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Mother to start ‘first’ formal Urdu classes in Ilford

Lovepreet Singh and Julliette Chowdhury with children who will learn Urdu and Panjabi at the community centre in Ilford Lovepreet Singh and Julliette Chowdhury with children who will learn Urdu and Panjabi at the community centre in Ilford

Monday, June 23, 2014
2:32 PM

A mother has set-up a business teaching Indian Punjabi and Urdu to children so they can better understand their cultural heritage.

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Juliet Chowdhury, 36, of Ilford, will teach her first class this Saturday at the Clementswood Community Centre in Connaught Road, Ilford.

The Pakistan-born mother-of-three began giving her children, aged four, six and 10, Urdu lessons at home so that they could understand her culture and enjoy the literature of the nation she left for Redbridge in 2003.

She soon noticed there was a gap in the market for lessons when she realised there are no formal Urdu classes in the area.

Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, is commonly spoken in Ilford by new immigrants and at Pakistani events, according to Juliet.

She thinks the area could be more inclusive if a greater number of people were able to speak it as a second language.

Second-generation immigrants, she said, would be able to communicate with their elder relatives and learn more about their identity.

Mrs Chowdhury said: “There are no Urdu classes in the area that’s why I’ve decided to open these.

“They allow children to be bilingual and therefore give them more tools to understand our culture.”

The classes are £5 per session and designed for children aged four to 11. The maximum class size will be 20 children.

Wilson, Juliet’s husband and the chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, has helped set up the classes and thinks they will also improve employment prospects for local children.

He said: “Being bilingual gives you the opportunity to work as a translator. Schools here in Redbridge need Urdu and Punjabi translators.”

For more information call 020 8514 0861 or email eibp@hotmail.co.uk.

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