PRSAN 103 A: Elementary Persian

Spring 2024
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm / ART 004
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
Shabnam Entezar
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Course Information

PRSAN 103  Elementary Persian 


ART building room004

Pre-requisite: PRSAN 101 or equivalent

Credit: 5   

Course Instructor: Shabnam Entezar

Office Hours: Denny Hall 220A       Tuesdays 1130-1220 by Appointments


About the Course

Course Overview

The Second quarter of the first-year program introduces basic vocabulary and fundamentals of modern Persian grammar which will prepare the students to successfully manage uncomplicated interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communicative tasks on everyday topics in straightforward social situations. It also provides adequate knowledge of the language structure for the graduate students to begin original text exploration with the use of a dictionary.

Guided by the World Readiness Standards, the program integrates content and culture which enable the students to investigate the relationship between cultural practices, products and perspectives of the Persian speaking people while providing learners the opportunity to gain and expand knowledge of other disciplines to develop critical thinking.

Class activities center on practical and purposeful communication used in the real-world situations. Instruction is primarily conducted in Persian while appropriate explanations in English are supplied for study at home. Assignments include speaking, reading, listening comprehension and grammar exercises. Students are encouraged to participate in the academic and cultural events that improve their understanding of the Persian culture and advances their language proficiency. 


Learning Goals

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Request and provide information by asking and answering practiced and some original questions on familiar and everyday topics,
  • Interact with others to meet your basic needs related to routine everyday activities,
  • Express, ask about, and react to preferences, feelings, or opinions on familiar topics,
  • Present personal information about your life and activities,
  • Recognize and respond to instructional directives,
  • Ask and respond to questions about self and family members,
  • Learning to describe daily routines,
  • Read and comprehend very short written texts on familiar and concrete topics,
  • Write short descriptions of self, family, friends, and familiar objects,
  • Recognize the most salient differences between written and spoken Persian and using each appropriately.



This course uses Canvas, a secure learning management environment that includes a wide variety of tools for displaying materials, communication, grading and file sharing. The system will be used for distributing course materials, posting grades, online communication and course forum as required. You are responsible for checking the course Canvas page on a regular basis for class work and announcements at


Course Materials

Sedighi, A. (2015). Persian in Use

  • An Elementary Textbook of Language and Culture. Leiden University Press. Companion Website: (Here is the PDF version, the textbook is available in print at Amazon.) 
  • Worksheets and handouts provided by instructor for additional activities (Available on Canvas)


Other Resources

Shahsavari, A. & Atwood, B. (2013). Persian of Iran Today (Volume 1). Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin. ISBN 97-0-578-13002-6 (available online at

Aryanpur  Kashani The Concise Persian-English Dictionary.

Chai and Conversation:

    • Website: Chai and Conversation
    • Description: Chai and Conversation offers audio lessons with transcripts, vocabulary, and quizzes. It focuses on everyday conversational Persian, making it suitable for novice learners.

Transparent Language - Persian (Farsi) Blog:

    • Website: Transparent Language - Persian Blog
    • Description: The Persian Blog on Transparent Language provides language tips, vocabulary, and cultural insights. It's a useful resource for novice learners looking to expand their language skills.

Persian Vocabulary and Phrases on Quizlet:

    • Quizlet Set: Persian Vocabulary and Phrases
    • Description: Quizlet offers a variety of flashcards and vocabulary sets for learning Persian. Novice learners can use these sets to practice essential words and phrases.

University of Texas at Austin - Persian Language Online Resource Center:


Academic Integrity

The student is expected to rely on learned skills to complete assignments or exams independently and without the use of outside sources, other than those explicitly permitted by the instructor.  Your homework, quizzes, projects and any other assignments have to be products of your own effort, skills and knowledge and naturally correspond to your level of performance in the classroom.

The University takes academic integrity very seriously. Behaving with integrity is part of our responsibility to our shared learning community. If you’re uncertain about if something is academic misconduct, ask me. I am willing to discuss questions you might have.

According to Student Governance Policy, Chapter 209 Section 7.C, acts of academic misconduct may include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating (working collaboratively on quizzes/exams and discussion submissions, sharing answers and previewing quizzes/exams)
  • Plagiarism (representing the work of others as your own without giving appropriate credit to the original author(s))
  • Unauthorized collaboration (working with each other on assignments)

Those students who allow others to copy their work or contribute in any way to another student’s dishonesty in performing academic work, will also be penalized.

Concerns about these or other behaviors prohibited by the Student Conduct Code will be referred for investigation and adjudication by the College of Arts & Sciences. Students found to have engaged in academic misconduct may receive a zero on the assignment (or other possible outcome).

The university’s policy on academic misconduct is a part of the Student Conduct Code, which cites the definition of academic misconduct in WAC 478-121. Refer to the Community Standards & Student Conduct – Academic Misconduct webpage for more information.



Grading Scale

Due Dates

Assignments are due and must be submitted on Canvas as indicated on the schedule. Any assignments submitted after the due date will be penalized 2% for each day they are late.  All late assignments must be submitted within seven days of the due date. We will not accept assignments submitted later than seven days without a valid excuse.

You are responsible for submitting the assignments to the correct location in the correct format. Failure to submit any assignment to the appropriate location, on time, in the correct format will result in no credit for that assignment.

