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Mohamad T Esmaili Sardari
Coordinator and Lecturer in the Persian Program
Rome Building, Room 319

Persian and Farsi Language Studies

Offered in Washington DC

The Persian Program offers a unique learning experience for graduate students in the fields of international relations and/or development. Through interactive and communicative language activities in and beyond the classroom, students are given the opportunity to build, develop, and enhance their Persian skills, while incorporating and/or transferring their knowledge from their other academic courses and academic/professional interests.

Our basic program consists of four courses. The Persian Program welcomes students in Farsi, Dari, or Tajik; and encourages students with previous knowledge to take a placement test in order to be placed in the appropriate level for further language instruction. We welcome both students who need to take classes to prepare for the school's Language Proficiency Exam ("Proficiency-track students"), and students who are taking Persian  just to benefit from this educational service ("Non-proficiency-track students").

In addition to the basic program, we also offer courses for students who already passed the Persian language requirement exam (Persian Proficiency Exam), or for “non-proficiency track” students who are placed at a higher level than the basic language program.

Novice Persian 
Novice Persian is the first in a four-course sequence. In this course you will begin to develop your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Persian, in order to develop basic communicative skills. Students entering this course are expected to be beginners, and are expected to achieve the Novice high level on the ACTFL scale (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).
Novice High Persian 
Novice High Persian is the second in a four-course sequence. In this course you will further enhance to develop your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Persian. Development of these skills is vital for the process of communication. Students entering this course are expected to be Novice High level, and are expected to achieve the Intermediate Low level on the ACTFL scale.
Intermediate Low Persian 

This is the third in a four-course sequence in the Persian Program. Students expand their grammar and structural knowledge of the language, practicing their newly acquired language skills in real-life communicative situations and gaining confidence in using Persian. Students entering this course are anticipated to be at the Intermediate Low level on the ACTFL scale, and are expected to achieve the Intermediate Mid-level.
Intermediate Mid I Persian 
This course provides additional practice to help students attain a higher level of skill development (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and linguistic accuracy. The course favors a skill-based approach in which students gain mastery of the language through the use of authentic materials taken from various sources (e.g., periodicals, video and radio documentaries). The selection of the materials is based on the complexity of the tasks and the students' professional and personal interest. The teaching of grammar and vocabulary is integrated to the skill-based activities, and it is incorporated in the class activities as an aid to overcome any communicative problems. The teaching techniques are student-centered, with the instructor as the facilitator, and the goal of teaching to make students independent users of Persian.

Intermediate Mid II Persian 
This course will offer an in-depth review of grammar topics in Persian that continue to cause difficulties to the foreign language learner: the preterit-imperfect contrast, comparatives, the use of the subjunctive, etc. A program of vocabulary building will be incorporated into the course. It is important to realize, however, that vocabulary and grammar are means to an end; knowing the definition of vocabulary items or being able to recite grammar rules is not using the language.  Therefore, the review will be accomplished through a variety of activities in speaking, reading, listening, and writing. In this way, the students will improve their knowledge of grammar and their proficiency in these necessary language skills. The teaching activities are student-centered, with the instructor serving as facilitator. The goal of this course is to make students independent users of the language.

Post-proficiency level courses

Intermediate High Persian 
The course favors a task-supported approach in which students gain mastery of Persian with a communicative approach, within situations that reflect an authentic usage of the language. Students will be exposed to authentic materials taken from various sources (e.g., periodicals, the Internet, video and radio documentaries, etc). The selection of the materials is based on the complexity of the tasks and texts, and on the students’ professional and personal interests. This entails some negotiation of the syllabus between the teacher and the students to select the authentic materials that are relevant to the students’ academic interests.
Advanced Low Persian 
It is also offered at the post-proficiency level. Speakers at the Advanced Low level are able to handle a variety of communicative tasks. They are able to participate in most informal and some formal conversations on topics related to school, home, and leisure activities. They can also speak about some topics related to employment, current events, and matters of public and community interest. Advanced Low speakers demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in the major time frames of past, present, and fu­ture in paragraph-length discourse with some control of aspect. (ACTFL guidelines)

Persian can be used to meet the MA language graduation requirements of 1) Functional Studies Areas 2) Middle Eastern Studies 3) South Asian Studies. In order to pass the exams, students need to obtain the following levels per language skill:

Listening: Intermediate Mid
Reading: Intermediate Mid
Speaking: Intermediate Mid