The Chair of the French Language was founded in 1948 as a separate academic unit on the base of Foreign Languages Department, established in 1936 (wherein the French section had functioned since 1937). The first head of the chair was Lidia Krievse. From 1945 to 1950 Evg. Khachaturova, a graduate of Moscow Foreign Languages Institute after M.Torez, headed the chair. Having defended her PhD in Moscow in 1949, Margarita Hayrapetyan took charge of the leadership of the chair in 1950. She held the post until 1977. From 1978 to1984 Abraham Vardapetyan, candidate of Science in Philology, associate professor, performed the duties of the head of the chair. In 1984 he was succeeded by Aram Barlezizyan, PhD, professor, who maintained the position until 2005. From 2006 until 2008 Naira Manukyan, candidate of Science in Philology, associate professor, was the head of the chair, and Donara Ghazaryan headed the chair in 2009-2010. Since December, 2010, Melanya Ghazaryan, candidate of Science in Philology, associated professor, was appointed to the post.
Throughout the years of its existence the chair of the French Language has been supplemented with highly qualified and knowledgeable specialists, many of whom had pursued their education in France and Lebanon (Alishan Bayramyan, Avetis Eghiajan, Aram Minasyan, Gegham Shahinyan, Gagik Vahramyan and others).
The efficiency of the chair is proved by the fact of its skillful graduates preparation, who are well-known in Armenia and abroad, both in scientific and pedagogical fields. For instance, such intellectuals as academician Eduard Atanyan, PhD professor Aram Nazaryan, candidate of Science in Philology, associated professor Hakob Araqelyan, Norayr Santrosyan, Martiros Minasyan and many others are the former students of the French Language department.
Apart from teaching activities, the lecturers of the chair are always engaged in scientific and methodological researches. Among recently published articles the most noteworthy are “Training Manual on Interpretation” by A. Nazaryan (co-publisher H. Baghdasaryan); “The Culture of Perceiving the Poetic Sign” by N. Manukyan, associated professor; “Armenian and French Relations in XIX century”, “Dictionary of Modern French Language”, “Manual of Modern French Stylistics” by Aram Barlezizyan, PhD professor; “Text Interpretation” by V. Stepanyan, etc.
The chair of the French Language is a unique center of lexicography. Some of the remarkable dictionaries, published by the lecturers of the chair are “French-Russian-Armenian Training Dictionary of Lexical Terms”, “The Translation of French Proverbs and Sayings into Armenian and Their Equivalents”, “The French Comparative Expressions in Armenian Translations and their Equivalents” by A. Nazaryan; “The Economic Trilingual Dictionary” by S.Galstyan and R.Galstyan; “ Armenian-French Dictionary”- (40000 words) by A. Barlezizyan; “French-Armenian Dictionary” (40000 words) published in cooperation with YSU lecturers.
The secondary school textbooks were published due to efforts by K. Amiryan ( IIIrd and IVth grade textbooks) V. Stepanyan and A. Aghavelyan ( IXth and Xth grade textbooks). Extensive work has been carried out in the field of textbook publication for the higher education sector. Some textbooks have already been published, such as the textbooks for the IInd year students of specialist departments by V.Ghambaryan and A.Kaplanyan and textbooks for freshmen by S.Galstyan and R.Galstyan. Graduate Studies are organized under and supervised by the chair of the French Language, and have so far proved efficient in preparing knowledgaeble graduates.
Throughout the last decade the faculty of the chair has published over one hundred articles in local and international magazines (some of them published by the State Linguistic University after V.Brusov) which have been presented at numerous scientific conferences.
The chair of the French Language is currently expanding its cooperation scope with the French Embassy in Armenia, the YSU, as well as with a range of Armenian and European Universities. On the chair’s initiative, State Linguistic University after V. Brusov became a member of Association of Francophone Universities, the largest international organization, comprising 774 Universities from 90 states. Due to the aforementioned membership, the electronic center of Francophonia, only one in Armenia, came into existence.
The chair organizes annual international scientific conferences, entitled “The Linguistic Image of the World”. Outstanding linguists from different countries are annually invited to participate in the conference, among them Claude Azhezhe, Jean-Claude Beako, Michael Rine, Vadim Kolesnokav and others.
Young scientists are constantly in the limelight of the chair’s attention. More than ten young scientists have defended their PhD theses lately, three of them in 2011.
The mission of the chair of the French Language is to become a leading unit in teaching French in Armenia, as well as to be a center of specialized studies and applied researches of Romanic Languages.
Nowadays the chair is engaged in productive scientific, pedagogical and methodological activities, developing various new programs, with unspairing dedication both by senior and junior lecturers.
The chair is comprised of working groups, which assist in the organization and coordination of various activities of the chair:
- the working group in charge of conferences and seminars organization – members: N. Manukyan, M. Ghazaryan, K.Grigoryan, V.Zakaryan.
- responsible of Francophone Master programs
- the committee to coordinate cooperation with secondary schools – members: R. Galstyan, S. Galstyan, J. Minasyan, M. Manukyan, H. Grigoryan.
- the responsible for posting and updating information on the department website – M.Ter-Gamanyan, V. Harutyunyan.
- the head of Student Scientific Council: A. Stepanyan, Advisor: A. Arshakyan,
- the work group to coordinate cooperation with AUF – members: K. Grigoryan, M.Ter-Gamanyan.
- the work group to coordinate cooperation with the Library – members: V. Ghambaryan, A. Kaplanyan.
- the work group responsible for Graduate Programs, Master's and Bachelor’s theses: A. Barlezizyan, N. Manukyan, K. Grigoryan, M. Ghazaryan.