From Dunce to Dynamic

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Kashmir’s popular English language trainer Adil Ahangar overcame stammer and the depression caused by the speech disorder in his teens 

Bisma Manzoor
The man who stammered till he more than 15 and fought depression caused by this speech disorder is today one of the most popular English language trainers of Kashmir. He is Adil Ahangar, a 29-year-old of Sekidafar in downtown Srinagar.
Funnily, Adil calls himself a dunce in his school days. “I lacked the ability to speak well, and was highly conscious of it,” he says. He has come a long way from the years of lack. Adil has enabled hundreds of Kashmiri children to speak fluent English.  
The English language is a work in progress. Have fun with it. So said John Culver, an American politician. Adil knows that a child can have fun with a language only if he/she knows it well. He is also acutely aware of the global utility of English in every field. Many of his former students teach across various schools in Kashmir.
Adil became an English language trainer in 2009, when he was studying in Class 12. In addition to imparting language skills, Adil enables children to gain confidence and have a positive approach. Adil often tells children about how he successfully overcame his drawbacks. He speaks of the time when he used to cram for exams but forgot everything in the examination hall. He inspires students to overcome this barrier by learning to think creatively and be self-sufficient in all spheres.
“I was in Class 6 when my result was handed to my mother with a negative remark about me. My mother admitted me in the academy of Dr. Zahoor Ahmad Zadoo, my maternal uncle. I was hesitant and did not want to join, but my mother persuaded me. Today I thank her, for it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life,” says the language trainer.
Adil joined the Interactive English Language Centre in 2004 when he was in Class 7. He learned for three years and later joined the academy as a trainer. He has been teaching at the popular Libra English Academy since October 2009. He has also taught in numerous language centers, and even taught at the school where he studied. Adil is currently working at Kashmir Harvard Educational Institute.
Love for English language
Adil is fond of reading English literature. “Reading is nutrition for the healthy mind. Those who don’t read suffer from mental malnutrition,” says Adil. He has extensively read William Shakespeare, John Miltons, TS Eliot, William Wordsworth, Leo Tolstoy, Rousseau, Socrates, Khalid Husseini, Yasmin Mugahad, Shanaz Bashir, Basharat Peer and others. Adil is especially fond of reading Tolstoy, Shakespeare and Shahnaz Bashir.
Adil trains children in public speaking and soft skills, and is fond of public speaking. He has been associated with Toastmasters International and has served as vice-president for his club. Failure is not the bar; the bar is to think not to do, believes Adil.

Upcoming Book on English Language 

Adil is currently working on a book which focuses on basic to advanced grammar, communication skills, basic vocabulary and the comprehensive methods of learning English. He is currently pursuing B.Ed and plans to do PhD in English literature. He has started his own language training academy to help more and more students.
Adil is full of gratitude towards his parents for giving him the best they could, and standing by him at all times. His father Mr Mohammad Ashraf is a blacksmith by profession, and his mother Mrs Shaheena Akhtar is a home maker. “My parents compromised with their bread, butter and clothing, but not the education of my brothers and me,” he says. Adil laughs at how his friends are sometimes amazed to find him talking to himself. “I do so to improve my language skills,” he says.
Adil is invited in different schools and institutes for workshops. He has trained teachers in different schools in soft skills, including Standard Public School, Milad Educational Institute, Libra English Academy etc. Adil has also trained teachers of various schools like Hatrick, Jehlum Public School, IDPS through Libra English Academy. His message to teachers and students is to stay positive and confident in all situations. “Reading, writing, listening and speaking helps us in improving our language and also keeps us updated,” he advises. He is happy to have trained many students including professionals and businessmen in overcoming issues of English language speaking, public speaking, interviewing skills etc. He wants to continue to inspire more and more people to achieve these positive skills.

Pursue all-round development

Adil’s advice: Teachers must inculcate the art of speaking among students. They must also encourage children to value all subjects equally. Students often focus on math and science, marginalizing the other subjects. We are aware of the significance of English language and personality development. Cracking competitive exams is important. Equally important is performing well at interviews and group interactions. Hence all-round development is essential.

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