Teaching Philosophy

I teach both my language and literature/writing classes using a student-centered approach that has earned Harvard University’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching.

armenian minion
A student-created delight: an Armenian-speaking version of popular culture characters

In my language classes, I use communicative language methods, project-based learning, and reflective assessment to immerse students in the world of Modern Western Armenian. My students are exposed to and use the target language for upwards of 90% of class time while we play bespoke games, publish Armenian-language zines, perform skits of their own creation, or discuss authentic language materials from recent diasporic Armenian publications. Throughout, students are placed squarely in the center of their own development with portfolio-based assessment that promotes self-reflection.

wikipedia edit-a-thon poster
A poster for a class Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

In my literature and writing courses, I teach students how to be more critical readers and writers. From day one, I scaffold assignments and classroom activities so that students are progressively introduced to close reading, literary analysis, argument construction, inductive reasoning, contextual research, and scholarly conversations. My courses are run as discussion seminars that incorporate technology to make collective annotations, edit Wikipedia pages, or blog. With my direction and extensive feedback on papers, students learn to write persuasive arguments about the scenes, texts, and questions that puzzle and enthrall them.

My students have excelled with my guidance—a student whose senior thesis I supervised won the prestigious Hoopes Prize in 2020 for his work.

Interested in the courses I teach or how I assess my students? Read more on my Courses and Assessment pages.