SOAS University of London

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

Persian 2 (PG)

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Full Year

The course is designed to improve students' command of the modern Persian language in the areas of reading, translation, composition and conversation. By the end of the academic year students should be competent to use the language to read intermediate level fictional, cultural, social and political texts. They should have a good command of everyday social vocabulary and be able to understand the language when it involves familiar and predictable topics; their pronunciation and fluency should be such that they can be readily understood.


Successful completion of Persian language I or equivalent is normally a prerequisite but the course is also open to those who can provide satisfactory evidence of lower-intermediate knowledge in Persian.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  1. knowledge and understanding of intermediate Persian grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Persian vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of a wide range of Persian structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand passages in written Persian of on everyday and some specialised topics
  5. the ability to produce passages in written Persian on everyday and some specialised topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Persian and to engage in spoken discourse of medium complexity on everyday and some specialised topics


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with a total of 4 hours classroom contact per week.  

Three hours per week will be spent in language classes and one hour per week will concentrate on oral and aural practice.  

Scope and syllabus

Provisional course outline

Reading material is selected from a variety of sources including newspapers and magazines, twentieth-century literary works and material relevant to everyday needs such as brochures, manufacturer's instructions, guide books etc. and presented to the students in a study pack.


The practice of this skill includes a variety of tasks such as translation, composition, reviews and letters on a variety of subjects. The main aim of the exercise is to promote grammatical accuracy and improve handwriting. The teaching of grammar at this level is informal and contextual where appropriate.


This aspect of the course concentrates on communicative and descriptive skills such as conducting informal social conversation, more formal dialogues, giving instructions, making arrangements, making inquiries and giving speeches and presentations.


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

Method of assessment

  • One 2-hour mid term test in Term 2 (15%)
  • One essay (3000 words) in English, or translation plus commentary submitted on Friday, week 1, Term 3 (30%)
  • An oral examination in May/June (15%)
  • One three-hour written examination in May/June (40%)

Suggested reading

Various Persian Language Teaching Books published in Iran and abroad

  • Selected Short Stories from Heshmat Moayyad, Stories from Iran: A Chicago Anthology 1991
  • Selection of current news items appearing in newspaper reports and short articles from the press etc.
  • Audio-visual material available on the internet
  • Selection of readers and anthologies such as
    • Persian Fiction Reader: Second Edition. 2000. Michael Hillmann With M.M. Khorrami.
    • Persian Newspaper Reader: Second Edition. 2000. Michael Hillmann With R. Sarraf.
    • Reading Iran Reading Iranians: Second Edition Revised. 2002. Michael Hillmann


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules