Persian Speakers I Spring 2024 Syllabus

FORLANGC 114PE Persian for Speakers I
Five College Center for World Languages
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Date span Assignment Self-assessment
Feb 5 to Feb 11

Tutorials start this week.
Prepare at least one half of the study guide for your first sessions.
Written work for the first study guide will be due at tutorial next week.

Feb 12 to Feb 18

Study Guide 1 homework due at tutorial.

Feb 19 to Feb 25

Study Guide 2 homework due at tutorial.

Feb 26 to Mar 3

Study Guide 3 homework due at tutorial.

Mar 4 to Mar 10

Study Guide 4 homework due at tutorial.

Mar 11 to Mar 17

Study Guide 5 homework due at tutorial.

Mar 18 to Mar 24

Spring Break - no sessions, no self-assessments.


Mar 25 to Mar 31

Review week - Sessions meet for review.

Apr 1 to Apr 7

Study Guide 6 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 8 to Apr 14

Study Guide 7 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 15 to Apr 21

Study Guide 8 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 22 to Apr 28

Study Guide 9 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 29 to May 5

Study Guide 10 homework due at tutorial.

May 6 to May 12

Review of Study Guides 1-10
Tutorials and conversation sessions WILL meet this week for review

May 6 to May 13

Writing Skills Assessments will take place.

Graduating seniors need to see that home campus senior grade deadlines are met.

FORLANGC 114PE Persian for Speakers I
Course Description and Requirements

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Director: Janna White
Contact Information: or 413-542-5264

Course Description

Written Persian I is part of the Mentored Language Program administered by the Five College Center for World Languages. This course is designed for students who have high intermediate to advanced fluency in Spoken Persian, but need to learn to read and write. By the end of the course, students should be able to read standard Persian and be able to compose simple texts such as dialogues, paragraphs, and letters in written Persian.

The course combines independent study with weekly individual tutorials with a language mentor. Students are required to complete a set amount of material during the semester and complete the final writing skills assessment at the end of the semester.  Participation in the program requires significant independent work and initiative.

Students who complete Written Persian I, may continue with Written Persian II. Students who complete Written Persian II may continue with a more advanced course in the regular Mentored Persian course sequence.

Course Format

One 60-minute one-on-one tutorial session with the Persian mentor each week. Students should come to the tutorial session having prepared the homework for the week and with a list of questions to go over. The mentor will go over homework, work through student questions, and also work with the student on activities designed to further development of reading and writing skills.

Course Materials

Five College Persian Manual I.  This can be purchased from Collective Copies in Amherst. Collective Copies is at 71 South Pleasant St. (right next door to the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages).  Hours are on their website at

Written Persian Readings:  Ask your course organizer for these readings.

Persian Dictation Exercises:  online at


1. Successful mastery of the material assigned on this syllabus and its accompanying study guides. Students are reminded that final examinations will cover all material assigned for the course regardless of whether it was used or discussed in tutorials.

2. Half Course: Seven to ten hours per week of independent study (at least one hour per day). Full Course (available for Hindi & Urdu only): Fourteen to sixteen hours per week of independent study (at least two hours per day). The program provides weekly study guides. The guides list the material to be prepared and to be handed in at the tutorial session.

3. Half Course: Weekly 60-minute individual tutorials with the mentor assigned to the course. Full Course (available for Hindi & Urdu only): Two 60-minute individual tutorials per week with the mentor assigned to the course. Mentors will go over written homework assignments, answer questions brought by students, work on individual issues with pronunciation and grammar, and provide practice drills in preparation for written examinations.

4. Weekly homework assignments submitted at the tutorial meeting. Weekly homework assignments should be submitted in hardcopy at the start of each tutorial session. Homework must be submitted on time at the tutorial to receive credit. No late submissions will be accepted. When a student is absent from their session or the session is rescheduled, the assignment is due at their next tutorial. At the end of the semester, every student’s two lowest homework scores will be dropped. Students who submit all homework assignments will have their two lowest scores dropped AND receive 3 points of extra credit on their final course grade, equivalent to a partial letter grade. Mentors can provide feedback and comments on late submissions, but students will not receive credit. Any exceptions due to illness or other emergencies must be cleared by the program director. Self-granted extensions will not be honored.

5. Weekly self-assessment reports submitted on time. Self-assessments are due at the end of each week and are recorded as “on time” as long as they are received by 9:00 am the following Monday morning. Late self-assessments will only receive partial credit. The self-assessments help students to evaluate their own progress in learning the language, their overall development of language learning strategies, and also alert the program staff to any problems with preparation or logistical details of the course.

