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Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Advanced Pashto I
CEUS-T 353/753
Rahman Arman

Course Objectives

The aim of this semester is to provide students with an advanced knowledge of the Pashto language as it is spoken and written today in Afghanistan. The primary goal of this semester is to improve the communicative skills of students, extend grammatical, lexical knowledge and use a wide variety of stimulating and challenging activities. This course plans use materials related to the Pashtunwali, its codes & customs, trade & buying of goods, various medical terms, news channels in Afghanistan and much more. Listening activities involve work with audio files of narratives and interviews from authentic sources, including, broadcast of the Voice of America, BBC and Afghan TV, etc. By the end of this course, students should be able to participate in the informal and some formal exchanges on a variety of topics related to work, home events of public and personal interest, converse on a variety of familiar topics, understood by native speakers, demonstrate ability to narrate and describe in all time frames (present, future and past), read and narrate texts of medium complexity.

This semester, the focus will be the language of educated native speakers and the contemporary literary standard as reflected in the media. By stressing extensive practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, this course will familiarize students with the structural system of Pashto and will provide a systematic presentation of its usage through theme based materials. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to such visual materials as authentic video clips, movies and photographs, illustrating contemporary life of the Pashtuns.

Required texts and materials:

Materials developed in CeLCAR, Indiana University Bloomington.

Suggested Texts and Materials

Additional materials will be adapted from the following recourses:

  1. Pashtoon, Naseer Hoonar, Pashtoon, Zeeya A., A Handbook of Pashto Verbal Conjugation (Hyattsville, MD: Dunwoody Press, 2006).
  2. Qazi Rahimullah khan, Introduction to Pushtu: An official Language of Afghanistan (New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, 2002).
  3. Speaking Afghan Pashto (The Eastern Afghan Dialect), edited by Randall Olson. Peshawar-Colorado Springs, 1996.
  4. Rashteen, Sadiqullah. Pashtunwali Guide book. (Peshawar, Pakistan: Master Prints, 2000).
  5. Penzl H. A grammar of Pashto: a descriptive study of the dialect of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Washington, 1955.
  6. Pashto audiotapes are available at: (CeLCAR’s website)
    and (the Language and Computer Labs in Ballentine Hall).
  8. Voice of America (VOA) website

Assignments and requirements:

At the end of the semester you will receive a final course grade. It is derived from the following components:

Participation: 30%
Homework (oral and written assignments, presentations, journal): 30%
Quizzes and chapter tests: 15%
Midterm exam (oral interview and written): 10%
Final exam: (oral and written components): 15%

Homework is given every day; and it is due the following morning in class. You may turn in late homework to receive feedback from your instructor. However, you will not receive credit for late homework. Bonuses or extra credit are not given for extracurricular events.

Graded assignments follow IU’s universal grading scale, i.e.:
A+ 99-100%               B+ 89-90%                  C+ 79-80%                  D+ 69-70%
A   95-98%                  B   85-88%                  C   75-78%                  D   65-68%
A- 91-94%                  B- 81-84%                   C- 71-74%                   D- 61–64%

Important Dates

Aug. 31: First day of classes. Week of pre-testing in intermediate/advanced classes.
Sept. 7: Labor Day. Classes meet.
Sept. 13-22: Afghan Seminar for ETT (instructor unavailable: make up class)
Oct. 16:  Midterm exam
Nov. 5th-14th- Afghan Seminar for PRT (instructor unavailable: make up class)
Nov. 24: After classes, Thanksgiving Recess begins
Nov. 30: Classes resume
Dec.7 – Dec. 11: Free Week (no quiz/test/exam)
Dec. 11: Last day of classes
Dec.14 - Dec 18: Final Exam week.

Final exams: CEUS language courses comply with the IU Final Examination Policy and schedule. See Effective Fall 2005 IU policy makes students responsible for checking the dates and times of final exams before registering for classes. Students are requested to note this date and plan to be on campus at that time. The date of the final exam for CEUS language classes is also printed on the class syllabus. Requests for changes are considered only in compliance with IU policy which states in the event of more than three exams in one day, the instructor/department of the fourth and subsequent exam is obligated to adjust the student's exam time, provided the student notifies them by the mid-point of the semester. A student who has a passing grade and fails to attend the final exam for reasons that could not be anticipated and that were beyond the student’s control, should discuss the absence with the CEUS department chair. The chair may require a student to file a written explanation of the absence for review and fact checking by the Dean of Students Committee on Absence. The final decision in the dispensation of these matters remains with the CEUS chair; there is no guarantee a grade of Incomplete will be granted (More information about this is provided in the “Departmental Policies” section below).

Departmental Policies