In-Depth Post #6

Progress Report

I have started brainstorming ideas for my short story. My mentor suggested that I should write a story in a similar format to traditional Punjabi fables, which usually have moral and animal characters. By writing a fable, I will be representing elements of Punjabi culture in my story, and it will be easier to present on stage as they are usually simple. I now have more frequent mentor meetings to prepare for my presentation as speaking Punjabi on stage is a daunting task requiring significant practice.

My goals for my presentation are to begin with an introduction where I can showcase the conversational elements I have learned and then present my short story with emotion and voices for the characters to make it exciting and bring the characters to life.

In-Depth Presentation

For my In-Depth night presentation, I will be presenting a short story in Punjabi on stage. My story will be relatively straightforward, as speaking clearly in Punjabi on stage will take a great deal of practice and preparation. My story will follow a similar format to many Punjabi fables with a moral. My story moral will be, “no one is useless,” because, throughout my In-Depth project, I discovered that I could overcome any obstacle with some effort, guidance, and motivation. Using a short story as my final presentation summarizes many of the skills I learned throughout this project, including writing and grammar, which will be displayed in the writing of my story, and speaking and confidence, which will be displayed on stage. I will also include some conversational elements in my presentation by doing sections of my introduction in Punjabi and translating those sections into English. The audience will follow along as I read my short story by looking at the projector screen, which will have each line of my story written in Punjabi with an English translation beneath it. After each line, I will also say the English translation to ensure it is easy for the audience to follow along.

In-Depth Post #5

My Progress

Since the previous blog post, I have been practicing most of the same activities, including reading comprehensions, conversations with my mentor, grammar practice, and writing in my journal, so to avoid repetition, I will only be covering the new concepts learned during this period. During this interval, I also had fewer mentor meetings due to packing for my TALONS Adventure Trip and soccer finals.

While reading a poem in my reading comprehension book, I came across a common technique used in Punjabi while speaking in an informal environment. The technique consists of saying two rhyming words, with the first words having a meaning and the latter being meaningless. For example, ਪਾਣੀ ਧਾਣੀ, with ਪਾਣੀ meaning water and ਧਾਣੀ being meaningless. This technique adds flavour and variety to conversations in an informal setting; however, this is not used in formal settings or while writing (except when writing dialogue). I was interested in this technique as I wanted to use it in my story to make my characters more realistic when they are speaking. My mentor explained what the technique is and its uses. Then to become comfortable with this new concept, I practiced using it in conversations with my mentor and around the house while talking with my family. I also used this technique in my most recent journal entry.



The cow’s colour is white.

It has four legs, two ears, and one tail.

It eats grass and drinks water (ਪਾਣੀ means water, ਧਾਣੀ is meaningless).

It gives milk.

Milk is very beneficial for health.

Learning this new technique will significantly benefit my story as it will make it more creative and engaging because my characters will seem more realistic. By practicing this technique through conversation and in my journal, I will develop a deep enough understanding to use it in my story. My next steps are to begin working on my final story as In-Depth Night is on May 31st, which gives me one month to write, refine and record my story. I will likely be presenting my story in video format on stage.

What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor provides me with resources, including workbooks, storybooks, and dictionaries, exposing me to new Punjabi words and concepts. Another learning opportunity my mentor provides is participating in mock conversations to help improve my speaking and pronunciation. My mentor can guide me by having these conversations and correcting my pronunciation or teaching me common idioms used while speaking with others in an informal setting.

What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

Some learning opportunities that I used to reinforce my learning are writing in a journal and trying to speak Punjabi more around my house. These strategies allow me to practice writing and speaking Punjabi outside of mentor meetings and increase my proficiency in these areas. Writing in a journal allows me to reinforce my printing, spelling, and sentence structure. Speaking Punjabi around my house allows me to build confidence and fluency and learn the differences in speaking and writing in Punjabi.

What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

To accelerate my learning, I practice Punjabi outside of my mentor meetings to ensure I become proficient at the concept I am learning, so I can learn something new during the next meeting. Using this strategy makes my mentor meetings more valuable as I can use my mentor’s guidance to ensure I grasp the new concepts and answer any questions I have instead of spending my meetings practicing topics I already know. Since practicing a language involves repetition and using it during daily life, I do not need to spend time with my mentor doing repetitive exercises as I can do them in my own time.