6. Final writing skills assessment to be completed at the end of the semester.


10% attendance, preparation, and participation in all tutorials, plus on-time submission of homework and self-assessment reports 

50% overall quality of the homework portfolio 

40% final writing skills assessment. The final writing skills assessment must be passed in order to pass the course.

Grading scale: A (94-100); A- (90-93); B+ (87-89); B (84-86); B- (80-83); C+ (77-79); C (74-76); C- (70-73); D+ (67-69); D (64-66); F (63 or lower).

Final grades are submitted by the program director based on assessment grades and the student’s overall course participation record and homework portfolio.

Study Guides, Homework Assignments and Self-Evaluation

Weekly study guides serve as the student’s primary guide to the course and are essential to a student’s independent learning. The study guides are accessed through the course website and contain live links to any online materials students need to access. Students are responsible for accessing the online study guides and downloading printed copies for themselves as necessary.

Most of the study exercises included on the guides are activities students do on their own. Some of the texts and online exercises include answer keys. Students are expected to use these keys to evaluate their own work. Exercises that do not include or lend themselves to simple answer keys cover material that will be “checked” through the process of using the material in tutorial interactions and conversation sessions.

Each study guide also includes work that should be handed in for feedback from the course mentor and to become a part of the student’s homework portfolio. If students have access to an answer key for any homework to be handed in, they are expected to use the answer key ahead of time to correct their own work. They should bring the page with noted corrections to the tutorial and have the mentor clarify any remaining confusions.

Remember that language learning is cumulative. Completing assignments will help students make the most of their sessions and build a strong foundation in the language. Missing assignments will negatively impact students’ course grades and their ability to progress through the semester, as each week’s content builds on previous material.

Homework assignments should be clearly labeled at the top of each page in English with the student's name, the date, and the Study Guide number.


The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Five College Center for World Languages are committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students.  If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with UMass Disability Services (DS) or your home campus, you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course.  If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify the program director within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.  For further information, please visit Disability Services at or your home campus office of disability services. 

Academic Honesty Policy

Students must adhere to all University of Massachusetts Amherst and Five College policies regarding professional conduct and ethics, including policies covering non-discrimination, sexual harassment, and academic honesty. University of Massachusetts Amherst Academy Honesty Policy: Since the integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research, academic honesty is required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Academic dishonesty is prohibited in all programs of the University.  Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and facilitating dishonesty.  Appropriate sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty.  Instructors should take reasonable steps to address academic misconduct.  Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the appropriate course instructor as soon as possible.  Instances of academic dishonesty not related to a specific course should be brought to the attention of the appropriate department Head or Chair.  Since students are expected to be familiar with this policy and the commonly accepted standards of academic integrity, ignorance of such standards is not normally sufficient evidence of lack of intent. More information about the Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures may be found online here:

Importance of Communication

Practice communication skills similar to what you would need in a professional work or internship situation: check email twice per day; read email carefully and respond in a timely manner; contact the office by email or phone about questions or issues; take a proactive approach to solving any problems or issues that come up. Save in your address book to help ensure that important messages about your course do not end up in your spam folder.

Schedules and Schedule Changes

Each student will be assigned regular weekly tutorial and conversation session times. Any temporary or permanent changes in these times must be worked out with the director of the Five College Center for World Languages, who maintains the master schedule of all tutorials and conversation sessions. Email questions related to schedules to your course organizer. Do not ask your mentor directly for changes because they may not be aware of other scheduling issues affected by the change. The mentors have been instructed to refer anyone who requests schedule change to the program office.

Students who miss tutorials or conversation sessions will not be provided with make-up opportunities. Students who know ahead of time that they will need to miss a future session should inform their course organizer with as much advance notice as possible. 

In the event that the mentor or conversation partner has to cancel a session due to illness or another emergency, every effort will be made to provide an appropriate make-up session or substitute.

Snow emergencies and snow days: Winter snow emergencies occasionally cause delays and cancellations of Five College bus service, early closings of campuses, or snow days being declared on one or more campuses. Because we do not want any students or mentors to get stranded away from their home campus, we will generally cancel tutorials and conversation sessions if 1) the National Weather Service has issued a warning for severe winter weather for the time period of the sessions; and 2) the students and or mentors affected would have to travel to other than their own campus. We will not cancel if the mentor and the students involved live on the same campus, unless that campus has cancelled classes for the relevant time period. If a snow day has been declared in the morning, tutorials and conversation sessions may still take place late in the late afternoon or evening if the weather has cleared and the buses are running. Cancellations due to weather will be sent by email. If you have weather related questions, email your course organizer or call the office at 542-5264.