Published: 01st March 2020
This man who once failed in English now runs an English training academy and can speak in 5 accents
Ramesha A speaks about how he mastered the art of speaking English in different accents. He now runs his own English training academy to train thousands of students and working professionals
Whether we like it or not, decent knowledge of the English language is a necessity and has become an important factor for anyone who wants to bag a well-paying job, believes Ramesha A from Kolar who runs Daffodils English Training Academy. You might think that it's no big deal if a person is running an English academy but Ramesha's story of what led him to start this academy is one for the books. Recalling his initial days, when he did not know a single word in English, he narrates, "Having studied in a Kannada medium school, I never took the English language seriously. I always found it tough and did not bother about it during exams except for trying really hard to score pass marks. In 2011, when I failed the second PUC exams, I was shocked. English was the reason I failed. Anyone in my place would have given up and taken it as an insult but my aim was to not give up learning English because I always wanted to secure a degree. I worked hard for a year to learn English, frame sentences correctly and finally, I passed the English language exam of second PUC in 2012."
Within a year, Ramesha became sort of famous for passing the exam. What he did to achieve this milestone can serve as an example to many youngsters today. "For a year, I did not speak in Kannada with my family members. Though I spoke broken sentences and incorrect grammar, I continued to speak in English. My mother would laugh at me or get angry for not speaking Kannada at home. People treated me differently. They called me a mad person and yes, I was mad about learning something that I did not know." When people began to ignore Ramesha, he would communicate with nature in English. He spoke to the trees, birds and animals around him. That's how he improved his English and eventually passed the exams. "Students would ask me about the methods I used to learn English and how I passed the exams. I realised that many people want to learn English and I wanted to start classes for them. After I started pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Arts, I would take hour-long English classes for students who had failed in this subject. What started in a small room that day, today, it has become a new academy. That’s how Daffodils English Training Academy was born in 2016."
Ramesha A, English trainer
Currently, Ramesha teaches more than 100 students and the classes take place from 8 am to 8 pm every day. He says, "I divide batches according to the students' age groups. I have students from all age groups — from an 18-year-old to a senior citizen. The duration of these classes is different for every course. While basics can be learnt in a month or so, it takes time to learn phonetics, grammar and other aspects." Beyond just learning the language, he learnt different accents too. Today, as an international accent trainer, there are youngsters working in different BPOs who attend his classes to receive training in various accents. He says, "As my English improved, I started watching movies and observed the accent of the characters and how they spoke. Finding it interesting, I started speaking in British and American accents. Then gradually, I learnt Singaporean, South African and Malaysian accents too. While the Singaporean and Malaysian way of speaking English is similar, South African is a little different. They, and Indians too, have the influence of their mother tongue when speaking English. Professionals or students who visit these countries for work or higher studies learn the English accent of these countries from me."
You will be surprised to know that this young man has not limited his work to earn money by teaching English. He is also a resource person who teaches English in many government schools. "Now, it is exam time for the students, so currently, there are no classes. Otherwise, I allocate an hour every day to teach English in government schools in and around Kolar. Apart from this, my academy has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with the government PUC and degree colleges and so, I teach college students for an hour too. My weekdays and weekends are absolutely packed with English classes and I never get bored of it. In fact, I feel happy and it has impacted my family in such a way that my mother can also speak English now," he shares and laughs.
Ramesha also tells about some other fabulous opportunities he has been given. In 2018, Ramesha travelled to Singapore to work as a guide for tourists. Here, he would explain everything to tourists in their preferred English accent. When we ask him about the opportunity, he says, "One of my friends who observed my skills, especially my accents and voice modulation, suggested that I try for the English Summer Programme organised by ELC Speaking, an organisation in Jakarta that conducts English speaking classes for people across the globe. These people get to visit different places in Singapore and Malaysia and learn English from teachers like me. When we take them to different places, we explain it to them in the accent they understand. I did this job for six months in 2018 and returned to Kolar to focus on my academy."