Course Schedule

Week 1: Evaluation & Review

Week 2: Daily Activities & Hobbies

Week 3: Hometown & Landscapes

Week 4: Around the City (Giving Directions)

Week 5: Travel & Lodging 

Week 6: Renting a Living Space/Car

Week 7: Shopping & Negotiation

Week 8: Health

Week 9: Music & Performing Arts

Week 10: Review

*This syllabus may change upon instructor’s initial & interval evaluation in order to effectively address the needs of the students. Changes could include volume, content, or pace.


Classroom Policies

Language courses are skill based and proficiency is achieved in stages by consistent practice, trial and error.  Students of different experience, aptitude and interests are in the classroom to gain communicative skills in a foreign language.  Everyone present in the classroom is expected to create a supporting and respectful environment that would enable the students to safely and freely participate, expecting imperfections at all times.   

Audio or video recording of this class by anyone other than the instructor is not permitted. The recorded sessions are the property of the instructor and contain copyright material. Sharing of the recording is not permitted. The course materials and all handouts and online postings are copyright material for the use of the registered students only. Reproduction is not permitted except for use in this class.


Distribution of Percentages



How to Succeed in This Course 

This class is a group effort! We can make much more progress as a class than as individuals by creating a Persian-speaking community of which you will be a fully participating member. The following suggestions will help you get the most out of the course:

Prepare for active participation in class by anticipating what you will do. You should soon be able to predict what kinds of activities will be performed and how. Be ready for them by guessing what they will be and practicing beforehand, and by coming to class fully prepared based on assigned homework and activities.

Be an active learner. The approach we take depends on you learning new material at home and encourages you to use analogy and logical thinking to master grammar a little bit at a time. You will learn better and remember more when you are able to answer your own questions. Active learners often have questions that reflect their engagement of the material. Take initiative in class and on homework; this effort will be rewarded both in your grade and in your language ability.

Study out loud and repeat new words many times. Listen to model audio files or ask your teacher to pronounce the new vocabulary, try to repeat based on the model several times, record your own voice and practice, until you can say the words easily and your utterances feel natural.

Personalize vocabulary. You will remember new vocabulary when you “own” it. Make words relevant to your life by thinking of what you can say about yourself with them. Write extra sentences that are meaningful to you so that the vocabulary becomes “yours” and expresses something about your world.

Develop your memorization skills. Experiment with different techniques, combining listening, speaking, and writing together as much as possible. Cross-train: Try the following and find what combination of techniques works best for you:

  • listening to words and repeating them aloud—not once but several times, until the word is easy for you to pronounce
  • using flashcards—but without English definitions, and make yourself say the word aloud and use it in a phrase or sentence
  • writing out new vocabulary items over and over with attention to their spelling—but remember to say them out loud while you do
  • using the words in sentences or a paragraph or story
  • studying in groups and quizzing each other
  • using word association techniques

Guess. Think about how you acquired your native language: you did not use a dictionary. Rather, you learned new words by guessing their meaning from context, and you learned how to produce sentences by imitating and using patterns. As adult learners, we can take some shortcuts, but guessing skills remain central to language acquisition. Do not leave blanks on the homework, but do not allow yourself to become frustrated; give it your best shot and move on. If you are not sure you have understood a sentence in the homework, you may write a translation or a question on your homework for your instructor to check or answer.

Correct yourself. Good language learners learn from their own successes and mistakes and those of others. Correcting mistakes is an essential part of the learning process. In this class, you will never be penalized for a mistake that you make when trying something new. When your instructors and classmates are speaking, be an active listener by listening both to what they are saying and how they are saying it. When you correct yourself, or other group members assist you in coming up with the correct forms as needed, make sure you repeat the complete idea/sentence and not the isolated word.

Extend language learning beyond the classroom. Practice Persian as much as possible. Study with classmates: ask each other questions, brainstorm about assignments, go over materials covered together, in Persian as much as possible. Look for films, talks, cultural activities, etc. and explore the web.


Course Guidelines & Policies

Access and Accommodations

Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.


Religious Accommodations

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy.  Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form.



Among the core values of the university are inclusivity and diversity, regardless of race, gender, income, ability, beliefs, and other ways that people distinguish themselves and others. At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, opportunity and justice for all. Inclusivity applied to teaching a course means that assignments and activities should be accessible to all students, including class trips or research in the field. In such cases, alternative assignments should be available to those who need them.


Medical Notes

Students are expected to attend class and to participate in all graded activities, including midterms and final examinations. To protect student privacy and the integrity of the academic experience, students will not be required to provide a medical excuse note to justify an absence from class due to illness. A student absent from any graded class activity or examination due to illness must request, in writing, to take a rescheduled examination or perform work judged by the instructor to be the equivalent. Students are responsible for taking any number of examinations for which they are scheduled on a given day and may not request an adjustment for this reason alone.


Face Coverings in the Classroom
The health and safety of the University of Washington community are the institution’s priorities. Please review and adhere to the UW COVID Face Covering Policy [pdf].



Call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233 anytime – no matter where you work or study – to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. SafeCampus’s team of caring professionals will provide individualized support, while discussing short- and long-term solutions and connecting you with additional resources when requested.

Notice to Students - Use of Plagiarism Detection Software

Notice: The University has a license agreement with SimCheck, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources. Your instructor may use the service in this class by requiring that assignments are submitted electronically to be checked by SimCheck. The SimCheck Report will indicate the amount of original text in your work and whether all material that you quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source is appropriately referenced.

Catalog Description:
Conversation, pronunciation, and graded reading. Persian alphabet and basic sentence constructions. Offers rudimentary conversational and reading ability with a vocabulary of about two thousand words. Third in a sequence of three. Prerequisite: PRSAN 102.
Last updated:
May 25, 2024 - 7:41 am