Based in Moka, Mauritius, Armen Kassabian’s primary fellowship duties include English teacher training, curriculum development, and administering final assessments at the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE). His secondary duties have included developing English teaching resources as well as training teachers in various schools across Mauritius, Rodrigues, and Madagascar.
Throughout his fellowship, Kassabian has focused on how to build emotional intelligence awareness in teacher-trainees, university staff, and teachers in the field. “I believe the power of teaching is in our ability to deeply listen and respond appropriately to diverse needs,” Kassabian states. “This involves deep levels of self-reflection, discussion with colleagues and learning how to manage one’s emotions and thoughts more effectively.”
Seeking to integrate social and emotional learning with English language learning, Kassabian developed a Social Emotional Literacy Ruler based on research conducted by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His host institution supported this initiative by printing 3,000 rulers, which Kassabian has since distributed to hundreds of educators across Mauritius. In trainings, Kassabian has modeled strategies for using the ruler and given educators the time to practice and brainstorm how they can apply such strategies with their students.
After completing his fellowship, Kassabian plans to apply for the English Language Specialist Program and a PhD program focusing on the connection between social and emotional development, language acquisition, and social capacities. “I’ve become a more flexible, confident, and reflective educator and teacher trainer because of the English Language Fellow Program,” Kassabian shares.
Armen Kassabian is a facilitator, educator, and teacher-trainer, who has been teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages for the past 12 years. Primarily based in New York City, Kassabian has also taught in Brazil, Martinique, and Mauritius. He participated in the U.S. Department of State funded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) exchange program in Brazil, as well as the Teaching English in France Program (TAPIF) with the French Ministry of Education in Martinique. His specializations include working with young learners, differentiated instruction for students with special needs, project-based learning, educational technology, teaching in low resource classrooms, evidence-based emotional intelligence strategies, and teacher training. Kassabian is passionate about teaching and studying languages and speaks French, Kreol, Armenian, Portugese, Spanish and even some American Sign Language.