Why Teaching Urdu to My Child is So Important to Me.

When I think about raising Tamanna in America, there are some things that I hope to accomplish as a parent. One of them is that she learns how to speak, read, and write in Urdu. Being raised here, I primarily spoke English. I know how to read and write but on a beginners level(so I will be learning along with Tamanna)

My dad tried very hard to teach me and my sister but he didn’t make it fun so me and my sister weren’t interested and didn’t want to learn how to read and write in Urdu(but I’m glad he made the effort and at this point in my life I really appreciate that). We did learn the basics thou.

Unlike my childhood years, now I love Urdu!!! And I hope to pass this on my my child. I know this will be difficult, but very rewarding. Teaching her Urdu will also keep her connected to her culture.

There are numerous benefits of bilingualism. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

 I want to be able to teach Tamanna this beautiful language and for her to pass it on to her kids.

I learned Urdu because my mother did not understand English, and she only communicated with me in Urdu. Now Pakistani/American mothers of my generation mostly all speak in English, our kids will not have to learn Urdu, unless we decide to teach it to them. I also know many Pakistani Americans that don’t know Urdu, or hardly know how to speak it, imagine the next generation. 

When I  start teaching her Urdu,I want to make sure I make it fun, interesting,and appealing and not overwhelming. I want her to be eager to learn it!! I don’t just want her to learn, and then hardly ever speak it. At home we will mostly speak Urdu, since at school and other places she will have to communicate in English. 

For now I read to her in Urdu and sing her Urdu nursery rhymes. When she gets older I’m going to plan out tons of Urdu games and activities. We will have Urdu words and phrases hung around our home. I’m big on making learning fun and not a chore.  

Teaching her Urdu won’t be hard at all. The hard part will be making sure she stays interested and doesn’t forget it as she grows up, or choose not to speak it. My Urdu speaking skills started to lack as I grew older and hardly spoke Urdu(until I got married and mostly spoke Urdu with my husband). 

I want Tamanna to be connected to her roots even though she will be raised in America. I honestly can’t wait to take her to Pakistan and show and teach her all the beautiful aspects about her motherland and mother tongue. I want her not just to know it, but love it and be proud of it!!! 

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