–I am sorry I can’t speak French. Do you speak English?
These were the two introductory sentences with which our college students, Angela and Milena Shamoyans, Marianna Sulyan, Narine Manasyan and Gohar Jhangiryan studying “Organization of Tourism Services”, came up to the representatives of Francophonie Countries in their Francophone pavillions. Of course, coming up with this question and request is a little impropriety of the Francophone prior idea ″speaking French″ but with our kind and sincere smiles we were showing that we fully accepted and maintained the fundamental principles of the Francophone General Assembly: establishing international relations based on friendship, love, solidarity and tolerance, appreciating democratic values, protecting human rights. French is an official language in 40 countries 21 out of which are African countries. At first it was not easy for us to find a pavilion where it would be appropriate for our students to come up with that request. Our efforts were in vain in the pavilions of Congo, Cote d’ivoir (Ivory Coast) and in two other pavilions where there were many visitors speaking French, and in one pavilion we were welcomed in Armenian. It turned out that we had stepped into the pavilion of Goris Cultural Francophone Center.
The first pavilion, where Angela Shamoyan was able to start a conversation, belonged to Canada. The pavilion was run by a Canadian woman, Catherine by name, with a kind and sincere smile. Catherine said that she liked sunny Armenia and Yerevan. She was showing landscapes of Canada on the monitor, and at the same time, saying that Armenia is also a very beautiful country.
In return for that, Angela said that she was studying the specialty “Organization of Tourism” and she would show Catherine the places of interest of Armenia with great pleasure. We said good bye to the mistress of Canadian pavilion in French “Au revoir” which was taught to our students by Gayane Terzyan at the right time. Catherine’s smile became kinder and more sincere. Au revoir, Catherine.
The second pavilion where they kindly agreed to speak to us in English belonged to Ruanda. A beautiful woman, with a national costume on, introduced her country to our group. She said that Ruanda has two similarities with Armenia: like Armenia, Ruanda is one of the few countries in the world where there are fountains with drinkable water, and the second is that Ruanda is also a mountainous country.
When Angela asked her whether many tourists visit their country, she answered that tourists from different countries of the world come to Ruanda to see their elephants, zebras and other animals and birds of the subequatorial zone.
We also spoke in the pavilions of Morocco and Maurice. The students again and again revised the speech patterns and expressions of our first English lessons: greeting words, introducing ourselves, meeting strangers, kind words of saying good bye.
Eventually, we had a live lesson of communicative language in the Freedom Square of Yerevan.