by Margarita Nahapetyan
They say the course of life is very unpredictable. This saying is especially appropriate in the case of AUA alumna Diana Torosyan. Little did she know that one day she would graduate from AUA with MA in TEFL and then teach English in the world’s most populous country.
Diana Torosyan got her Bachelor’s degree in International Communications from Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov (YSLU) in 2014. Diana majored in linguistics and journalism. As a regular communications student, she wanted to enhance her writing skills and start her career journey. Therefore, she planned to take internships in news websites 168 Hours and Aravot Daily, and so she did. However, they say that the best things in life are not planned – another motto for Diana.
While studying at YSLU, she got a job offer to teach English at a training school. Although she had a good knowledge of English, she was afraid to take over such responsibility since she had never developed any teaching skills. Nevertheless, she put her fears aside and accepted the offer. As she was both teaching English and writing press releases, she carefully studied those professions. She discovered that teaching inspired her much more than writing. For this reason, she decided to change her academic path and get her Master’s degree in a field about which she was truly passionate.
Diana was serious about her education. She wanted to get the best possible education in Armenia. Diana was determined to study in the best university that would provide her with quality education and help to reach her professional goals. Hence, when she learned about the MA TEFL program at AUA, she knew it was the place she was searching. After she took the courage to apply for it, she got admitted.
Diana graduated from AUA in 2016. After the graduation, two of her fellow students, Suzan and Svetlana, left for China to gain some work experience and to travel. Eventually, they inspired Diana to choose the same path.
Diana has been living in the city of Chongqing, China for 15 months. There, she teaches English to students aged 3-5. Working in China was very challenging in the beginning, due to a different culture. However, those challenges made her only stronger. “It gave me a huge opportunity to boost my skills as a lead teacher and to gain new skills while dealing with students aged 3-5,” states Diana.
AUA’s role was prominent in developing Diana’s teaching skills. While studying at AUA, she gained significant experience in teaching adults. She worked in Women’s Resource Center of Armenia, where she taught English to women of different ages. While working in EEC and COAF, she learned special skills for teaching little children. With the help of her Program Chair Irshat Madyarov, she developed a course-book on raising awareness on environmental issues. In cooperation with COAF, she conducted that course in two Armenian villages – Hatsik and Karakert. The course helped her to master skills in teaching children aged 6-12 but not 3-5. In China, to teach children of ages 3-5 Diana had to learn how to simplify her teaching methods, give easy instructions and speak slowly, which was not as easy as it may seem now.
Diana will return from China in August 2018. After she is back, she will push her studies forward in education leadership abroad.
AUA has a vital role in Diana’s journey. It inspired her to move forward and reach new heights of success. “AUA not only taught me practical skills for teaching but also gave me an opportunity to make friends with precious people, interact with professionals and push myself to the next level,” states Diana.