September 13–December 17, 2021
Yerevan, Armenia (for online version of the course see below)
Time: 4 hours per day
Duration: 13 weeks (+ 1 week break in the middle of the course)
Total hours of instruction: 260
Course fee: $2800
Deadlines: August 20, 2021 (application) and September 1, 2021 (payment)
This intensive course is designed for upper-intermediate and advanced learners of Persian who would like to make fast progress over one semester. A typical day of instruction will include two hours devoted to grammar review and composition, one hour devoted to reading and one hour to aural comprehension/conversational practice. The reading program will include two different modules, focused on reading academic Persian and literature. The choice of literature excerpts will be made based on enrolled students’ interests but is likely to include modern classics like Mohammad-Ali Jamalzadeh, Ebrahim Golestan, Bozorg Alavi, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Sadegh Hedayat, Zoya Pirzad, Simin Daneshvar, Ali Mohammad Afghani, Abbas Maroufi and others. A limited selection of verse and prose in Classical Persian will also be included in the curriculum. Students interested in working on particular historical genres may get additional individual help with their readings outside of class time. The aural comprehension/conversation class will use recorded interviews and films to introduce students to different registers of live speech and help them learn to understand idiomatic expressions, slang, and regional dialects. Every week there will be a film screening followed by a discussion of the film with a film scholar joining the discussion remotely from Iran. By the end of the course, students should expect to be able to perceive and appreciate linguistic subtleties and humor and know how to adjust their own use of language in accordance with different social situations. The course will also place a special emphasis on vocabulary, and course participants can expect to have mastered 1500-2000 by the end of the term.
Why study Persian in Armenia? Historically, Armenia has been at the crossroads of different cultures and languages, and for centuries it was a part of the Persian-speaking world. Today, Armenia retains close ties with Iran, and Yerevan is a popular destination for students and tourists from Iran. One frequently hears Persian spoken on the streets of Yerevan, and our course participants will have plentiful opportunities to practice Persian outside of class.
Mejlis Institute is located in one of the last surviving old neighborhoods of central Yerevan in a reconstructed old house amidst a lush fruit garden with beautiful views of the city. While remaining close to the busy city center, here students can immerse themselves in the idyllic atmosphere of old Yerevan. As long as weather conditions permit it, film screenings and other social events will take place in the open air in the garden.
Application and Fees
The deadline to apply is August 20, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the course capacity is filled, and we encourage students to apply as early as possible.
The course fees are to be paid as a donation made through a bank transfer by September 1, 2021 (the payment can be made in two installments).
This course is planned as an in-person program. An online version of this course maybe offered if enough applicants express interest in it. For further inquiries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maryam Torabi, MA, is a scholar of Medieval Armenian and Persian literary traditions. Having studied Armenian and Persian literature in Isfahan Ms. Torabi came to Armenia to work on her doctoral dissertation, which she is currently completing in the Department of Linguistics at Yerevan State University. She focuses on the language of the eighteenth-century poet Sayat-Nova exploring his engagement with Persian poetry. Apart from teaching Armenian to Iranians and Persian to Armenians she has formerly served as the librarian of the Blue Mosque in Yerevan.
Mejlis Institute is a non-profit organization. The funds collected will be used to pay the salary of the instructor, and any surplus will be invested in the development of our future programs. A portion of the proceeds will be used to support a local charity in Armenia. A report on the usage of the funds collected through the course will be presented to course participants upon request. The applicants who wish to attend the course but cannot afford to pay the course fees can be issued a partial or full fee waiver. To request a waiver, please send us an e-mail separately after filling the application form and arrange for a reference letter to be sent from your academic supervisor or another mentor who can attest to your merit and the situation of financial need. Since students’ donations constitute our main source of funding, we encourage applicants to consider applying for scholarships offered by their universities or seek other forms of external funding prior to applying for tuition waivers.