Virtual Lecture Series on Persian Language Pedagogy: Discourse Markers in Persian

When and Where

Saturday, September 09, 2023 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Online via Zoom


Ali R. Abasi (Associate Professor of Persian, University of Maryland)


The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies in collaboration with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago  jointly present "Discourse Markers in Persian: Description and Instructional Implications for Learners of Persian" on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 12 PM (Eastern Time: Canada and US).

Azita H. Taleghani
Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi

An examination of naturally occurring instances of talk-in-interaction across various speech exchange systems readily reveals the ubiquity of discourse markers in contemporary Persian. Given their prevalence, one aspect of communicative competence in Persian as an additional language, or in any language for that matter, involves control over their use. Teaching these consequential markers, however, is a challenge for two main reasons. One is that their instruction needs to draw on their empirically grounded functional descriptions—which are largely scarce. A second reason has to do with the indexical character of the markers that renders them sequentially contingent, hence surprisingly complex, and rather unwieldy to master. Their status as interactional devices, therefore, entails the relevance of the ongoing debate around teaching interactional/pragmatic competence in instructional contexts. In this light, this paper examines some highly recurrent markers in contemporary Persian and then considers some options for their teaching in classroom contexts.

Ali R. Abasi is an Associate Professor of Persian at the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Maryland. Trained as an applied linguist, his primary research interests include second language writing, discourse analysis, and teaching Persian to speakers of other languages. Some of his publications have appeared in such journals as Second Language Writing, English for Specific Purposes, Language and Politics, and the International Journal of Applied Linguistics.


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