Maryam Mohaghegh

Picture of Maryam Mohaghegh

Lecturer

Biography

I was born in Iran and lived there until 2009 when I migrated to US. Although I have studied molecular Biology (B.Sc) and Virology ( M.Sc) in school, but throughout my life, I have always been fascinated by languages and cultures and the way people communicate, their messages and the nuances. I have taught English as a Second Language in "Iran Language Institute" for many years and served as an official examiner for Cambridge University in Tehran. 

Despite the fact that Persian has been around for hundreds of years, but it in the past 40 years or so years that it has become a topic of second language. Consequently the resources and methodologies are very young and rapidly growing which I am very interested about.

Besides teaching Persian language and culture, I am a reviewer for National Geographic Magazine- Farsi ( Persian). I joined their team since it started in 2012. 

I am interested in people, cultures and communications. In my classes, I tend to use non traditional formats, i.e; movies, music, events to give a better perspective of the Persian language and culture.  

Teaching and Research Interests

My teaching philosophy:

 

“[Kids] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”

― Jim Henson, It's Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider

 

Who cares about rock climbing? My son does. I don’t, but because of him, I have become interested in it too.  It is always like this, it always starts with someone we love, and we get into it because that person was so passionate about it that persuaded us it was worth the try and it goes on from there. 

I believe that teaching is triggering a process that takes place in the learner not the teacher, so anything that promotes this process would be utilized in

“There are clues for those seeking it, they just have to look for it.” I don’t remember where I picked this sentence, but I truly believe in it. I believe that everyone of us is a teacher, in a sense, as we introduce and advocate what we like. May it be fishing that we do during our free time or dancing or literature. We passionately follow our hearts and share our passion with the world. We never name the people around us our students, but that is exactly how we treat them, we try to make them interested in what we like, and strive meticulously to do so. When we share our interests with out friends and family, we do not illustrate it as an unfathomable pile of information or an impossible challenge. We try to show them why we like what we like and  make it as much favorable as possible, we customize it to their tastes. And as they become interested and start asking questions we try to get them more and more involved.

I believe the same applies to the students in a class. Although the format might be different but that is just the most natural way to learn. We are surrounded by information and knowledge and literally all the students can have access to most of the data that is out there and we are presenting.  When a student signs up for my class, they have made a choice and express their interested. During the course I try to be their guide and help them discover this new world, prove that it is interesting as they first thought, help them find their own way around and not feel lost from the very first stages  and fire up their interest. I very much believe in making independent learners. 

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

― Socrates

I believe a language is intertwined with culture and like culture it is prone to change and gradual transformation. I will introduce all sorts of ideas within Iranian culture to break the common paradigm about it and create a whole image of it.

Language is alive dynamic being and the students will feel this as they get introduced to the different aspects of life Iranian style. They would see how language evolves as culture does.

Projects and exercises are opportunities to learn better and practice what they already accomplished. I try to help the students recognize their strengths and weaknesses within my field, build upon the strengths and address the weaknesses discreetly.

By assessing where my learners are with respect to our mutual learning goals, I can provide the scaffolding they need to build connections between what they already know and the new understandings they seek to create. I like the look in their eyes when they impress the native speakers. 


 

Extension and Community Engagement

Iranian Cultural Community of North Carolina- Vice President

Education

  • Masters in Virology from Tehran University of Medical Sciences
  • Bachelor in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Tehran University