A number of features make this textbook unique. The most important is the philosophy that informs it. At the core of this project’s philosophy rests the belief that students learn Persian best when they are pushed to make inferences and connections on their own. Persian of Iran Today is unique because it provides thousands of audio-visual files and detailed inductive modules in order to facilitate the student’s first encounter with new material. Because students take responsibility for learning new vocabulary and concepts on their own, the textbook provides designated in-class activities that allow students to use, activate, and master the material they learn at home.
The book is also unique because it carefully controls the amount of vocabulary that students receive and the emphasis is on actively mastering all the vocabulary words, rather than having a loose handle on many vocabulary lists. In many other Persian textbooks, there is long list after long list of vocabulary words that are never reinforced or activated. The book also features inductive grammar lessons that feature questions and activities that encourage students to generate for themselves the rules that govern new structures. Traditional language textbooks describe and explain grammar rules, but we have found it is more effective to have students more engaged in the process of learning grammar.
Finally, we have produced a narrative film called "Cafe Denj" specifically for the textbook. This is, as far as we know, the first film that has been created for a Persian language textbook. The film has been broken up into episodes and each episode corresponds with a unit of the textbook. The film serves as listening comprehension, but it also models different kinds of language use (narrative modes, conversation, etc.) The plot engages students and makes them excited to move forward in the curriculum. And it also adds a sense of cohesion to the work they do, because the film was carefully scripted to include familiar vocabulary and structures.
Persian of Iran Today Volume 1 is available on Amazon.
Persian of Iran Today is also available as an open-source text online and can be found here.
For inquiries please contact:
Kristi Shuey, Editor
Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of Texas at Austin
204 W 21st St, Stop F9400
Austin, TX 78712-1029
Fax: (512) 471-7834