When you get together what do you talk about?

During my mentor meeting, my mentor and I begin by looking at my most recent journal entry. I read out my entry which is usually a short poem that incorporates a concept I learned from our last meeting, and my mentor provides feedback, including correcting any spelling errors and checking the use of the new concept I learned. Then I practice my reading and speaking by reading aloud a short story and then answering questions about the story to check my comprehension. Each story also includes a new writing or speaking element, which I learn with my mentor and try to include in my next journal entry. Finally, I either practice conversations with my mentor or learn about grammar.

What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Something that is going exceptionally well in our relationship is that I know I am in a comfortable and safe environment when working with my mentor, where I can make mistakes and ask questions. Since my mentor is my mother, I already felt comfortable around her, which allowed me to try speaking without the fear of embarrassing myself openly. This relationship allowed me to build confidence in my speaking ability and learn at an efficient rate because there was one fewer obstacle to overcome. Another aspect that is going particularly well in my mentoring relationship is keeping our meeting formal and free of distractions despite having my mother as my mentor. Keeping meetings formal also allows me to learn at an efficient pace.

What are you learning about one another?

I have learned about my mentor that she is very supportive and patient. For example, if I have trouble learning a new topic or keep making the same mistake, my mentor will calmly correct me regardless of how often I repeatedly mispronounce or misspell a word. My mentor will also guide me and provide me with strategies to grasp concepts that I struggle to understand. For example, if I am struggling with differentiating the sounds of two vowels in Punjabi, then my mentor will provide me with exercises I can do to improve and avoid making this error.

In-Depth Post #4

My Progress

Since my previous blog post, I have made a great deal of progress, including continuing to do reading comprehensions and trying some mock conversations with my mentor. I also started a journal I use for weekly writing practice by writing a poem or a paragraph. Over spring break, I fit in some extra mentor meetings, which allowed me to learn some new concepts, such as grammar.

Similar to my previous blog post, most of my meetings are spent practicing reading through reading comprehension. Practicing reading will help me develop flow and speed, which is an essential skill to learn so I can eventually begin practicing adding emotion to my reading. Reading at a steady pace will allow me to add fluctuations to my volume and tone based on the piece of writing I am reading, and I will not be able to achieve this ability if my speech is slow and broken up. Also, answering questions at the end of each passage ensures that I understand the material I am reading. I must either use a Punjabi to English dictionary or ask my mentor when I do not know what a word or phrase means to answer the questions correctly. Learning these new words will expand my vocabulary, which will assist me in writing an interesting and exciting story.

Along with reading comprehension, I am also practicing my speaking by trying to converse with my mentor in Punjabi while asking questions or discussing topics. Talking casually with my mentor outside of scripted or mock conversations will significantly improve my speaking ability and confidence as I will be practicing many conversational skills in a natural environment. I will continue to do mock conversations with my mentor as they are helpful for learning common phrases and idioms as well as formal and casual speaking conventions. One area where I want to improve is my confidence while speaking. Occasionally, I cannot think of a response or start a conversation because I am worried that my sentence will not make sense or that I will mispronounce a word. To overcome this obstacle, I need to try speaking even if I am unsure about my speaking. Then if I make a mistake, my mentor will be able to use it as a learning opportunity and teach me about a new concept I did not know about before. Also, by trying and making mistakes, I will build my confidence.

Since my previous blog post, I have started a journal. I practice writing a poem or paragraph once a week in my journal. Using my journal helps me practice my printing and engage my creativity. Since I have only done one journal entry so far, my writing is simple. I usually only use simple sentences, basic vocabulary, and only one tense throughout the entire passage. As I continue to write in my journal, I will learn about grammar rules such as creating compound and complex sentences, writing in different tenses, and verb conjugation.

This is an example of a poem I wrote in my journal. It is a variation of the mango poem from In-Depth Post #2.

My following meeting goals are to continue practicing my reading, move on to more difficult passages, practice speaking, and continue writing in my journal. I will combat my fear of making a mistake and build my confidence while speaking. Once I feel comfortable with making mistakes, I will be able to learn from them and gain a deeper understanding of my topic. I will also continue trying to speak Punjabi while asking questions or discussing topics to practice my speaking further. Finally, I will continue to write in my journal every week and learn about grammar and writing conventions in Punjabi.

