Transparent Language Blog

New: ESL Courses for Dari and Pashto Speakers Posted by on Mar 18, 2022 in For Learners, For Libraries, Learning Material Updates

One reason we love working with public libraries is their commitment to supporting their diverse communities.

So, when several subscribing libraries came to us last fall to request ESL materials for Afghan refugees resettling in their communities, we got to work.

Fast forward to today: we’re thrilled to announce the launch of new Beginner English courses for native speakers of both Dari and Pashto.

About the Courses

Both courses contain 130 vocabulary-focused lessons that introduce the real-world language refugees will need to navigate daily life in English. Topics range from basics like counting and days of the week to more situational vocabulary like meeting new people, visiting a doctor, or going shopping—in person and online!

Transparent Language Online English for Dari Course

Our Content Development Manager Michael Basmaji says these courses are particularly useful for English beginners:

“Studies show that vocabulary size is the single most significant factor in building language proficiency. Sometimes all you need to accomplish a task is one or two key words, like ‘bathroom’ or ‘doctor’. These courses provide English learners more than 1,000 key words that will help them get by and build a foundation upon which they can practice grammar, improve their speaking and listening skills, and beyond. It’s a huge leg up.”

The English vocabulary is paired with their native language for immediate recognition. Learners will then work their way through a series of fun activities that let them use all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and typing.

Transparent Language Online English for Pashto Course

The lead Project Manager Kate Blais highlights why the flexible course structure makes it particularly useful for Afghan refugees or others who have an immediate need to build their English vocabulary:

“The lessons were not designed to be done in order; they exist independently. These English learners have immediate needs, so we wanted them to be able to jump around to the lessons and topics they need most. If someone is going to buy groceries for the first time in English, we want them to be able to get to food words and shopping phrases right away.”

Community Impact

The English for Dari and Pashto courses mark the 29th and 30th paired English courses in Transparent Language Online. In fact, English is the most requested language of the more than 110 available languages in the platform.

Kit Lardner from Blackburn with Darwen Library Service explains why these beginner English courses are so significant for newcomers to their community:

“Blackburn with Darwen Library Service works relentlessly to provide new and dynamic services for all of its communities and is keen to present new opportunities for learning and leisure to those who have newly arrived in our Borough. The library is a first port-of-call to many as we can provide so much help – including access to resources such as Transparent Language, which is invaluable in helping those whose native language is not English to break down language barriers to access pubic services in our community. We have recently been showcasing Transparent Language with ESOL classes with much success and have seen how this can provide wider wellbeing benefits. Providing language resources plays a big part in building harmonious communities for all those who have recently joined us.

These English courses for Dari and Pashto speakers are important because the Afghan refugees who have resettled in our community did so without much warning or planning. This resource, along with other council-wide services can really transform their ability to thrive in their new home, support inclusion and unlock new opportunities to enable community contribution.”

Beginner English for Dari Speakers and Beginner English for Pashto Speakers are available now in Transparent Language Online. Access these courses free through your local library or a two-week trial.

Keep learning a language with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: meaghan

Meaghan is the Marketing Communications Manager at Transparent Language. She speaks enough French and Spanish to survive, and remembers enough Hausa to say "Hello my name is Meaghan, I'm studying Hausa." (But sadly that's it).


  1. Hashmatullah Solamal:

    my native language is Pashto and i can speak Dari very well.
    Now I’m in Malaysia I did my bachelor degree here. Now I’m doing my MBA.

  2. Marmar Danish Azime:

    My name is Marmar Danish Azime, I was in the third semester of my BBA, and Now I am a refugee in my neighbor country without any education program.

  3. Candace Kay Hardin:

    I am teaching an older Afghan mom conversational English. We are stuck at the basics. She never learned to read Pashto bc she was raised by the Taliban who did not allow her to attend school. Can this course help me teach her and help her learn English?

    • meaghan:

      @Candace Kay Hardin Hi! Lovely to hear what you’re doing. If you’re working on it together, you may be able to make it work. The interface is in English, so you’ll be able to navigate for her. The activities are all focused around vocabulary (acquiring the most important/common words she’ll need at the beginning) and all of the vocabulary items have English audio. So even if she can’t read it she’ll be able to hear it and participate in the activities that way with your guidance. However the Pashto words/phrases do not have accompanying audio, which will pose a challenge, so it’ll be more like an immersion-style English-online course than originally intended.

      If you have more questions, reach out at and I’ll put you in touch with our Academic team to share ideas about how to use it in a class setting.

  4. Abdul Manan Ahmadi:

    My name is Abdul Manan Ahmadi. I am from Kabul Afghanistan. My native language is Dari. I have done my higher education in English language and literature. I recieved my bachelor degree from Kabul University. I have been teaching EFL instructor since 2012. Now, I would like teach English language online. Kindly, if there is opening position in your team, It would be my pleasure to have assistance with you.
    Thank you

    • Sarah Dispanet:

      @Abdul Manan Ahmadi Hi! I have a 15 year old client that has recently came to America from Kabul Afghanistan. He is interested in taking English classes. I would love to hear from you if you’re offering classes.

  5. David West:

    Hi, If she is a Dari speaker, I suggest using the SayHi app. It is the only app I know of that will “speak” FARSI (closely related to Dari). It does not “speak” Pashto and I don’t know of any that do, although some Pashto speakers also speak Urdu.

  6. Stoirin:

    Hello, I’m an American (native American English speaker) living in the US. I have befriended a woman who has been resettled here from Kabul by the U.S. govt. She is a univ-educated professional and her English is quite serviceable. Her brother (engineering degree) and his wife and children are expected to be resettled here by US gov’t in the next week or two. The children have a bit of English — varying degrees (most are girls). His wife is not literate in any language. I am DESPERATELY looking for any resources that can help these Dari speakers learn English. Even the few Dari & English picture books only show the words in both languages (+ a picture, of course). In other words, they give NO idea — in Dari script — of how you would PRONOUNCE the English word. If I were trying to learn Dari, such a book would be useless to me — I would look at the Dari writing — totally incomprehensible to me — and not have a CLUE what sounds to put to it. These people have been through so much and this culture is going to present them with such HUGE challenges — & of course, the schools in this (urban) area can offer NO help for Dari speakers!

Leave a comment: