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Study information

Elementary Persian

Module titleElementary Persian
Module codeARA1013
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mr Ali Mossadegh (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Persian is a modern Indo-European language spoken by over 100 million people—chiefly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. This is an elementary-level module that introduces you as a complete beginner to the fundamentals of the Persian language, enabling you to communicate orally and to engage with text on a basic level.  It provides you with the means and opportunity for you to take your reading, writing, oral and aural skills in Persian to level A1 (breakthrough/beginner) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Through language, it will introduce you to aspects of Persian cultures. You will use a textbook as well as a variety of learning materials chosen by your lecturers.

If you have prior knowledge of Persian, your level will be assessed by the module convenor in order to establish whether this module is suitable for you—admission in such cases is not guaranteed.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will enable you to achieve basic proficiency in the language. You will first be introduced to the Persian alphabet and pronunciation, followed by the basics of grammar and syntax. Using a mixture of narrative-based and authentic content, both written and audio-visual, you will work on all language-related skills, including reading, listening, speaking, writing and cultural knowledge. You will be encouraged to practice learned material independently.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Extract a broad sense and some specified detail of texts at CEFRL level A1.
  • 2. Extract a sense and some specified detail of aural communications at CEFRL level A1.
  • 3. Write short and simple texts on selected topics at approximately A1 level of the CEFRL.
  • 4. Elicit, understand and communicate basic factual information and simple selected topic relevant to everyday situations, displaying reasonable levels of accuracy, at CEFRL level A1.
  • 5. Effect straightforward translations out of Persian.
  • 6. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of Persian and utilise it to aid in understanding and producing texts in the target language.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Learn how to consolidate your own learning by using available learning aids, in a variety of media, and organise this process with guidance from course tutors
  • 8. Understand the principles of learning a new language intensively, and organise learning time with guidance from course tutors
  • 9. Use a reference grammar book and a bilingual dictionary to check the structural and lexical accuracy of your writing and expression in Persian

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Working in groups at solving basic linguistic tasks
  • 11. Deploy time management strategies through developing skills of self-study
  • 12. Deploy strategies for coping with unpractised linguistic, social and cultural situation
  • 13. Deploy strategies for coping with unpractised linguistic, social and cultural situation
  • 14. Show basic appreciation of the cultures of people who speak Persian.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, the syllabus will cover the following topics:

  • Persian alphabet and sounds.
  • Introduction to Persian grammar and syntax.

Introduction to vocabulary enabling students to talk about themselves, their families, what they do, and their immediate surroundings.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 4411x 4 teaching hours Teaching varies between lectures and commentary on the main textbook, in-class readings, translation and discussion of Persian texts; translation (Persian->English) exercises done collectively by the whole class; regular vocabulary reviews; the reading of poetic and prose texts aloud together. Study materials are provided regularly, including sheets that discuss difficult points of grammar, and literary texts (prose and poetry) to illustrate aspects of Persian language
Guided Independent study62In addition to the weekly grammar, reading and pronunciation assignments, students will be given short readings from Persian Literature texts to study and translate at home that are later discussed by the whole class.
Guided Independent study44Translation exercises and reading aloud practices (audio files sent to students by email) are regularly given as homework, which is later discussed and analysed by the whole class

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical and written assignmentsWeekly practical and written assignments 1-14Verbal and/or written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Continuous Assessment 30One written test (90 minutes) One listening test ( 30 minutes). One oral test (7 minutes) 1-14Verbal and/or written feedback
Written examination (Final week of Term)502 hours 1,3,5,6,11,13Verbal and/or written feedback
Oral examination (Final week of Term)107 minutes 2,4,10,11Verbal feedback
Listening (Final week of Term)1030 minutes2,6,11Verbal and/or written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Continuous AssessmentOne written test (90 minutes) One listening test (30 minutes). One oral test (7 minutes)1-14January assessment period
Written examination 2 hours (50%)1,3,5,6,11,13January assessment period
Oral examination 7 minutes (10%)2,4,10,11January assessment period
Listening 30 minutes (10%)2,6,11January assessment period

Re-assessment notes

This module follows reassessment standards set out in the University of Exeter’s Teaching & Quality Assurance Manual.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Wheeler Thackston, An Introduction to Persian (Ibex Publishers)

Anne Lambton, Persian Grammar (Cambridge U. Press)

L. Elwell-Sutton, Elementary Persian Grammar (Cambridge U. Press)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Key words search

Elementary Persian Elwell-Sutton's Wheeler Thackston's

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date