What has been your most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?

My most difficult mentoring challenge has been maintaining a consistent schedule for mentor meetings. Currently, my mentor meetings are scheduled for every Friday, which is usually an adequate time to fit my mentor’s and my schedules since it is directly before the weekend. However, occasionally we cannot meet on Fridays due to my mentor being busy or me being occupied with schoolwork. Once I miss my Friday meeting, I am forced to wait until next week because I have soccer games and volunteering over the weekend. Although this issue has become less prevalent since my previous blog post, I still struggle to maintain a concrete schedule. To combat this issue, I must keep myself accountable for my learning by finishing my schoolwork before Friday to ensure I do not have any urgent homework to complete that might force me to miss a meeting. By maintaining a consistent schedule, I will be able to continue to make progress on my project and learn valuable skills from my mentor that I would not be able to pick up myself.

What is working well? Why?

Something that is working well is that I am very interested in learning Punjabi, which allows me to be productive and focused during meetings. Being interested in my topic makes me fully invested in every meeting, resulting in more effective learning and enjoyable mentor meetings. Since I enjoy learning about Punjabi, I also work on skills such as reading and writing in my own time outside of mentor meetings, significantly speeding up my progress. This extra time investment will also enable me to learn more complex concepts and dive deeper into my topic before making my final product. Having already known the basics of Punjabi before starting this project allowed me to grasp concepts faster as I had a strong foundation of knowledge. Reaching my final goal of writing a story in Punjabi will be much easier if I enjoy the process, and my enjoyment and hard work will make the entire project worthwhile.

What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?

Something that I could improve is my reading speed. Currently, I struggle to build a flow while reading aloud, making my reading speed slow and broken up. Not being able to read aloud smoothly and fluently prevents me from telling a story with emotion, which is one of my goals for this project. Despite not being able to read quickly, my pronunciation is clear, and I can correctly sound out words that I do not know. Having the ability to sound out words accurately means I understand each letter’s sounds and how the vowels modify them. Since I understand the phonetics of Punjabi, I should eventually be able to read quickly with continued practice. Once I reach this milestone, I will be able to read stories with emotion, which is a significant component of my final product.

In-Depth Post #3

My Progress

Since my last blog post, I have made a great deal of progress towards my goal of writing and reciting a story in Punjabi. I implemented the changes I made to my plan to accommodate my faster pace, and I began reading comprehensions at the grade one level and writing practices.

To ensure I stayed on top of my learning and continued to progress steadily, I began reviewing the content from my previous meeting. My mentor tested me on the content covered during the prior week’s meeting to ensure I grasped the content I was learning. This strategy allowed me to identify areas where I needed to delegate more time for more practice and areas where I am strong and can continue to more complex topics.

Most of my mentor meetings were spent reading aloud to develop my pronunciation and flow while reading. I used a Punjabi to English dictionary to look up words that I did not know, which ensured I understood the story I was reading and helped expand my vocabulary with new and exciting words. I have noticed improvement since my previous blog post as I am reading faster with more accuracy. I am also confusing the vowels kannaa and lavan less frequently, which shows I overcame the challenge mentioned in my second blog post. However, I have not successfully added emotion to my reading yet as I cannot read fluently enough. I understand that building the fluency to read accurately with emotion will take time, and my mentor told me I should not be frustrated over this as it is a difficult skill to learn.

After completing each story that I read, I answer some questions about the story in Punjabi. This activity allows me to check how much of the story I understood and practice my writing skills. A small project I completed during this biweekly period was writing my introduction.



My name is Mahtab.

I am fourteen years old.

I am in the nineth grade.

I live in Canada.

I have one brother.

My next meetings goals are to continue reading comprehensions at the grade one level, try some mock conversations with my mentor, and complete more simple writing projects. Continuing to practice reading aloud through reading comprehension will further increase my fluency and understanding of Punjabi and eventually lead to reading with emotion. Practicing mock conversations with my mentor will force me to develop sentences in my head instead of reading them off a page. These conversations will improve my pronunciation and confidence while speaking. Finally, completing more simple writing projects will further my proficiency in printing and improve my grammar.

