1st Edition

The Routledge Intermediate Persian Course Farsi Shirin Ast, Book Two

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The Routledge Intermediate Persian Course: Farsi Shirin Ast, Book Two is the first intermediate level Persian textbook, written specifically for English-speaking university students, that makes use of up-to-date pedagogical techniques, and stresses the importance of communicative competence.

    The diversity of the texts in this textbook helps to familiarize students with a range of literary genres, and provides them with the necessary building blocks to continue reading on their own.

    One of the distinctive features of this book is its content-based and task-based approach to learning the language; all the material provided has been carefully selected to support and enhance a student-centred class environment.

    As with The Routledge Introductory Persian Course, all the texts in this volume are available online in the form of audio files. These texts are recorded by native speakers and available for instructors and students to download freely at http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415691376/.

    The Routledge Intermediate Persian Course: Farsi Shirin Ast, Book Two follows on where the first textbook ends and is ideal for all intermediate learners of Persian in their second year of study.

    The book contains eighteen chapters. We envisage that the eighteen chapters would be covered over a period of at least one academic year (nine chapters per semester), or perhaps over the period of one and a half years. This would depend on the rate at which the chapters were covered in class, how much of each chapter the students covered outside of class, and what (if any) additional exercises and tasks individual instructors found necessary to add. The proposed volume would therefore most likely fulfill the needs of not only the second year of Persian instruction but, where relevant, the beginning of the third year too.

    Each chapter follows the same basic outline:

    • A title in the form of an engaging question which should be used as part of pre-reading exercises to warm up the class and prepare them for starting each new chapter.
    • A photograph or other graphic image which illustrates and aspect of the chapter title and/or the topic of the main text.
    • Pre-reading questions which directly follow the image and which the instructor should use to encourage the students to discuss the main topic of the lesson before it is introduced more formally in the text. The idea is that through such a warm-up discussion, the students will link their existing information about the topic with the new information presented in the lesson.
    • A text adapted from one of the books in a series entitled Az Iran cheh mi-danam? (What do I know about Iran?), published in Iran by the Cultural Research Bureau and aimed at young native speakers of Persian. We have adapted these texts slightly for reasons of clarity.
    • A list of the new words introduced in the text together with their English equivalents. The words are introduced after the text so that students can first practice understanding the text using scanning and skimming skills through which they can guess the meaning of the new words in context. The instructor can opt to play the audio recording of the text first so that the students practice their listening skills, and jot down any new vocabulary they hear, before looking at the written text and the vocabulary table.
    • Comprehension questions about the text they have just listened to/read. These can be answered orally and/or in writing.
    • Vocabulary exercises in the form of multiple choice questions. Here students encounter words with rather similar meanings, forms or sounds and they have to choose the most appropriate one for the context.
    • Exercises aimed at getting students to practice forming structures used in the text they have read.
    • Two further tasks aimed at improving the students’ speaking and writing skills: students are asked to rewrite the text in their own words, and then to write a short paragraph on a similar topic in which they must use a number of the new words and expressions found in the text. These tasks are first discussed in class so that students will have the necessary background information to enable them to write on the same topics outside of class.
    • Selected grammar explanations in Persian. These complement the basic grammar explanations featured in The Routledge Introductory Persian Course: Farsi Shirin Ast and are only in Persian to help acquaint the students with Persian grammatical terminology, and to think about the language on its own terms, rather than through the prism of translation. These grammar explanations are not intended to be exhaustive, and students should be encouraged to review the grammar they covered in book 1, and to consult printed and on-line Persian grammars if/when necessary.
    • The grammar explanations are followed by a selected media Persian text (in a section entitled "In the news") taken from an on-line newspaper or news website. As well as reading the text and acquiring a sense for the style and particular vocabulary used in media Persian, the students are also asked to identify in the media text examples of those types of phrases, verb tenses, constructions etc discussed in the grammar explanations. In this way, the grammar introduced becomes immediate and active, rather than passive.
    • The media text is followed in the first nine chapters by an excerpt from a contemporary short story either written exclusively in the colloquial register, or else containing colloquial dialogue. These colloquial texts have a two-fold function: 1) they introduce learners to colloquial forms of Persian, and ask them to either convert the colloquial text into formal, written Persian, or else to find written equivalents for colloquial vocabulary; and 2) they introduce learners to some of the most important fiction writers of twentieth and twenty-first century Iran, and to various aspects of daily life as portrayed in their short stories. In addition to the exercises that follow the texts, students could be asked to choose one of the short stories to read in full and then prepare a short oral presentation for class. In chapters 10-18, the colloquial text is replaced by one from a well-known classical Persian prose text. Similarly the point here is two-fold: 1) to introduce students to some of the grammatical and vocabulary-based differences between contemporary and medieval Persian and 2) to introduce students to a small selection of some of the most important writers and texts of pre-modern Iran.
    • Each chapter ends with an additional section entitled Bishtar bedanim (Let’s know more) which contains either morphological/linguistic or literary/cultural information together with relevant exercises aimed at broadening the students’ understanding of the mechanics of the Persian language and to expose them to various aspects of Persian literature and culture not covered in the texts.
    • The book ends with two comprehensive glossaries: one Persian-English and the other English-Persian which contain all the new vocabulary covered in the book, i.e. all new words that do not feature in The Routledge Introductory Persian Course: Farsi Shirin Ast. Students should use the glossaries to locate the new vocabulary they encounter in the media, colloquial, and classical texts.


    Dominic Parviz Brookshaw is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Persian Literature at Stanford University, USA.

    Pouneh Shabani Jadidi is Faculty Lecturer and Coordinator of the Persian Language Program at McGill University, Canada.

    "This is a comprehensive text book for teaching intermediate Persian. It covers crucial material, provides an excellent range of drills and exercises, and exposes students to a wide range of textual examples." - Nasrin Rahimieh, University of California, Irvine, USA

    "The Routledge Intermediate Persian Course offers an alternative model that combines elements of both established and new approaches to language teaching within a set of solidly innovative pedagogic premises.” - Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, University of Maryland, USA