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Intermediate Afghan Pashto, Dari language immersion program, scholarships set for CSUEB


Bryan Johnson uses software as part of his Afghan language studies.

  • March 16, 2011

For the first time, California State University, East Bay will offer a Summer Intensive Program in Afghan Languages and Culture focusing on intermediate-level Pashto or Dari/Farsi. The 10-week, 16-unit program meets evenings and Saturdays between June 20 and Aug. 27 at the Hayward campus, with a range of interactive activities both inside and outside of the classroom. Registration deadline is April 15; tuition scholarships are available.

Geared to developing listening, reading, speaking and writing skills, the program will include visits to sites in the local Afghan community – such as cultural centers, markets, residences and community events – where students can experience Afghan culture and practice the languages with native speakers.

Lecturer Haji Razmi will teach the Pashto courses, Lecturer Farid Younos will instruct classes in Dari and Farsi; and Lecturer Valerie Smith will lead the Afghan Diaspora class.

“We are excited to offer the classes to college students and people from the community, because it helps Afghan students connect with their cultural heritage and others to learn about these resilient, courageous people who have been at the center of world attention in this last decade,” said Smith, the program organizer.

CSUEB first offered beginning Pashto and Dari courses in Fall 2010 to students and the community, including Afghan Americans and people in business, social and human services, and government who are interested in working with Afghans locally or abroad. 

Among those taking the courses are Naomi De La Cruz, a senior in speech pathology.

“I really enjoy this language program. Our teacher is very understanding and I am getting better with each class. I love the environment of the class as it is very relaxed and welcoming,” said De La Cruz.

Summer enrollment requires prior completion of one year (two semesters or three quarters) of first-year Pashto or first-year Dari, or equivalent knowledge, and an age of 16 or more by the first day of class.

Students admitted into the summer program may receive full or partial scholarships based on merit, financial need or both, covering tuition and fees, and/or Saturday excursions and other cultural outings. Campus housing is also available for an additional fee.

An application form and complete details, including information on California State University Strategic Language Initiative scholarships, are available online.

For more information on the program, contact Smith at or (510) 885-2543.

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