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Peyman Nojoumian

Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Persian

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2310
Office: THH 449

Persian @ USC
Persian Learners' Dictionary

Biographical Sketch

Peyman Nojoumian is currently an Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Persian in the Middle East Studies Program at University of Southern California. He got his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, Canada and two masters; one in Artificial Intelligence, Speech & Language Technology from K.U.Leuven, Belgium and one in Teaching Persian as a Foreign Language from Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran. He is experienced in developing instructional materials and e-learning technology for less commonly taught languages. His four volume Persian textbook is to be published soon. Dr. Nojoumian has recently developed a free smartphone web App named Persian Learner’s Dictionary for elementary Persian learners. The online dictionary features 5000 basic vocabulary items, pictures, phonetic transcriptions, pronunciations, part of speeches, and authentic examples in written and spoken Persian styles. Dr. Nojoumian is a certified ACTFL OPI and WPT tester of the Persian language and is registered with the Language Testing International.



Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Ottawa, 7/2011
M.S. Speech and Language Technology, KULeuven, 2002
M.A. Teaching Persian as a Foreign Language, Allameh Tabatabai, 1997

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Persian, University of Southern California, 2011-  
Associate Director, Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World (SILMW), Spring 2011   
Persian Lecturer & Coordinator, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008-2011  
Persian Lecturer, University of Maryland, 2006-2008  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

My research interest covers two broader areas of applied and computational linguistics. In the former, it focuses on the development of instructional materials for the Persian language and culture. I employ a communicative task-based language teaching approach in preparing instructional materials and utilize web-based e-learning tools for its implementation. In the latter, I study the processing of the Persian language orthography especially morphological analysis and automatic diacritization (inserting the three absent short vowels in the Persian orthography). Under my PhD thesis, I developed an automatic diacritizer for the Persian orthography using Xerox Finite State Transducer (XFST) technology. This tool is able to diacritize and tag a Persian text corpus by a high accuracy rate. I am constantly updating its lexicon to cover more proper nouns. This tool can also be used to develop e-learning modules such as reading and spelling activities for Persian language learners. I am also interested in developing corpora for both language processing and second language acquisition research. I have developed a tagged and fully diacritized text corpus for the Persian which contains one million words.

Research Keywords

Persian, Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Teaching Persian, Task-based Language Teaching, heritage and non-heritage language learning

Research Specialties

Persian Language Processing, Corpus Linguistics, Teaching Persian

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

Business Persian for Intermediate Learners (CIBER), Peyman Nojoumian, $2,500, Spring 2011   
CSAMES on-line Persian (CSAMES), Peyman Nojoumian, $5,000, Fall 2010   

USC Funding

Faculty Development Grant. Instructional Materials Development: Instructional Materials Development based on Task-based Language Teaching principles., $1,500, 2014-2015   
Center for Scholary Technology. Multimedia Course Development: Developed multimedia resources and assignments for a CST project., $5,000, 2013-2014   

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Developing Online Narration & Role-Play Tasks Based on TBLT: A Hands-on Example from Persian", American Association of Teachers of Persian, MESA Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Washington DC, Invited, Fall 2014   
"Instructional Materials Development based on Task-based Language Teaching Principles for Persian", 10th Biennial Iranian Studies Conference, International Society for Iranian Studies, Talk/Oral Presentation, Montreal, Canada, Invited, Fall 2014   
"Business Language Course Development based on Task-based Language Teaching Principles for Less Commonly Taught Languages", CIBER Business Language Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, University of Indiana, Bloomington, CIBER, Invited, Spring 2013   
"Instructional Material Development based on Principles of TBLT", Keynote Lecture, Ghazvin International University, Invited, Fall 2011   
"Morphological Priming of Multi-morphemic Persian Words in Mental Lexicon", Workshop on Computer and Persian Language, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Tehran University, Invited, Spring 2006   
"Modeling Persian Language Syntax and Morphology in LingBench IDE", The 4th European Speech and Language Technology Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, Catalonia Polytechnic University, Invited, Spring 2003   

Other Presentations

"Rapid Online Assignment Development (ROAD)", USC Center for Teaching Excellence, USC, Los Angeles, Fall 2014   
"Teaching Persian to Third Generation of Iranian Heritage Speakers & Retaining Persian in First Generation of Iranians in Diaspora", Academy of Persian Physicians Cultural Event, APP, Los Angeles, Spring 2014   
"Creative Classroom Strategies, Tools from Language Instruction", Center for Scholarly Technologies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Spring 2013   
"The Evolution of the Persian Language", Iranian Cultural Talk, Persian Academic & Cultural Student Association (PACSA) , USC - TTC 450, Spring 2012   

Other Research

Developing language corpora including writing samples of language learners, 2014-2015   
Developed an online free web App featuring Persian Learner's Dictionary, 2013-2014   


Conference Proceeding

Nojoumian, P., Shabani Jadidi, P., Tangestanifar, A. (2006). Morphological Priming of Multi-morphemic Persian Words in Mental Lexicon. pp. 28-38. Tehran University Press. Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Computer and Persian Language.

Research Report

Nojoumian, P. Processing Phonological and Semantic Ambiguity, Disambiguation of Heterophonic & Homophonic Homographs in Persian Using Semantic Priming. Linguistics Department.

Teaching Innovations and Multimedia Teaching

Developed an online assignment technology using Pixton, 2013-2014   

Honors and Awards

Houtan Foundation Award, 2001-2002   

Service to the University


Member, Dornsife Faculty Committe, Spring 2015   
Member, USC Iranian Studies Initiative Conference Committee, Spring 2015   
Member, MESP Chair Search Committee, Fall 2013   
Member, Arabic Faculty Search Committee, 2012-2013   
Member, Iranian Studies Faculty Search Committee, Spring 2012   
Member, Faculty Performance Evaluation, USC Dornsife, Fall 2011   

Service to the Profession

Professional Memberships

ACTFL: Persian OPI and WPT Certified, 2013-2017  
International Society for Iranian Studies, 2013-2015  
American Association of Teachers of Persian, 2014-2015   
Association of Professors & Scholars of Iranian Heritage, 2012-2014  

Reviewer for Publication

International Journal of Iranian Studies, Routledge, Reviewer, 2014-2016  
International Journal of Computational Linguistics and Applications, Elsevier, Paper reviewer for Vol 1, No. 1-2, 2010-2011   
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