Purposeful Collaboration Between AUA and COAF

During Summer 2022, a partnership emerged between the American University of Armenia (AUA) and the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF). This partnership resulted in the adoption of the Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (CTEFL) program as the recognized teacher training platform for the “English Speaking Rural Schools” project, implemented jointly by COAF and the U.S. Embassy in Armenia. 

This June marked a significant milestone as 15 COAF English language teachers from secondary schools in Lori graduated from AUA with their Certificates. Below, we share inspiring accounts from a few of these graduates:

Alla Saroyan (CTEFL ’23)

“Studying at AUA was my ultimate dream that came true with the great support of AUA, COAF, and the US Embassy. I believed it would have a positive impact on my teaching career and my students’ achievements.

The course was challenging but rewarding. It gave me a new opportunity to believe in myself, to lead my students when they seem lost, to push them forward, and to not give up. It helped me create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom, encourage creativity and self-development, as well as encourage the students to always act collaboratively.

I understood that it is never too late to learn and that anything is possible. The enthusiasm for bringing diversity to the class for me was the most important takeaway from the course. Moreover, mistakes and grades no longer seem the worst thing in my life as they have helped me to become stronger.

Now, I feel more confident and ready to share my knowledge, not only with my students but also with my colleagues. Assessment is no longer a punishment but a helping hand both for me and my students. It is a tool for pointing out weaknesses and finding ways of overcoming them.”


Marine Alikhanyan (CTEFL ’23)

“When I learned about the chance to study in the CTEFL program, I applied at once, as it was my dream to study at AUA. Another reason for my application was the aspiration to receive high-quality education and professional development as a teacher. 

Studying at AUA was difficult as I had to meet all the deadlines while studying at night. I am a mother of three young children, and this experience was very challenging for me. On the other hand, it was a great pleasure for me to attend the classes and learn from great professors.

I gained the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in my career. 

After studying at AUA, I could plan my lessons more effectively and make them more interesting and motivating for the students, while seeing the progress that my students were making.”


Anna Alikhanyan (CTEFL ’23)

“I was informed about the opportunity to study in the CTEFL program at AUA through the COAF SMART Center. Anna Arakelya, COAF English programs manager, gave us a thorough description of the program and helped us a lot to achieve this goal. I was delighted by the AUA faculty and by their professionalism. It goes without saying that I have gained the necessary knowledge and skills for teaching.”




Narine Lalayan (CTEFL ’23)

“Studying at AUA was unbelievable. I received an offer from COAF to apply to the program to improve my English and pedagogy skills, as well as have the opportunity to study at one of the best universities in Armenia. I immediately decided to participate.

My experience was of great importance as I applied every technique and method I learned toward my teaching process. I noticed enormous changes in my skills, and it was a pleasure meeting the teaching professionals who were always open to providing detailed answers to my questions. My students now enjoy my classes even more. I have been dreaming of becoming a good teacher, and AUA made it possible.”


Nona Sargsyan (CTEFL ’23)

“I decided to study for the CTEFL when I joined the COAF ‘English-Speaking Rural Schools’ program, which gave me the opportunity I had always dreamt about. The experience that I had there came to prove that this was the right choice. 

The course provided us with the necessary knowledge and tools for growing professionally and conducting more productive lessons. We always received detailed feedback for every step of the process. This program helped us to gain an enormous amount of knowledge, and I’ll undoubtedly use it to conduct more productive lessons.”


Valya Galoyan (CTEFL ’23)

“Studying at AUA was my dream. I had colleagues who were alumni of the CTEFL program at AUA, and I always admired the way they taught and the methods they used in their language lessons. 

I received an offer from COAF to participate in a program called ‘English- Speaking Rural Schools,’ in which the CTEFL program was offered through AUA. Studying at AUA was a real challenge for me because the course was intense, and I had to sacrifice the majority of my time, but it was all rewarding, and I gained so much from the program. 

AUA completely changed my attitude toward education and my approaches to teaching. I learned the principles of teaching in a practical way and for classroom assessment. The course was beneficial not only for me but also for my students and my colleagues. The new methods make the students’ learning process easier, more interesting, and more functional.”


Liana Karapetyan (CTEFL ’23)

“Being a part of the CTEFL program at AUA gave me a chance to empower myself as a teacher. I believe the 21st-century teacher needs continuous self-development to meet all the requirements of the modern world. It was a rather challenging but rewarding experience. The academic environment helped me analyze my teaching methods and highlight my strengths and weaknesses. I have gained more than just knowledge and skills to succeed in my career. Never before have I felt such motivation, support and confidence in my potential, which made a crucial change in mindset. I hope one day, I will have a chance to pursue my MA at AUA as well.”