This panel will explore the status of Persian as a Community Language (CL) or Heritage Language (HL) in Australia and the USA. First, the panel will briefly inform Persian language learning in those different countries which comprise burgeoning Persian diaspora. Then the papers will examine, in relative depth and detail, three themes: learners’ perspective and language achievement, teacher professional development and curriculum development. Persian language programs need to address these issues as they accommodate heritage speakers in their classrooms. This panel aims to not only accost these issues but also to promote collaboration of scholars from different countries in order to improve Persian community or heritage language learning among its learners in different contexts.
This paper will report the status of Persian language learning in four Persian community language schools in Sydney, Australia.This ongoing research, emanated as a pilot study in 2009 and continued as a PhD research from the beginning of 2011 onwards, aims to ireport challenges and issues informed by school principals, teachers, Persian heritage language learners and their parents. Ad hoc curriculum, lack of parental involvement, high rate of learners’ attrition, learners’ language proficiency diversity and paucity of professional teachers were among issues evolved from the pilot study. However, the ongoing PhD research is focusing on learners’ motivation and identity as cornerstones which impact the language learning and achievement among Persian heritage language learners attending one of the four schools in Sydney.