According to the Public Relations of saadi foundation, on Monday, December 18th 2017, with the efforts of the Cultural Office of Iranʼs Embassy and the representative of Saadi Foundation in Serbia, the celebration of Persian language and introduction of Iranʼs language, literature and culture was held at the Foreign Languages High School of Belgrade, at the end of which the Persian learners" end of course certifications were given to 20 students. On the sidelines of the ceremony, Iranʼs cultural affiliate conducted an interview with Boiana Dovic, the Persian language teacher of the school. Mrs. Dovic is a Political Science graduate from University of Belgrade. This is the third year that she teaches the Persian language to students who have taken Persian as an elective course at this high school which is located in Belgrade. This high school is the only high school in Belgrade to specialize in foreign languages and 10 languages, 8 living languages and 2 old Greek and Latin languages are taught in the school"s four year schedule. The first Persian learning test course started in 2015 at the high school and 20 students take Persian language as second language every year. The details of the interview are as follows:
How did you get interested in learning Persian? What did interest you in Iran or the Persian language?
I was adventures as a kid. I am sure that being adventures is an innate characteristic of mine. As I grew up I encountered many adventures, one of them is worth mentioning: Learning Persian. I can say that the Persian language is the most beautiful experience of mine. Iran"s poetry, literature, history and art have always been interesting to me.
When did you learn Persian and which courses have you taken? Did you participate in any course in Iran too?
I believe learning a foreign language is a never ending process. Two summers ago I traveled to Iran to participate in a Persian language and literature knowledge acquisition course and finished the course at an advanced level. It was a very good and memorable trip. Iran is a beautiful and spectacular country and its peopleʼs traditions and ways are so close to ours. Unfortunately I have not visited every in Iran, but what I saw was informative and interesting to me. My enthusiasm for Iran only increased after I returned back home.
Would you mind explaining about the foreign languages high school of Belgrade?
After an agreement was signed between the cultural advisory and official representative of Saadi Foundation and Dr Dushko Bibich, head of Belgrade foreign languages and literature high school a test run of Persian language courses for Serbian high schools started. These courses take place under the watch of the Educational Evaluation Organization of the Ministry of Education of Serbia. We all hope that the success of these courses would result in teaching Persian language in other Serbiaʼs high schools as well.
How long have you been teaching Persian language in languages high school of Belgrade? Have you taught else?
I have been teaching Persian at the foreign languages and literature high school for two years. I have also taught basic level Persian courses at the cultural office of Iranʼs embassy.
Who do you usually teach and at what levels?
I teach basic, intermediate and advanced levels at the foreign languages and literature high school.
To what levels do the students usually reach in high schools? Do they receive any kind of certification?
High school students reach complementary levels. Students who complete Persian learning courses receive a certification.
Why do the students want to learn the Persian language? What about Iranian language or culture is interesting to them?
I have asked them as to why they want to learn Persian, they told me that Persian language was sweet and that they wanted to learn it well. Iranian literature is also appealing to them. One of the students once told me that learning one of worldʼs oldest languages is in fact, knowing a unique culture.
Do you use modern techniques to teach Persian?
I believe that boosting motivation is very important in learning Persian. If you asked me what the best method in learning Persian was, I would told you that I did not know, but I am sure that all language learners ask themselves this very question. I have told the students to keep a diary in Persian, listen to radio, play Persian video games, use free applications and find Persian contents that are interesting to them.
Are your students interested to study Persian in universities as well? Why or why not?
For most students learning the Persian language is easy and they are interested to study Persian in university as well. Some of them want to travel to Iran as soon as possible and speak Persian there.
Is Persian a difficult language to Serbs compared to other languages? Which language is the most difficult to Serbs?
I believe that Persian is not difficult compared to other languages especially in grammatical sense. Mandarin is the most difficult.
What aspects of Persian is the most difficult for Serb students?
For the majority of students learning Persian is easy. For some students at basic levels dictation is difficult. Lack of signs for sounds is also tough for students when reading.
What languages is the rhythm of Persian like? What languages do Serbs think Persian is like when Iranians speak Persian?
The rhythm of spoken Persian resembles Turkish or Arabic to the majority of Serbs. When Iranians speak, Serbs think they are singing. Your language is that sweet.