Elementary Pashto I: PASH 1001 (4 hours)

in OASIS as (ARAB 4100) 90354


Fall 2009


Instructor: Mr. Muhammad Muazzam Sharif, Religion Dept., UGA

Class Hours: MW 3:35-4:25 pm Baldwin 114A; and TuTh 3:30-4:20 pm Baldwin 114A

Office: Peabody, room: 22; email: phone: 706-549-2803

Office Hours: Thu 2:00 to 3:00 (By Appointment)


Course Description:

This is an elementary level course stressing oral fluency, written expression, and reading comprehension. The objectives of the course are to help students to accomplish the following objectives:

1- read texts of elementary level difficulty.

2- communicate and converse in Pashto on a variety of topics and to understand spoken Pashto in everyday situations.

3- write elementary narrative style paragraphs coherently and with reasonable accuracy.

4- develop cultural awareness through additional readings and class discussions.


Course Methodology:

Students will be taught through the use of vocabulary in simulated settings and situations through repetition drills, frequent use of vocabulary, acting, and reading loud. This will be augmented by the reading and grammatical analysis of various texts. Students are required and encouraged to speak Pashto in class discussion.


Quizzes and Exams:

There will be a brief vocabulary quiz on Monday of each week (no more than ten words each), a lesson quiz (15-20 minutes), each Thursday when there is not a midterm exam, three midterms, and one final exam. The new lesson and the vocabulary for the coming week's lesson will be introduced each Thursday.. No make-up quizzes or tests will be given without a physicians or deans excuse. The final exam is scheduled for Mon., Dec. 14, 3:30 - 6:30 pm. This cannot be changed unless you have a total of three exams on that day.



Class attendance is absolutely necessary. All students are expected to attend each class and to focus on the course in class (not on things extraneous to the course). Students will be allowed 4 absences for any reason, including sports and other school or personnel events. Such excuses (illness, family problems, etc) are to be e mailed to the instructor, but it is completely at his disposal to accept or not. After the 4 absences, each absence will result in 1% reduction of the final grade.


Absolutely, no cell phones (or other communication devices) are to be used in the class, as they are highly disruptive. This also includes silently checking messages or sending text messages! If you violate this policy, you will be counted as absent for that day without notice. No exceptions!

Note: No student is allowed to take this course on audit basis.


Studying, Self-testing, and Flashcards:

Researchers in higher education agree that for students to learn, they need to study at least two hours outside of class for every one hour of class per week. This is particularly true if you want to learn a language. Since you have four hours of class per week, you should therefore plan to study outside of class at least 8 hours each week for this class.


For language learning, self-testing is a must. For this, flashcards for vocabulary and points of grammar are a useful method. In addition, ideally you should get a study partner with whom you can practice speaking.



Speaking Afghan Pashto: The Eastern Afghan Dialect by Randall Olson (SAP)

Bilingual Primer: Pashto-English by Niaz Muhammad Aijiz (Primer)

Additional materials will be distributed to the students throughout the session as necessary.


For useful websites see the following:

Information about the Pashto language

Online Pashto dictionary

Pashto fonts

Online Pashto radio and news

Pashto Names / ښ



Class Participation and attendance 8%

Weekly Vocabulary quizzes (9@ 2% each) each Monday 18%

Homework (including flashcards) and writing assignments 8%

Lesson Quizzes (10@ 3% each) each Thursday 30%

Midterms (3@ 7% each) 21%

Final Exam 15%

(The final is cumulative and is based on the lessons, including vocabulary, and class materials; we will review for the final exam during the last week of class.)


Grading: 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, and less than 60 = F


 While Learning Pashto,

        Dont be afraid of making mistakes. It is impossible to learn a language without making them and being corrected.

        Use what you learn as soon as you have a chance.

        Review previous lessons frequently, and make your own vocabulary notebook which will help you control your learning.

        Participate in group repetition in class. It may seem mechanical, but it helps to build the skills needed for individual speech.

        Open your mind to the different and to the new. Not only Pashto, but every language has its own mentality, and comparing it to English will not help. Also try to avoid any prejudices and preconceptions.

        Do not let any interruption break the continuity of your involvement with the Pashto language.

        Remember this may lead to an interesting career opportunity one day

        Enjoy yourself!



Week 1: August 17-20

Conversation: Introductions: How are you? SAP, p. 45-48

Focus: First 1/3 of the alphabet.

Primer: 1-20

SAP p. 1-43 as needed


Week 2: August 24-27

Conversation: Introductions: Where are you from? SAP, p. 58-59

Focus: Second 1/3 of the alphabet

Primer: 21-41

SAP p. 1-43 as needed


Week 3: August 31- Sept 3

Proverbs, SAP, p. 63

Focus: Last 1/3 of the alphabet

Primer: 42-63

SAP p. 1-43 as needed


Week 4 Monday Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday; classes Sept. 8-10

Review of previous conversations, proverbs, and alphabet

Test 1 (Wednesday)


Week 5- Sept. 14-17 SAP ch. 3

Detailed study of Introductions, How are you?

Masculine singular nouns and the verb "to be"


Week 6- Sept. 21-24 SAP ch. 4

Detailed study of Introductions, Where are you from?

Demonstrative pronouns and masculine adjectives


Week 7- Sept. 28-Oct. 1 SAP ch. 5

Conversation: Shopping

Masculine Plural Nouns and Adjectives together with the verb "to be"

Numbers 1-10


Week 8 Oct. 5-8

Review (Monday, Tuesday), Test 2 (Wednesday)


Week 9 Oct. 12-15 SAP ch. 6

Conversation: Learning to ask questions

Demonstrative pronouns together with masculine Plural nouns


Week 10 Oct. 19-22 SAP ch. 7

Conversation: Two women talking

Feminine singular nouns and adjectives together with the verb "to be"

Numbers 11-20


Week 11 Oct 26-Nov. 5 SAP ch. 8

Conversation: Two men talking

Feminine plural nouns and adjectives together with the verb "to be"

Numbers 21-29


Week 12 Nov. 9-12

Review (Monday, Tuesday), Test 3 (Wednesday)


Week 13 Nov. 16- 19 SAP ch. 9

Conversation: Talking about work

The possessive and object case

Numbers 30-2000


Week 14 -- Nov. 23-27 Thanksgiving Break, no class


Week 15 Nov. 30- Dec. 3



Week 16 - Dec. 7 Monday last day of class



Final exam: Mon., Dec. 14, 3:30 - 6:30 pm.


Note: If any difficulties arise, please do not hesitate to speak with the instructor. If that does not solve your difficulty, please consult the Critical Languages FLTA supervisor, Dr. Godlas, (Associate Professor, Religion Dept.; and Director, Virtual Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Islamic World)


Honesty Policy: The UGA Academic Honesty Policy will be followed. In other words, all academic work must meet the standards contained in "A Culture of Honesty." Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before performing any academic work. The link to more detailed information about academic honesty can be found at

Changes to this Syllabus: The instructor reserves the right to make any changes to this syllabus. The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary. Changes will be posted on WebCT.