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

Some aspects of my mentoring sessions that went particularly well were that I felt comfortable while communicating with my mentor, I had access to many helpful resources during meetings, I was making steady progress towards my goal. Since my mentor is my mother, I did not have to face the barrier of becoming comfortable while communicating and learning with my mentor. Comfortably communicating and asking questions helped me progress quickly and understand and practice concepts thoroughly because I openly talked with my mentor. Also, having access to many different resources, including workbooks at different grade levels, storybooks, and dictionaries, allowed me to effectively learn and practice new skills with the guidance of my mentor and clear confusion independently without needing to ask my mentor. Having access to great resources and communicating openly with my mentor allowed me to progress towards writing and reciting a story in Punjabi.

What learning challenges emerged?

A learning challenge that emerged during my mentor meetings was that I became frustrated after making similar mistakes repeatedly. For example, I frequently confuse ਹਾਂ (first person, present form of to be verbs) and ਹੈ (singular, third person, present form of to be verbs). To overcome this challenge, I need to take a second to calm down when I am frustrated, as I cannot effectively learn when I am angry. Then I need to ask my mentor to explain the situations where each word is used to understand the words better because once I understand how each word is used, I will be able to apply this knowledge while I am reading. This plan should allow me to overcome situations where I repeatedly make the same mistake. To hold myself accountable for my learning, I started each mentor meeting by reviewing the content from the previous one and having my mentor test my knowledge to see how much progress I am making. This strategy also allows me to adapt my plan to accommodate areas that I might need to emphasize by taking time to do extra practice or areas that need less emphasis and continue can to the next concept.

What logical challenges affected your communication?

Some challenges that affected my communication were maintaining a consistent schedule for meetings and getting distracted. My mother is often busy doing chores around the house, and although we agreed to meet on Friday evenings, we are occasionally unable to meet and are forced to reschedule our meeting to a later date because the time is not suitable for my mentor or myself. To overcome this challenge, my mentor and I could try to ensure we can attend the meetings on Fridays by finishing any work beforehand and clearing our schedules, or we could decide to change meetings to a more suitable day that accommodates both of our schedules. However, meetings must be consistent as have a set day each week to ensure they stay formal and productive. Another challenge I face is becoming distracted by other family members in the house, which reduces meeting productivity and formality. To overcome this challenge, I have already implemented the strategy of informing my family members that I will have a meeting with my mentor and moving to a quiet environment to have meetings, such as my living room. This strategy has proved effective as there are much fewer distractions while I am attending meetings.

In-Depth Post #2

My Progress

My progress so far has included learning the alphabet, reading, speaking, and counting. Most of this was a review which allowed me to speed through each subject faster than I was expecting. I have made changes to my plan to accommodate my faster pace, and I will begin first-grade reading comprehension and writing practice.

I began my session with my mentor by reviewing the alphabet and practicing proper pronunciations for each letter. I had little trouble with this task because I knew the Punjabi alphabet. However, I faced a slight challenge when practicing the letter sounds. Punjabi has a powerful accent compared to English, and I struggled to put an ample amount of emphasis on each sound because it felt unnatural. I overcame this slight setback by practicing.

Then I progressed to reading simple words. I practiced reading and speaking words without vowels and then words with each of the twelve vowels in Punjabi. I spent two weeks learning and practicing my reading skills. The first week was spent going over the different vowel sounds and combining them with letters and other vowels to create many different words. The vowels that I found challenging to learn were kannaa which creates an “aa” sound as in “awe” or “paw,” and lavan, which creates the “ae” sound as in “rain” or “hay”. I frequently mixed up these two vowels sounds because they were very similar. I overcame this challenge by relating each sound to a similar sound in English, which allowed me to grasp and better remember the difference between the kannaa and lavan. After mastering each vowel, I started reading small poems to increase my fluency and proficiency. I found reading poems to be a helpful tool when learning to read because many of them consisted of rhyming couplets and had a rhythm, which made it easier for me to gain a flow while speaking.

