Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Shafin Ahmed on Spelling Bee

Quarter Final to air tonight

The rock star handling spelling matters.

The rock star handling spelling matters.

With another Quarter Final of “The Daily Star Spelling Bee” airing at 7:50 pm tonight on channel i, prominent musician Shafin Ahmed gives his take on the Spelling Bee and how it has fared this year.
“I think it has done pretty well so far. The kids are very enthusiastic. They love to spell and it shows. I think the quality of their spelling will only get better at this rate.”
However, he is quick to add that there is room for improvement, “Looking at the kids in some of the foreign Spelling Bees and seeing how they are spelling words you previously never heard of is amazing! We’re not there yet but I’m sure we will, in time.”
Shafin goes on to talk about how he always had an inclination for spelling and learning new words from his childhood. “My maternal grandfather, a lawyer, was instrumental in helping me learn new words when I was growing up. Whenever I came across a word that I was not familiar with, he’d tell me to look it up in the Chamber’s dictionary. Going through the pages and learning how to decipher a dictionary helped me remember the spellings of the words. Nowadays, I think that is something that is overlooked due to the advent of the internet and search engines.”
Although we are in the age of the internet and computers, Shafin feels that book reading is still very important. “Even though I am from a Bengali medium background, I always had a liking for English and would come top in English in class. Reading the newspapers and watching the news. I’d have to say that my English is mostly self taught.”
He also adds that there should be high priority in learning an international language. “It should not be a huge challenge learning both languages. English is a fairly simple language and easy to learn. And, I feel the Spelling Bee plays an important role in helping kids improve their English.”
How did Shafin become associated with the Spelling Bee? “I was there during the grooming session of the top 72 TV participants. I really wanted to give these kids advice, not only about how to combat pressure situations in front of a camera, but also on how to be confident.”
Shafin is very happy with the Spelling Bee this year and has nothing but praise for the participants. “These kids have come a long way, from amongst the two lakh that initially started the competition. They have the drive, determination and motivation to showcase their skills and make our country proud. I wish them all the best and hope to see them all as successful human beings and citizens of our nation.”