Persian Listening Skills Targeting the Multi-Tasking Millennial Learner

This paper introduces project-based audio models that help students of Persian as a Second Language practice simultaneous decoding of authentic Persian utterances inside and outside of the traditional classroom. The paper proposes that listening skills can be achieved more successfully by engaging students in vibrant interactions that 1. model real-life situations, 2. are contextualized, 3. have a backward design. By providing hands-on activity samples that engage the whole learner in and outside of the classroom, this paper strives to answer as the following questions: How can the development of listening aptitude be part of a hands-on interactive syllabus that leaps beyond drills and exercises? How can the instructor interact with students as intellectual and creative partners in learning rather than mere recipients of the language? How can Persian listening skills pedagogy be forwarded into the 21st century realm of multi-tasking, multi-faceted and global community of learners who not only expect their learning to be in the form of tasks but also expect for the tasks to be authentic, interactive, interpersonal, collective and creative? Considering the geopolitical specificity of Persian as a less commonly taught critical language which, unlike many other world languages, is hardly targeted for the immediate purpose of travel and tourism, what are the effective strategies to best model authentic oral give and take without sacrificing the fluidity and flexibility of Persian as a living language? Finally, as a heritage language selected by second and third generation immigrants, on the one hand, and valued as a political and cultural medium by students of socio-political and cultural sciences, what are the best cultural samples that may help introduce such a diverse group of learners to Persian language without sacrificing the multiplicity of Persian culture?