This an example of a poem I read

By working with my mentor while learning Punjabi, I have also picked up some strategies my mentor uses while teaching that will help my development as a mentor. For example, I learned that a mentor acts as more of a supervisor than a teacher, allowing the mentee to discover and learn independently and only stepping when they are stuck or ready to move on to the next topic. My mentor helps guide me through challenges by asking questions that encourage me to think deeply and critically to overcome struggles instead of holding my hand to get through the difficulty.

A piece of wisdom I have gained from my mentor is that learning a new skill, especially a language, takes a great deal of time and dedication. Mastery cannot be obtained in a skill with only a half-hearted effort, so I must be fully invested in learning and practicing Punjabi. Dedication is being committed to reaching my goals and practicing every day to ensure I achieve them in a timely manner. However, cutting corners to reach milestones faster will only give surface-level understanding, which gives a false sense of proficiency in a skill. Deeply studying and understanding my skill will allow me to gain confidence in my abilities and use it in real life.

My next steps will be to begin first grade reading comprehensions and writing practice. Reading comprehension will allow me to gain a better understanding of text, allowing me to add emotion to my final story when I record it. Also, reading will help build my vocabulary. I will also begin writing practice which will begin with a review of writing the letters and vowels. Then I will learn about different tenses.

My Mentor

My mentor was able to gain her expertise at speaking Punjabi by speaking the language for her entire life. My mentor was born in Punjab, India, where she learned to speak the state’s official language, Punjabi. She later received her Master of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees before becoming a secondary school teacher. My mentor taught Punjabi for over nine years, making her highly accustomed to teaching Punjabi.

Punjabi was my mentors first language. It holds great value to her since it is her mother tongue, and she grew up speaking the language. She believes that your first language is the most valuable as learning starts at home not in a school. My mentor wanted to teach Punjabi so she could share her knowledge with the youth, in hopes of them passing on the Punjabi to their children.

“Teaching a language is not easy, it takes many steps and knowledge must be built up over many years. However, language is a skill students will use every day for their entire lives and having the opportunity to teach them this essential skill brought me great joy.”

Daljit Khangura

In-Depth Introductory Blog Post

About In-Depth

The In-Depth project is an annual five-month-long project done by all the students in the TALONS program. The project’s goal is to learn everything about a topic of interest. Students will study their skills alongside a mentor who is an expert in the area, creating a blog post at the end of every biweekly period to show their progress. At the end of the project, students will demonstrate their learning in a way they feel is appropriate for their chosen skill; this should display their proficiency in the skill.   

My Chosen Skill

For my 2022 In-Depth project, I have chosen to learn how to read, write, and speak Punjabi. Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and is spoken by over 122 million individuals worldwide. Punjabi has two different alphabets: Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. The Gurmukhi alphabet is usually used in India (this is the one I will be learning), while the Shahmukhi alphabet is commonly used in Pakistan.

Punjabi Gurmukhi alphabet (

Why I want to Learn Punjabi

It has always been my dream to become fluent in my parent’s native language, Punjabi. Becoming fluent in Punjabi will allow me to comfortably talk to more of my relatives and teach the language to my future children. I will also feel more connected to India and my family’s home state of Punjab, and I will be able to ensure my children feel this same connection. Another reason I want to learn Punjabi is to read and understand the Sikh religious texts, as religion is a significant part of my life and forms the basis of many of my values.

My Prior Knowledge

Currently, I can easily understand speech, but I cannot have conversations because I am not confident in my ability to speak Punjabi. I need to practice my pronunciation, as I cannot clearly say some words due to my accent. My reading ability is not highly developed either. I can read simple text slowly, but I cannot comprehend more complex passages as my vocabulary is small. My small vocabulary also means it is difficult for me to write engaging and varied sentences and spell words correctly.

My Plan

My plan for learning how to read, write, and speak Punjabi is to gradually build up my proficiency in these skills during the five-month duration of the project, then write a story and record myself reciting it. I will review what I already know by reading and speaking the alphabet and words and phrases with and without vowels. Then I will practice my writing by copying words from a workbook and through dictation, reading by doing reading comprehensions at increasing grade levels, and speaking through mock conversations with my mentor. My final assessment of creating and reciting a story will rigorously test what I have learned. The quality of my story, measured by its creativity, originality, sentence structure, and vocabulary, will display how far my writing skills have progressed, and the quality of the recording, assessed by its clarity, pronunciation, emotion, will show my progress in my speaking and reading ability.

