0101 GMT November 23, 2019
A total of 15,000 non-Persian speakers are learning Persian language as part of programs conducted by the International Center for Teaching Persian to Non-Persian Speakers in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, the head of the center said.
Persian language courses were initiated in universities of regional countries including Iraq and Lebanon, Ehsan Qabool further told Iran Daily.
Describing the institute as the biggest Persian language center in the world, he said that over 700 students from 35 countries, mainly from Iraq and other Arab countries, learned Persian language in the year to March 20, 2016 whereas 450 non-Persian speakers were trained in its preceding year.
Noting that 400 students enrolled for the course during March 20-June 20, he expected the figure to rise to 1,000 by mid-March 2017.
Several foreign universities have welcomed the programs, he said, adding that many of the university students taking part in the Persian language course are from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Oman, Kuwait, Turkmenistan, the US, Poland, Germany and China.
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad has also launched Persian language courses in Iraqi universities such as University of Kufa, University of Karbala and University of Baghdad in which 150 students are learning Persian language.
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad has offered courses in Persian language to non-native speakers for the last 50 years when professors of Georgetown University in Washington DC were informally trained to teach the beautiful Persian language to non-native speakers, Qabool said.
In 2014, the university established the International Center for Teaching Persian to Non-Persian Speakers with authorization from the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.
"The center's general courses last for six months with 512 hours of training while professional courses are offered to graduates of different majors for three-month period offering 216 hours of training," he said.
Speaking about Persian language courses for professors to augment their knowledge, Qabool said that a number of Iraqi professors took part in the courses while professors from Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt will take part in the courses this academic year.
Post-PhD courses will be also offered at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad for professors with PhD to conduct Persian research studies during one or two years.
Based on the agreement signed between SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies),University of London and Ferdowsi University, the students of Persian Language and Literature of the British university are expected to spend one year of their four-year courses at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.
In addition, a similar agreement was inked with Venice International University, Italy offering a one- or three-month course on Persian language courses in Iran, he said, adding that the first group of Italian students will come to Iran in the coming days.
He concluded that attempts have been made to hold online Persian language courses using educational software for large number of students.