As part of the NSLI-Y Persian (Tajiki) summer language program, implemented by American Councils in Tajikistan, students compliment their intensive language studies with interactive events that help them apply language learned in the classroom to unrehearsed, “out of the classroom” situations.

The 2015 NSLI-Y Persian (Tajiki) summer group has put theory to practice through several such events in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. They participated in cooking classes, conducted solely in Tajiki, and prepared ‘sambusas’, a cuisine staple in the Central/South Asia region. This event provided a wealth of cooking/kitchen related vocabulary, something useful for food and dinner based discussions with their host families.

NSLI-Y Students Make Tajiki Sambusas, a traditional fried dough filled with vegetables or meat.

The NSLI-Y Tajiki group also teamed up with alumni from the U.S. Department of State sponsored Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program for their first lesson in traditional Tajiki dances. In their dance lesson with FLEX alumni, they worked on a choreographed dance, incorporating styles from different regions of Tajikistan.

Tajiki Dance Lessons

The group later worked with their teachers and resident director to prepare their supermarket/bazaar related phrases and vocabulary. They then applied this knowledge at one of Dushanbe’s vibrant bazaars, utilizing their classroom training while speaking with merchants about produce and prices. In addition, they were able to engage in a bit of bargaining, a priceless exercise in real-time counting in Tajiki.

Practicing Tajiki Language Skills in the Bazaar