Veteran GLN teaching fellow, Maria Getahun, has been teaching Farsi with GLN for two years after being tipped off by a coworker. This semester she is teaching the Persian (Farsi) tourist class; when you walk in she greets you with a smile and speaks in Farsi only.
A native Russian speaker, Maria studied Farsi for five years at Moscow State Linguistic University. Unlike the American university system at Moscow State you do not choose your major, it is assigned to you. “It wasn’t love at first sight,” she says, “ the more I studied it the more I liked it.”
Maria shared some of her wisdom with us: “Learning a language is always an ongoing process. I like the feeling of understanding, of unlocking a door to a new culture and to a pool of information, makes life interesting.”
In addition to teaching Farsi, Maria has taken Spanish and Hindi classes at GLN. While learning the languages was of course a goal of hers, she was particularly interested in observing the teaching approach and class activities offered by other teachers. In her own classroom, she places an emphasis on culture by asking the students to give reports on what interests them most. This way, they can learn from her experience with Farsi and her time in Iran and at the same time develop a perspective of their own.