Examples of Punjabi stories:

Review what I already know about reading and speaking. Reading and speaking the alphabet, and words and phrases with and without vowels.January
Practice writing words, first by copying from a workbook, then through dictation. February
Start doing reading comprehensions at the first grade level, and begin a journal to practice my writing skills (should be worked on weekly). March
Progress to completing reading comprehensions at the second grade level, and practice speaking by doing mock conversations. April
Begin work on final project. Present the final product and celebrate appropriately.May

My Mentor

My mentor is my mother, Daljit Khangura. She lived in Punjab, India, where she spoke Punjabi for the majority of her life. She also has a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Education and nine years of teaching Punjabi at the high school level in India. I will be meeting with my mentor once a week on Fridays. During these sessions, my mentor will guide me towards my final goal of writing a story. I will also be able to ask any questions that may arise during my journey. Some of the resources we will be using include Punjabi to English dictionaries, writing workbooks, and reading comprehension workbooks.

I am looking forward to pursuing this project and learning a skill I have wanted to learn for many years. I hope that with the assistance of my mentor, my journey will be successful, and I will finally be able to speak in my parents’ native language.      

John C. Maxwell – The 360° Leader

John C. Maxwell (

“Be willing to do what others won’t”

(Maxwell, 2006)

            John Maxwell explains that a 360° Leader must be willing to do what others will not to lead up. They are willing to take the tough jobs and put themselves on the line; this earns them the respect of their leader. This quote stood out to me because I have experienced many situations where I needed to take the initiative in difficult situations, especially in sports. For example, I take penalty kicks on my soccer team. This role requires putting myself on the line in high-stress scenarios and confronting the grueling mental battle of stepping up to the penalty spot. These skills can be applied in the TALONS program, especially during event planning. An invaluable committee member has a whatever-it-takes attitude and takes ownership during challenging circumstances and exceeds.

Take Ownership (

For example, if a crucial aspect of an event is missed during planning, a 360° Leader will go beyond expectations and take control of the situation. These actions show that they are willing to do what others will not. By employing this technique when I lead, I can prove that I am a valuable member of the group because I will take the initiative and do more than expected. It will also allow me to succeed with difficult people because I will confront tricky circumstances. Also, putting myself on the line will make me a more effective leader because my group members are more likely to follow me when I am invested in the project. In summary, being willing to do what others will not is an essential skill to add value to a group and be a more effective and invested leader.

“Your job isn’t to fix the leader; it’s to add value.”

(Maxwell, 2006)
Add Value (

            Being caught in a situation where you are following an ineffective leader can be frustrating. However, instead of fixing or replacing the leader – which is inappropriate – change your attitude and add value to the leader. Everyone has had to follow an incompetent leader, so knowing how to highlight their strengths and complement their weaknesses is essential to ensure the project can be completed efficiently. Before adding value, it is imperative to build a solid relationship with the leader and appreciate their strengths. Only then can you begin to develop a plan with the leader to complement their weaknesses. In the TALONS program, everyone has the potential to be a very competent leader. However, being placed outside their comfort zone can be overwhelming. In this situation, it is essential to add value and assist them to grow as a leader. Trying to fix or replace the leader will not only cripple your relationship with them but will also be incredibly detrimental to the group’s workflow. Knowing how to add value to an incompetent leader will increase my influence, allowing me to lead the group further. Furthermore, adding value to my peers when I am a leader makes me more effective and influential. Also, knowing how to accept the value, other individuals add to complement my weaknesses and when to ask for assistance is essential in being an approachable and continually growing leader. If I am not willing to let others help me, I will not develop my leadership abilities.

“The Law of Influence: The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more – nothing less.”

