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Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Persian Language 1

Course Code:
155901242
Unit value:
2
Taught in:
Full Year

The course is an introductory one covering the modern written language of Iran and the standard spoken language associated with Tehran. Requiring no previous knowledge of Persian, it begins with the phonetics of Persian and the Perso-Arabic script and proceeds to cover the morphology of Persian and all the main aspects of syntax as a preparation for subsequent years.

Prerequisites

Enrolment on one of the BA programmes in Persian or the Certificate in Persian.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Persian grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Persian vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Persian structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Persian on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Persian on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Persian and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics

Workload

The course will normally entail ten classroom hours of teaching per week, consisting of a two-hour class each weekday. Daily assignments for completion outside the classroom will be given in the form of practices, translations, compositions, preparation for oral exercises etc.

Scope and syllabus

Reading: In the initial stages of mastering the script and elementary grammar, reading skill is developed through grammatical exercises and drills. From the middle of the first term selected passages from modern writers and journalistic prose are provided for additional classroom reading and written translation, the complexity of these increasing as the year progresses.

Writing: Writing skill is initially acquired through simple practices and in the course of grammatical exercises, and further practised in the later stages through translations and compositions. 

Oral: Starting from the exchange of basic courtesies, oral practice continues with everyday topics of enquiry and response, and later includes exercise in expression of opinion and discussion of topics of contemporary general interest. Interactive practice is provided for. 

Aural: Listening material in the form of recordings from Iranian radio stations and audio and video tapes of story reading, films etc. is available upon request.

Method of assessment

Two three-hour written examinations in May-June counting for 80% of the total mark and a oral examination counting for 20%. The first written paper consists of passages for seen and unseen translation from Persian into English, and the second of translation into Persian and questions on grammar. The oral examination includes tests in verbal and pictorial comprehension as well as conversation.

Suggested reading

The main course text book is 

  • Teach Yourself Modern Persian by Narguess Farzad.
  • Reading material in the form of selections from modern fiction and current journalism is also provided.