Coalition Language Representatives

Talat Awais is native Urdu speaker, born in Pakistan. She has over 30 years of experience with teaching and building educational programs in both private and non-profit institutions. She has taught in one of the leading and distinguished schools in Pakistan, Lahore Grammar School (LGS). She not only taught Computer Science and ICS (Intermediate in Computer Science) in this school and college, she was instrumental in establishing the computer labs. As head of the Computer Departments in multiple branches of LGS, she mentored her staff to produce love for the subject within the students and help them achieve high grades in both O’ and A’ Level Cambridge Exams. She has been trained at both Cambridge and Oxford and has multiple certifications related to best practices and techniques in teaching.

Currently she is playing the role of Language Program Director for Indus Arts Council’s Urdu program. Her passion for the Urdu language was evoked by her Urdu teacher while studying Urdu literature in O’Level. Her 7 years of experience with teaching Urdu in Houston ranges from ages K-12 to adults. Outside the Indus Arts Council, she has also taught Urdu to middle and high school students at Awty International School and other private schools in Houston.

Talat has attended several of StarTalk’s teacher training workshops since 2014, deepening her knowledge and understanding of methodologies involved in language teaching. She has also attended and conducted professional development workshops with the Indus Arts Council. She was the lead presenter at ACTFL 2018, on Effective Use of Resources for Language Learners. She is well versed in student assessment and has been ACTFL OPI certified since 2019. She also attended training on Performance Assessment at the Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington DC, in 2016. She completed New York University teacher training in 2021. She is well informed and skilled in the knowledge of StarTalk principles and ACTFL learning standards. Working as the lead instructor, she has applied this knowledge in designing the curricula for Indus Arts Council StarTalk summer programs since 2016. She successfully leads her team throughout the year for the Urdu Program run by Indus Arts Council in Houston TX. She has incorporated strategies using music, theater, storytelling and online games to make language learning a fun process. She has also brought her IT knowledge into designing innovative ways to teach Urdu both in class and online.

Talat is a self-directed, enthusiastic educator committed to student development and enhanced learning experience. She is skilled in designing innovative activities that challenge students while addressing their diverse needs and interests. She tailors her communication style and messages based on how the students learn best, while incorporating a variety of ways to present information to be learned. She believes in building teams through collaboration and open-mindedness to produce positive results and a more inspiring work environment. Her vision is to create an environment in every lesson for students to develop their language proficiency, develop language skills that will help them connect to their culture, and make them lifelong Urdu learners.

Shahid Iqbal is a native Urdu language speaker from Karachi, Pakistan. He is co-founder of Indus Arts Council, an Urdu heritage language school in the U.S, where he has worked for 8 years as the program director. He is responsible for promoting and developing Urdu classes in several areas of the Greater Houston, Texas, metropolitan area, including but not limited to community centers, private schools, and online (due to the pandemic). Shahid holds a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and certification in Capital Fundraising from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Shahid has chaired several committees for Urdu language education/development in the U.S., from local organizations to nationwide Urdu pedagogy consultants, institutes, and community groups. He has also led the teacher training program at Indus Arts Council since 2014. He is involved with the City of Houston, Harris County, and other local government agencies in promoting the use of the Urdu language in public service as well as in targeted community messages.

Since 2014, Shahid has served as the Program Director for the StarTalk Urdu summer camp in Houston, Texas. He has attended several StarTalk conferences and trainings and participated in ACTFL sessions and other groups as well. He has helped many other programs with applying for StarTalk grants. During his leadership, the Urdu summer camp program saw unprecedented growth and demand for Urdu language in Texas, Missouri, and California. Since 2019, Shahid has managed 2 pilot Urdu programs in St. Louis, MO and the Bay Area, California. In 2020, he is working to develop Urdu classes in the Virginia/Maryland/DC area.

Batool Moin is a native Urdu and Punjabi speaker, and she has been involved in the teaching of Urdu language and Pakistani culture in Texas through the Indus Art Council, teaching students of different ages. In June 2021, she was an Urdu instructor in the StarTalk Urdu Language program in Houston, Texas. She has helped students in middle and high school, as well as UT Austin and Cambridge IGCSE (Urdu as a Second Language) students, learn and speak Urdu with ease.

Batool holds a Bachelor's degree in Urdu literature, psychology, and Islamic studies from Punjab University, Pakistan. She studied Urdu grammar and text as a subject for more than 12 years. She has successfully completed a StarTalk training workshop in Urdu. She has completed the course (SPECIAL CONSIDERATION FOR INFECTION CONTROL DURING COVID-19) from Texas A&M. She completed teacher training in the Maryam Islamic Center School with workshops, classroom management, students with special needs and mental health, bullying depression and self-care, effective communication, professionalism, and tips on teaching Seerah.

Published: Monday, August 23, 2021