Online Farsi Courses and Classes Overview

Many colleges and universities feature classes and degree programs in written and spoken Farsi, also known as Persian, although online degree programs are very rare. Online courses in Farsi do exist, but students who wish to study the language should be prepared to take the bulk of their classes in a traditional classroom setting.

Essential Information

College courses in the Farsi language can be found in associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in Persian studies, though fully online options are limited. More common are online self-study programs in which students make use of school resources and interact with a native-speaking tutor in a more informal environment. Summer language programs offered by a college's language department may also be available for students unable to commit to traditional on-campus enrollment.

Farsi courses are often offered to satisfy a school's foreign language requisites or attain a degree in Middle Eastern Studies or a similar field. Students in these programs learn the Farsi language as well as the history, culture and politics of countries that speak the language, such as Iran and Afghanistan.

Common Farsi Courses

Some of the most common Farsi courses offered online include:

  • Introductory Farsi Course: One of the first courses taken in a Farsi or Persian studies program, this is intended for students with little to no previous experience in the Farsi language. Coursework introduces the alphabet, grammar and basic sentence structure of Farsi in both written and spoken forms. Students learn proper pronunciation and memorize simple phrases and greetings. Early Farsi classes concentrate on building a vocabulary relating to common conversational topics such as directions, weather and family.
  • Advanced Farsi Course: Later Farsi courses further explore the language through multiple activities, including reading books and news reports, listening to native Farsi speakers and taking notes in Farsi. A variety of sources are used so that students can witness changes in tone, inflection and speaking style. Classwork may include a translation project.
  • Persian Culture Course: In addition to language courses, Persian studies programs include lessons in the media, literature, customs, society and culture of Persian countries. Cultural courses may broadly address all countries in which Farsi is spoken, or they may focus on individual countries such as Iran. These classes help students strengthen their understanding of Farsi by providing examples of native use of the language as well as exploring the cultural underpinnings that have informed the language. Advanced cultural courses may be taught entirely in Farsi.
  • Conversational Farsi Course: As students progress in understanding Farsi, they may take courses centering on speech and conversation. Students work with both the teacher and classroom partners in practicing clear communication and understanding grammatical context. The goal of this course is to improve speaking fluidity and broaden the student's vocabulary.
  • Persian For Traveling: While it may take several years to attain mastery of the language, students who find themselves traveling can use this course to learn the most common phrases in conversational Farsi, such as how to order a meal at a restaurant or make a reservation at a hotel.

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