(Maxwell, 2006)

            The Law of Influence states that leadership is measured by influence. Leadership is independent of position, meaning that the position does not make the leader; the leader makes the position. In other words, the amount of influence a leader possesses determines their strength, not their status in a company. The Law of Influence summarizes the entire book exceptionally well because the guide focuses on leading from the middle. Leading in the middle requires influencing those below you and above you, and this can only be achieved by a leader who does not rely on their position for authority. This attribute is an essential skill to possess in the TALONS program since it is critical to lead effectively from anywhere. For example, even if you are not an organizer or have a designated leadership position during a trip, you must be able to take control of the situation if there is an emergency. It is evident in this situation that you do not always have a leadership position, and in order to lead in this scenario, it is necessary to have a strong influence. Recognizing that having influence is significantly more important than having a leadership position when trying to lead will significantly aid me in furthering my leadership skills. Instead of only taking charge when I have a leadership position, I will attempt to gain influence within the group by building chemistry with my peers and working for the benefit of the entire group. Gaining influence will allow me to lead from any position in the group, making me a more versatile leader.

Influence (

Sal Khan: Learning Center

Welcome to the Sal Khan Learning Center!


Sal Khan is an American educator who is redefining the education industry with his mastery-based approach to learning. He founded the popular online resource Khan Academy, and created a school around his mastery-based learning philosophy known as Khan Lab School. Khan focuses on allowing learners gain a complete understanding of subjects, and delve deep in topics beyond the curriculum.

Some of Sal Khans achievements include:

  • Receiving the Microsoft Education Award in 2009
  • Khan Academy receiving the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 2019
  • Founding Khan Academy in 2007
  • Featuring on the cover of Forbes Magazine for a story on “disrupters” shaking up education
  • Founding Khan Lab School in 2014
Sal Khan at Khan Lab School (Khan Lab School.

Video Series

The link to the next video will be located at the end each video. If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comment section below. Not in the YouTube comments.

Further Resources

Khan Academy

Khan Lab School


Barnard, B. (2021, September 4). Vaccinating Education: An Interview with Sal Khan. Forbes. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from

Beard, A. (2015, June 26). Life’s work: An interview with Salman Khan. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (2012, November 13). Salman Khan timeline. Daily Bulletin. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from

Khan, S. (2021, September). What is the history of Khan Academy? What is the History of Khan Academy. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from


Sal Khan.

Q&A with Khan Academy founder and commencement speaker Sal Khan. Q&A with Khan Academy founder and commencement speaker Sal Khan | The Dartmouth.

How Sal Khan launched a revolution in online learning. How Sal Khan launched a revolution in online learning | Stanford Graduate School of Education.

Khan Academy.

Khan Lab School.

Adults, kids learning with Khan Academy.

Eminent Person Interview Reflection

Attempting to get an interview for my Eminent Person project was a frustrating yet insightful experience. Even though I sent four emails, I received no replies. However, I still learned many valuable skills during the process of creating and sending my emails. First, I learned how to construct a well-worded, formal, and polite email by properly greeting and thanking my interviewee and explaining the project, the TALONS program, and my goals for the interview. I ensured that I kept the date and time flexible because it would increase the likelihood of my interviewee accepting since they are probably busy. This skill was valuable, not only for the Eminent Person project but also for my Digital Literacy assignment, where I was instructed to create another formal email. Also, in the future, I will need to compose formal emails on many occasions, such as for assignments and jobs. Another skill I learned while preparing for a possible interview was how to write questions. The questions should be specific, so they are simple for the interviewee to answer but open-ended enough to add details and interesting facts. Also, while practicing for my interview, I became confident at asking relevant follow-up questions on the spot, making my interview feel natural and allowing me to gain more information.

            However, despite learning many new skills, I did not get the opportunity to test my interviewing skills. Not receiving this opportunity was frustrating because I spent a reasonable amount of time preparing by doing practice interviews, making questions, and constructing four different emails. One factor that played a role in not receiving an interview was that the contacts of the individuals I intended to interview were usually locked behind paywalls, so the sites I got them from were slightly questionable. Next year I might consider paying a few dollars to obtain more reliable contacts, or I could interview someone in a similar field like a university student as they are easier to contact. Unfortunately, someone in the same field will not answer more specific questions as they probably have not extensively researched my eminent person.

            Although not receiving an interview was frustrating, the whole experience was incredibly beneficial because I became proficient in many new skills. I learned how to construct a formal email, a skill that will prove to be extremely useful for the remainder of my academic and professional career. Also, I honed my interviewing skills throughout the entire process, and I am confident that I will have more success in obtaining an interview next year.