Language Classes


The elementary classes teach basic Pashto through all modalities (speaking, writing, reading, listening, and culture), as well as simple phrases and idioms needed for everyday interaction in Afghanistan and the Pashtunwali social codes which underlie Afghan life and culture.

Student learning outcomes for the 8-week course include: ability to make lists of things and create, in a basic way, with the language; ability to carry out a simple conversation about daily topics, including culturally appropriate greeting and leave-taking, asking simple questions, gathering/providing vital information and statistics about people, places, and things.


Since the start of the Pashto program, we have conducted three 6-week intensive Intermediate/Advanced classes. These classes teach students advanced-level functions such as description and narration in present, past, and future time, and handling situations in which a complication arises (i.e. you arrive at a hotel and they do not have a record of your reservation). The goal for the students in this class it to be able to acquire more vocabulary, learn more grammatical structures and appropriate pronunciation to be able to understand and produce more connected discourse at the paragraph, rather than merely sentence level.


By Farid Saydee and Abdul Saboor Niazi
Pashto Elementary TextbookThis Pashtu elementary level textbook has been designed based on the National Standards for Foreign Language Education which facilitates learning of Pashtu language in a short period of time. The textbook is learners‐friendly, supported by audio CD, and contains many interactive activities. The book has many grammatical expressions as well as three verb tenses (present, past and future). The book teaches Pashtu in all its forms that includes speaking, writing, reading and listening. The book is rich in content in all these major modes of communication.

After the successful completion of this book, students are expected to function at the Intermediate Low to Intermediate High level of ACTFL scale. ACTFL is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Sample Chapter


By Farid Saydee and Abdul Saboor Niazi
Pashto AlphabetThis alphabet workbook has been prepared with the intention to teach Pashtu alphabet to interested individuals in an easy and fun way and within a short period of time. Students are expected to read and write Pashtu script after studying and completing the entire book with all its exercises. Pashtu letters are categorized into families of letters to facilitate learning except for the first letter of the alphabet. The letters in each family are introduced, their common characteristics are elaborated. Then, each letter is pronounced, transliterated and explained, backed with examples. The examples in this book are of particular importance. Most of the examples are familiar words in English such as names of places written in Pashtu script.

The goal behind putting this book together is to enable students or enthusiasts of Pashtu language to, first of all, recognize and pronounce the letters in all their forms whether connected or not to another letter, or used in the beginning, middle or at the end of a word. Second of all, students should be able to conjugate letters in a word and pronounce the words. Thirdly, students should be able to write when given simple words. In short, the goal of this book is threefold to enable student's recognition including pronunciation of letters, conjugation of letters to produce a word and writing of words as well as pronouncing them.

Sample Chapter


By Farid Saydee and Mohammad Atmar
Pashto Picture DictionaryThis is the first Pashtu dictionary of its kind that teaches interested Pashtu learners Pashtu words through the use of pictures and interactive activities. The Pashtu Picture Dictionary can be used independently or in conjunction with other teaching materials. Each lesson has been designed based on the National Standards and Backward Design. The authors are currently teaching Pashtu classes at San Diego State University who have extensive knowledge in the area of teaching and curriculum development. An audio CD, produced by the native speakers in both -western and eastern- Pashtu dialects, further supports the learning of the contents to great extent.

Sample Chapter


By Mohammad Zekria

Pashto Grammar


By Mohammad Zekria
Sample Chapter
pashto phrase

Online Materials


Pashto PermokhtagPashto Game
Play the game


Afghan CultureThe RICL Afghan Culture with Language Course consists of 22 self-contained 60-minute narrated lessons produced for Reservist Marines throughout the country, but are also available to the general public. The lessons are available online at, and can also be downloaded on your computer or mobile device as a podcast. You can use this resource in its entirety or take segments from any lesson to fit your classroom needs.

More Information

For more information about the Pashto program, materials or classes contact: