Pedagogical Features

Persian in Use is organized around high-frequency topics, contains a clear set of communication goals, integrates all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) from the outset, and employs all three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational). Persian in Use is not based on a single approach or method. Rather, it implements multiple methodologies and approaches to meet the needs of current college-level students pursuing Persian.

As such, the book includes a variety of activities such as drilling, dictation, filling in the blanks, picture description, cloze tests, matching, free writing, summarizing, locating inf
ormation, role-playing, interviewing, discussion, presentation, and minimal translation. Students are required to perform a variety of tasks such as filling out an authentic questionnaire or making travel plans to visit Iranian cities. Persian in Use offers frequent instances of chunk learning at different levels (lexis, grammar, and discourse). A focus on performing functional tasks, the use of authentic material, promotion of cooperation between students, and raising cultural awareness remain the core goals of the
book. Persian in Use follows the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. Thus the 5 Cs (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities) are specifically implemented and taken into account. Persian in Use provides a solid foundation for meaningful communication and offers constant cultural input in each lesson. It provides many opportunities for students to connect together and compare their world with that of Persian-speaking people. Tasks such as ordering food from a restaurant in Tehran or writing an email to an Iranian pen pal link the students to the actual Communities of Iran. Persian in Use has been piloted in different universities for five years and the feedback from students and instructors has played a major role in shaping it.

Learning Goals

By the end of this book, students will have acquired the following skills:
  • The ability to speak about themselves, their family and friends, their daily activities, etc. They will be able to initiate and sustain conversations (with reasonable accuracy) about basic daily life interactions with sympathetic interlocutors accustomed to non-native speech.
  • The ability to read texts of elementary level difficulty (on familiar topics) so that they understand the main ideas and have the ability to guess the meaning of new words from context.
  • The ability to write with reasonable accuracy simple notes, paragraphs, and short letters on familiar topics related to daily life.
  • Familiarity with the sounds system and the differences between written and spoken forms of Persian.
  • A general understanding of aspects of Iranian culture related to everyday life, society, values, traditions, history, literature, pop culture, etc.

Each lesson of Persian in Use includes the following components:
  • 2-4 Preparatory vocabulary lists
  • 2-4 Interactive dialogues presented in both spoken and written forms
  • 1-2 Reading passages used as part of the actual lesson (not an exercise)
  • 2-4 Grammatical points that are already used in the dialogues and the passage
  • Approximately 30 exercises that are specifically designed and labeled to enhance all four skills and the three modes of communication
  • A short poem that is carefully selected to contain the grammatical point or the vocabulary introduced in the lesson and to provide exposure to Persian literature.
  • Lyrics of a song that is carefully selected to contain the grammatical point or the vocabulary introduced in the lesson and to provide exposure to Iranian pop culture.
  • Practical cultural notes related to the topic of the lesson
  • A proverb that utilizes the vocabulary or the grammatical structure used in that lesson
  • Review of the new vocabulary presented thematically/lexically

    About the Author

    Dr. Anousha Sedighi is professor of Persian and the Persian section head at Portland State University. She has been teaching elementary Persian
    for more than a decade and has been involved in the field of Persian pedagogy through professional development and training workshops offered by organizations such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL), the National Council on Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the National Heritage Languages Resource Center (NHLRC). Dr. Sedighi served as the president of the American Association of Teachers of Persian (AATP) and she currently sits in the Executive Board of NCOLTCL.


    In chronological order, this book has been supported by the following organizations: Portland State University Faculty Enhancement Grant (2008), Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Fellowship (2010), PARSA Community Foundation Faculty Research Grant (2011), and Portland State University Faculty Enhancement Grant (2014).