Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Enrollment is now open for online Advanced Persian Language instruction for 2014-15!

Fulbright Awarded to Graduate Student Alex Kreger (CMES | Ethnomusicology)

The University of Texas is pleased to announce that enrollment is now open for our online advanced Persian course for academic year 2014-15.


Course description

This course introduces students to the language of media in Iran and the rest of the Persianate world. By drawing on a wide range sources, from social media and news programs to documentaries and political speeches, Media Persian targets students who have reached at least the intermediate-high level, and it is designed to help them achieve advanced-level proficiency and beyond. Students will learn to read media sources critically, and they will improve their linguistic and cultural competence by completing a series of carefully designed communicative activities, including debates, media analyses, and interviews.  

The course will focus on all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), and students can expect to spend the majority of class time actively engaged with the material through small group work. The course will appeal, especially, to those individuals who wish to use Persian for professional reasons.

By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Recognize and use a corpus of Persian vocabulary typical of media coverage.
  • Understand media reports on familiar topics with little difficulty.
  • Identify diverse media sources.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Detect bias in media coverage.


Anousha Shahsavari, Lecturer, Persian Program, UT Austin

A native of Iran, Ms. Shahsavari holds a Master’s degree in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Teaching Persian to Speakers of Other Languages from Shiraz University. She has taught Persian all over the world: Iran, Maryland, Texas, and Qatar. Her energy, enthusiasm, and excitement make her an extremely effective teacher. Her passion for Persian is contagious in the classroom. 


This course runs from August 29, 2014 through May 8, 2015, which corresponds with the University of Texas academic calendar for 2014-15.  Classes will not meet between December 12-January 16 (resuming January 23, 2015), nor on March 20, 2015.

Classes will be held on Fridays from 12 - 1:30 PM Central Time (GMT-6).

The course requires approximately five and a half hours of work each week and offers opportunities for additional optional independent work. This includes one and a half hours of live online class-time and four hours of outside work per week.

Who should apply?

We welcome applications from students and working professionals, both those who are affiliated in some way with the University of Texas at Austin, and those from outside. 

Students' skills should range from intermediate-high through superior levels on the ACTFL scale (equivalent of ILR1+ through ILR3), at the beginning of the program. Informal OPI tests will be conducted at the beginning and end of the program. Heritage learners whose language skill levels are appropriate for this program are encouraged to apply.

The program is not open to native speakers who were educated in Persian, or who are fluent or near-fluent native speakers.

What credit will I receive for this course?

Students will receive three hours of credit through University of Texas Extension.

What will it cost?

The tuition for this course is $1,200.  

A limited number of tuition reduction offers are also available, which will reduce the tuition cost to $600.  Priority for these tuition reduction offers will be given to full-time graduate and undergraduate students, who do not otherwise have access to funding support for this course.

What is the application deadline?

Applications are due by August 1, 2014.

Where do I apply?

More information and the online application can be accessed through our web site at:

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    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712