Milken Announces New Language Requirement

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Natalie Pashaie



Everyone knows that Milken is a progressive, forward thinking, and ever-changing institution. Along with the many changes happening to the campus and the curriculum, there is a new class requirement in the works: a subject (quite literally) very close to the homes of many students at Milken. Farsi will be a required course starting next year, the school year of 2016-2017. A source tells us that the subject will start at the basic level, and will end at a class with the rigor of an AP. There is no actual AP exam for Farsi, so students will be credited with the “high honors” title, similar to high honors Beit Midrash. Students whose second or first language is Farsi, which is roughly half the school, will be able to improve upon their reading, writing, and speaking skills. Those new to the language will obtain an entirely new skill and be able to further connect to their peers. Hannah Newman ’17 says that she “ absolutely love(s) Persian food, and can’t wait to learn Farsi.” This is a massive step in making Milken a more inclusive and pluralistic institution. We sat down with the new Farsi teacher, Ms. Khorsandi, to hear her plans for the class next year.


Are you excited to be the new teacher of the Farsi class?

“Areh deegeh! No, but really, I think it’s just the most natural fit. Obviously. I mean, my last name alone makes me qualified.”


When/why did you decide to start teaching this (in addition to all your other classes like Yearbook and Journalism)?

“I felt like I needed even more diversity on my plate, and I love language studies. To be fair, 9th grade English class can feel like teaching a foreign language at times, but considering my vast knowledge of Farsi, it just seemed like my chance to join a third department at Milken. I can’t wait to spend an hour getting straight into the important aspects of Persian culture and language; we’ll focus on the things that really matter: from ghormeh sabzi and mast-o-musir to zereshk polo and sangak. I know what’s up. I’m thinking a field trip to Westwood is in our future. Saffron and Rose anyone?”


Why do you think Farsi should be required at Milken?   

“When half of the student body speaks another language, it’s almost completely devooneh that we haven’t offered this class already! Yes, Hebrew is critical, Spanish necessary, but Farsi makes just as much sense. Whether it’s an advanced language course for the Persian kids to really hone their skills, or a beginners course for those with a penchant for Persian cuisine who simply want to be able to order aash at Attari, I’m really looking forward to being at the forefront of what I know will be an incredible course.”


Khodafes, and see you all in Ms. Khorsandi’s Farsi class next year!