Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Ahmad Aminpour

PhD, The University of Texas at Austin

Ahmad Aminpour



modern political and intellectual history of Iran, Iraq, and the Kurds


Mardin Aminpour was born and raised in Iranian Kurdistan. He received his BA in English Language and Literature at The University of Tehran. He holds an MA degree in Persian Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently pursuing a PhD at UT-Austin.

Research Interests include the formation and evolution of Iranian, Iraqi, and Kurdish nationalism with a specific focus on the Iranain Kurds' nationalist aspirations during the Great in Iran. He is currently working on a research project on the Shiite-Sunnite divide among Iranian Kurds and the influnece the Soviets and the British had in shaping their conception of Kurdish idenity and mapping of Kurdistan. 


PRS 322L • Intermediate Persian II

42740 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 4.120

PRS 322L is an intermediate Persian language course which continues to focus on increasing proficiency in the four basic language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in Persian, as well as developing increased skills and cultural literacy. Students should expect extensive reading as well as practice in self-expression through writing, both of which require approximately three hours of outside preparation for each class. Our teaching philosophy is based on the communicative approach that consists of student-centered, performance-based, and context-oriented language teaching. Therefore, participation is an integral part of the class. You must speak Persian in the class at all times unless given explicit permission by the instructor to use English. Not open to native speakers or heritage learners of Persian.

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

1. Speak at length about familiar topics in Modern Persian,

2. Understand complex texts on familiar topics, especially those from news media and on-line sources,

3. Understand authentic materials by identifying the main ideas and focusing on the information within reach,

4. Listen to short news excerpts and comprehend the main points,

5. Writing essays and critically engage topics related to the class,

6. Pronounce Persian words with accuracy,

7. A broader understanding of how to engage in the historical and cultural

contexts in which Persian is used, and

8. Expanded your languge capabilities and skills for life-long learning.


Course Materials

To be provided by instructor.


Course Requirements and Grading

Attendance & Participation 15%

Weeklywritingassignments 30%

Assigment Corrections 10%

Periodical Quizes (3x) 15%

Presentations (2x) 10%

Final Exam Project 15%

Oral Profeciency Test 5%

May vary by instructor each semester.


PRS 612C • Intensv Prs For Heritage Spkrs

42535 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 900am-1000am GAR 1.134

Course Description

Intensive Persian for Heritage Speakers (PRS 612C) is a proficiency-based course of 90 classroom contact hours and 180+ self-study hours for Iranian heritage university students who have had prior exposure to Persian speaking and listening, but who cannot read or write Persian or who cannot read or write well enough to participate in a second-level Persian course. Successful completion of this one-semester course fulfills a student's foreign language requirement.

By the end of the Intensive Persian for Heritage Speakers, course participants (who bring to the course at least intermediate Persian listening and speaking skills) have the elementary and intermediate reading and writing skills to:

(1) locate materials in their language textbooks in response to directions in Persian;

(2) take notes on Persian words, phrases, and statements;

(3) perform arithmetic functions in Persian (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division);

(4) recite the Persian alphabet in order as a skill to facilitate dictionary use;

(5) recognize Persian phrase patterns in context;

(6) distinguish among the functions and uses of Persian verb tenses and moods in context;

(7) describe in writing chief events in their lives (making use of appropriate past tense verb forms;

(8) describe in writing their chief daily activities;

(9) describe in writing likes and dislikes (making use of subjunctive mood verbs);

(10) describe in writing personal and professional plans (using future tense verb forms where appropriate);

(11) exhibit in dealing with reading texts on general subjects control over the 1,500 most common Persian words;

(12) use efficiently K. Emami's Kimia Persian-English Dictionary;

(13) read shorter new items, public announcements, and advertisements;

(14) read shorter straightforward descriptions of persons, places, and things;

(15) read general-audience essays and newspaper articles on subjects of student interest;

(16) summarize in writing the factual content of expository texts read;

(17) write a letter or essay on Items 7, 8, 9, and 10 (above);

(18) exhibit on a written review test the familiarity with Iranian geography expected of an Iranian 5th grader in Iran;

(19) exhibit on a written review test preparedness to maintain and improve Persian reading and writing skills in later self-study.


To be provided by instructor.

Grading & Requirements

Daily dictation exercies: 10%

Daily review exercies: 40%

Daily reading activities: 25%

Final exam: 25%

May vary with instructor by semester. 

PRS 329 • Sorani Kurdish

42100 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ 2.102

Sorani Kurdish is designed to introduce the language and culture of the Kurds living in Iraq and Iran to students who have some knowledge of Arabic or Persian. Prior background in one of these two languages will allow us to quickly master the basics and use a range of authentic materials from the internet to learn about traditional Kurdish culture of Iran as well as the new development underway in northern Iraq.  All four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) will be developed.  By the end of this course students will have reached intermediate proficiency in Sorani Kurdish and be familiar with aspects of daily life in Kurdistan and the Kurdish culture. Prerequisite:  Some familiarity with Arabic or Persian.


The course pack for Sorani Kurdish will be available for purchase at Paradigm Copy (407 W. 24th Street). The materials come with online audio files.

Grading Policy

Attendance and Participation 15%Homework and Homework Correction 30%Quizzes 25%Presentations/Skits 15%Final Exam 15%

PRS 322K • Intermediate Persian I

41895 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ B0.302

This intermediate Persian language proficiency course is designed for students who have completed Persian 611C or 612C or have been assigned to the class as a result of a DMES placement test.  The material for this course will consist mainly of articles, stories and audio-visual materials from the internet. Texts will be supplemented with vocabulary lists and exercises and explanations of cultural aspects of the texts. The reading material will also be made available in audio format. The course aims to expand active vocabulary to approximately 1000 words by the end of the semester and to help students reach an intermediate high proficiency in Persian. Students should expect three hours of class preparation for each class hour of reading, listening, and writing. Daily homework assignments are corrected & discussed with students on a regular basis.TextsTo be provided by instructor. GradingTo be provided by instructor.

PRS 611C • Intensive Persian II

42335 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 1.206

This is the second semester of intensive Persian language instruction and is not open to Native speakers of Persian.

Curriculum Vitae

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