RAU Students Participating in a Creative Writing Competition 'Write On!'
On February 12, RAU students majoring in Linguistics took part in the first round of the creative writing competition Write On!, organized at RAU on the initiative of Peace Corps Armenia and RAU Department of Theory of Language and Cross-cultural Communication.
The contest was introduced by a Peace Corps volunteer currently residing in Armenia Sierra Buehlman Barbeau. Ms. Barbeau already introduced effective writing techniques to RAU students during a workshop in December 2017 and returned to conduct the first round of the competition.
She highlighted that Write On! is a national competition held in 17 countries that aims to promote creativity and critical thinking among students. The contest is open to participants of all ages: children from the 6th grade up to professional level can compete there.
As a Peace Corps volunteer, she lives in a small village near Goris and teaches English and creative writing to local children along with helping the community.
“In many schools around the world, including Armenia and the U.S., creative writing is really hard to teach. In the village that I live, the students do not have the opportunity to learn creative writing. I hope that what we are doing here is really beneficial to them. What comes to the competition, I have already read some of the entry essays and I am really excited about them!”, she confided.
During the competition, the students were required to choose a writing topic from the suggested ones: “You discover that you and your life are actually someone else’s dream. Whose dream is it and what will you do with this knowledge?”; “What else should students learn in school that they are not taught? Why is it important that this is taught?”
Write On! was initially organized by Peace Corps volunteers in Georgia. The competition provides an outlet for freedom of expression and an incentive for further language development for students in developing countries. It is conducted in two steps, on a national and international basis. Usually, in December Peace Corps volunteers and local teachers prepare students in their communities, while the regional competitions start in February. National winners are submitted for international judging by a panel in Tbilisi, Georgia, where the winners are selected.
Present in Armenia since 1992, Peace Corps has already delegated more than a thousand volunteers, who contributed to the community and youth development as well as teaching EFL in Armenia.