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Persian Program & Curriculum

Persian Program

Requirements for the Minor in Persian Language

Students may obtain a minor in Persian by completing the following six courses: Persian 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, and 302 or an approved course in Persian literature.

Students with previous knowledge of Persian may obtain a minor in Persian by taking one course at their present level of proficiency, three additional courses above their present level, and one approved course in Persian Literature.

Graduate Study in Persian Language

The Persian program at Emory also offers graduate level courses in topics related to a particular student's field of study. For more information, please contact the Persian language coordinator, Prof. Hossein Samei,

Persian Curriculum

Persian Language Courses

PERS 101. Elementary Persian I

It is an introductory course designed to familiarize students with Persian and to equip them with the tools necessary to continue their study of the language. The course will introduce the Persian alphabet alongside grammar and vocabulary, and will emphasize using the language for communication. This class focuses on the development of interpersonal, interpretative, and presentational modes of communication, with special attention to vocabulary and pronunciation. Information about cultural products, perspectives, and practices has been included in the course content in order to encourage students to use Persian to make connections to and comparisons with other communities and disciplines.

PERS 102. Elementary Persian II

As a continuation of Persian 101, it is an introductory-level course designed to make students more familiarized with Persian.Specifically, they find a mastery of the Persian alphabet and sound system and the ability to recognize and pronounce correctly all Persian sounds and to write accurately, the ability to initiate controlled social interactions, the ability to talk about themselves, their education and family in Persian, comprehension of simple printed texts on familiar topics, comprehension of simple audio/ video texts on familiar topics, the ability to compose simple paragraphs about themselves and their family and friends, recognition and basic control of the differences between written and spoken Persian.

PERS 201. Intermediate Persian I

In this course, we will continue to deepen knowledge of Persian culture and language, expand vocabulary and solidify grasp of written and spoken Persian through readings, video materials, class discussions, drills and compositions. The students will learn how to carry on general conversations in Persian on a variety of topics, and read a range of non-technical texts with the aid of a dictionary.

PERS 202. Intermediate Persian II

It is the second part of the intermediate- level course which goal is to develop the speaking and listening skills acquired in the first part and to reinforce competence in casual Persian, to deepen understanding of cultural context and social issues through readings, video materials and class discussions, to prepare students to understand what they listen and to answer orally. By the end of the Intermediate sequence, students will be able to read a variety of modern texts with the aid of a dictionary and carry on extended conversations on general topics in Persian.

PERS 301. Advanced Persian I

This advanced-level course is majorly focused on readings of selected literary texts and newspapers/media with attention to expansion of vocabulary, further development of listening, writing, and speaking skills, reading strategies and cultural competence. Its goal is to reinforce competence in both formal and casual Persian; to make the students more familiar with certain modern and classical authors and poets and their work. By the end of the semester, the students will have an enhanced ability to carry on conversations in Persian on a wide range of topics, and express themselves in writing.

PERS 302W. Advanced Persian II

This writing requirement course is offered to the advanced-level students who want to gain proficiency not only in reading different kinds and styles of Persian, but also in analyzing what they have read and heard, followed by responding in writing with their own ideas. Throughout the course, students become familiar with different styles of Persian writing, especially in media, and read extracts from books and newspapers on different subjects, as well as listen to some radio/TV programs.

PERS 497R. Directed Study in Persian (Undergraduate)

Prerequisites: PERS 302 or equivalent and permission of instructor. Advanced students will do a directed study on Persian literature or culture in the original or for other interdisciplinary research in Persian.

PERS 797R. Directed Reading in Persian (Graduate)

Graduate students who wish to study Persian must contact the Persian Language Coordinator to discuss placement and to receive permission to register for PERS 797R.

Related Courses in Persian History and Culture (taught in English)

MESAS 190. Language and Power in Iran and Central Asia

This course is an introduction to the language diversity and language policies in Central Asia including Iran and Afghanistan. The course begins with a general discussion on how linguistic diversity and power struggle affect each other. As a case study, we will then focus on modern Persian speaking countries - Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and their neighboring countries, examine linguistic situations in this region and the emergence of modern nation states in which a national language has been a pivotal factor.

MESAS 265. Iranian Society and Its Cinema

The course provides an overview of the modern Iranian society through its cinema in the last 40 years of post-revolutionary Iran. It covers topics like Social Diversity; Revolution & War; Women & Gender Issues; Family & Relationship; Class Conflict; Morality; Education; Immigration; Forbidden Life. 

Placement Information

Students with prior knowledge of Persian should contact the Language Coordinator, Prof. Hossein Samei,, for more information.