SOAS University of London

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

Elementary Written Persian

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

The emphasis in this module is on giving the students a reasonable grounding in the basics of Persian grammar and syntax and introduce them to a range of non-technical vocabulary by way of reading simple texts.


There are no entry qualifications for this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module students should be able to read simple texts and a good understanding of the basic structures of Persian grammar.


Teaching consists of four hours of classes per week taught in twice-weekly sessions, following elementary grammar books and specially produced handouts. One of the weekly lectures is given over to the formal teaching of grammar, followed by completing related exercises and reading and translating practice; however, the students will be using some oral Persian skills.

Scope and syllabus

As an elementary language "open option" this module is intended for those students who wish to learn the basics of the Persian grammar and acquire enough vocabulary to be able, with the aid of a dictionary, to read very basic modern texts and conduct basic natural everyday conversation. Emphasis is put on writing, reading and language skills.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (80%); an in class text of 1.5 hours duration taken in week 3, term 2 (20%).

Suggested reading

  • Teach Yourself Modern Persian by Narguess Farzad.
  • Reading material in the form of selections from modern fiction and current journalism is also provided.
Other useful titles: 
  • L. P. Elwell-Sutton, Colloquial Persian, Routledge & Kegan Paul 1976 
  • Leila Moshiri, Colloquial Persian (with cassette), Routledge 1988 
  • Wheeler M. Thackston, An Introduction to Persian, Iranbooks 1993 
Dictionaries and Other Reference Books:
  • The New Unabridged English-Persian Dictionary, 5 volumes 
  • A. Aryanpour-Kashani, Persian-English, English-Persian Dictionaries Haim, English-Persian, Persian-English Dictionaries 
  • Hooshang Amuzegar, A Dictionary of Common Persian and English Verbs (with Persian synonyms and examples), Payam Publishers 1988


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules