the Basic units, an alphabet chart is provided for quick reference under the left hand unit menu.
9. Listen button in many exercises there is a button which permits you to hear a native speaker say the word or phrase on the screen. In the Conversation templates you have the option of hearing the conversation word by word or phrase by phrase.
10. Transliteration option in many exercises there is a button which permits you to see the Armenian word or phrase transliterated in Roman characters.
11. Translation help in nearly all cases you can click for a full translation of the sentence or phrase you are working on in any exercise. You should try first to figure out the meaning yourself using the dictionary or referring back to the Discovery section in that unit, but if you are having difficulty, you can always get the translation which appears in the bottom of the exercise window.
12. Noah Noah, who according to the Bible landed in his Ark on Mt. Ararat in the Armenian Highlands, is your companion on this program. This character is usually located in the lower left corner of your screen. In addition to providing general information or pointers about the unit or exercise, Noah will coach you through the exercises and program. If you do not want his help, you can close Noahs portal and can recall him through the Help menu.
To help you practice when away from the computer, the program comes with printable flashcards that are found in the flashcards.pdf file in the Discover Armenian folder. The flashcards are in .pdf format and can be opened and printed with Adobe Acrobat reader, which is available free on the internet. The flashcards are designed to be printed on the front and back of a single 8 1/2" x 11" page, then cut with scissors or a paper cutter. If you would like, you can print them on heavy stock paper so that the cards will last longer.
"Discover Armenian" is a registered trademark of The C.A.K.E. Foundation.