Critical Language Scholarship Program | Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Program Dates:

June 07 - August 06, 2018

Hosting Institution:

American Councils for International Education

Program Overview

The CLS Persian institute aims to provide U.S. students the opportunity to strengthen their proficiency in Persian by offering an integrated and intensive immersion-based language and culture program in Tajikistan’s capital city, Dushanbe. It is hosted by American Councils in Dushanbe, and offers participants a stimulating and engaging environment in which to gain rapid proficiency in Persian and a deeper understanding of Central Asia. To learn more about American Councils in Tajikistan, click here.

Over eight weeks, the institute covers the approximate equivalent of one academic year of university-level language coursework. It is designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of proficiency levels and backgrounds, from students who have completed one year of university-level Persian language training or the equivalent (advanced beginning) to advanced learners with three or more years of college-level language training.

Formal classroom language instruction consists of approximately four hours of class per day, five days per week, with a minimum of 20 hours per week of classroom instruction. The academic program focuses primarily on Persian Farsi, but students are able to enhance their language skills with a limited number of class hours devoted to Tajiki—the local Persian dialect. In addition to learning a new dialect, participants also learn an entirely new alphabet, the Cyrillic alphabet, with which the Tajiki dialect is written. Learning Cyrillic and Tajiki helps students integrate more fully into the local culture and is an added benefit of the CLS Persian Program.

CLS Persian teachers in Dushanbe have experience teaching past participants and are adept at identifying the needs of foreign language learners. Many of the faculty teach at Tajikistan’s major universities during the academic year, including the National University of Tajikistan. Several of the instructors completed their higher education in Iran.

In addition to classes, students also participate in cultural excursions, lectures and activities which are designed to reinforce and enhance language acquisition and familiarity with the host culture. Past activities have included cooking classes, visits to museums, cultural and sports centers, and lectures by journalists and calligraphers. Previous CLS students have also pursued their own interests outside of the classroom by enrolling in martial arts classes, musical instrument lessons and independent studies with calligraphers.

All CLS participants in Dushanbe live with local host families. Students repeatedly comment on the warmth of their host families who serve as the center of social life for their members. Students also participate in meetings with language partners who provide an insider’s perspective on the city, language, and culture.