My story begins at Shokouh English Institute in 1988. The very first English class I attended as a 12-year-old was where I met the most unforgettable English teacher of my life: Mr. Shahram Sabaghzadeh. He was wearing periwinkle blue Paco pants, a Lacoste t-shirt, with a pair of Rayban sunglasses on his head, and carrying a Samsonite briefcase in hand. So mesmerized was I by the magical teaching tools he pulled out of his briefcase that I did not realize I was in the wrong classroom. Instead, I thought to myself, “This is it! This is who I want to become, and a school like this is what I want to build.”
Seven years later, I still could not stop dreaming, so I opened my first language school at my house. Having educated myself in the field of English language teaching for six years at Azad University, I found my 26-year-old self-standing in front of Mehrdad Language Academy, my very own institute. Now this has been a place to help realize the dreams of language enthusiasts since 2003. But my perfectionist ego didn’t let me stop there. I had to earn my PhD to make sure I could overcome any challenge! Even equipped now with an advanced degree (a PhD from Universiti Putra Malaysia), I frequently take part in a wide range of face-to-face and online educational programs offered by American and British institutions.
This is the story of me writing the award-winning Magic Phonics series that helped me teach the beloved Iranian children all over my country. I believe that there is nothing as rewarding as teaching young learners and helping them climb the ladder of mastering a global language.
Back in 2000, I had my first unsuccessful experience teaching my two German students how to read and write in English. I did very well with their oral/aural skills but not their literacy part.
A few years later, in 2008, when I was observing classes in an early childhood center in Singapore, I was inspired by how two-year-old Singaporeans were reading English words and short sentences using locally-developed materials. However, not until I became a father myself, did I fully realize that the available phonics books, were not efficient enough to teach “Iranian children” how to become literate before going to school. And this finally motivated me to author the Magic Phonics series between 2010 and 2016. As I had expected this series turned out to be hugely successful.
The success that I have achieved through developing the Magic Phonics series has taught me to never stop developing my professional skills because there’s always a simpler and more professional way to help and teach children, the precious human beings who bring light into my life.