YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ Chair of AUA’s MA TEFL program, Associate Professor Irshat Madyarov, PhD, received the American University of Armenia (AUA) award for outstanding teaching in June 2017. He has been at AUA for over eight years and has served as the chair of the Master’s program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (MA TEFL) as well as the director of the Center for Research in Applied Linguistics (CRAL) for a number of years.
“Getting this kind of award […] puts a lot of responsibly on me,” said Dr. Madyarov.
Looking back at his long journey at AUA, Dr. Madyarov thinks that he has grown tremendously as a teacher. “I have become more mindful about what is happening in my classroom. Moreover, I have also become very detail oriented, which means I started to pay attention to small details,” he said. Throughout this journey he also realized that it is of vital importance to be prepared for every class and to consider what is happening after class. In this regard, he emphasizes the importance of having one-on-one meetings with students, listening to them and trying to understand what they are thinking or what their challenges are. He also believes that it is important to provide timely feedback for the assignments which should be as constructive and encouraging as possible.
“I enjoy seeing when other people are learning something new, applying it and especially when that application is directed towards solving specific problems. In addition, when you work in the field of education, you should prepare teachers who are inclusive, encouraging and ready to make everything possible to prepare good citizens for their society,” said Dr. Madyarov.
Therefore, he thinks that good teachers should be personable and have a lot humanity about them which means they should connect well with their students. They should also have the ability to provide effective teaching, understand where they are moving in terms of their educational goals and outcomes, and create opportunities for students to learn and discover new things. Finally, he has a strong belief that good teachers should make every effort to help students grow as responsible citizens ‒ a quality the teachers should project in their own behavior and attitude. They should inspire their students to serve a larger community, to do projects that can change the world around them at the grassroots level. “I believe that we can totally change our life if we work very actively at the grassroots level, and in this regard teachers have a lot of responsibility,” he added.
Dr. Madyarov teaches Research Methods, Curriculum Design, New Technologies in TEFL, and Teaching English to Young Learners. The key feature which attracts him in any of these courses is their hands-on nature. He likes to connect to communities, encourage students to create projects that will have some kind of tangible impact on the schools they are working with or the schools they have graduated from, and all these are the things that keep him going and motivate him as a teacher.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.