Umm Sumaira, Founder of Urdu Adventures
Whilst studying for her degree Umm Sumaira taught ESOL English classes and also tutored children in chemistry and biology from 11 plus right up to A-level. She loved teaching and it was an ideal way for me to escape from my degree and earn some money while doing it.
I revisited this earlier passion for teaching when I became a mum and wanted to explore a new way of learning Urdu within a family setting. I was learning and implementing the Montessori way in various areas of our life. I started to look for Montessori inspired Urdu resources to use at home with my kids. I was shocked to find no good quality resources existed let alone Montessori inspired. All I could find was the pehli (1st grade) and dusri (2nd grade) kitaab that someone had got from Pakistan. This research quickly highlighted how well-designed materials for other topics were compared to Urdu, and I started to make my own unique materials.
All my teaching experience, coupled with the enhanced mind-set knowledge, I learnt while studying as a life coach, positioned me well to work with the typical barriers us mothers face when embarking on this Urdu journey.
Urdu Adventures was born out of a passion for me wanting my kids to learn Urdu which further explored into me wanting to have a bigger impact and bring Urdu into as many homes as possible.
I researched and found most mums had the same problem. At best, children seemed to understand the language but didn’t speak it. I wanted my kids to have fun and engaging lessons with a group of kids to learn with them, so I started a group Zoom class.
I was having so much fun along with the kids that they moved up a level, and more kids came on board. Over the next two years, I then went on to teach Urdu with great success, with over 800 pupils completing level 1 at Urdu Adventures.
The rest is history. Mum's feedback and support has allowed me to improve with every child and fine-tune my syllabus and course.
I am very passionate about Urdu and even more passionate about getting Urdu into your homes. My innermost desire is to want to support you to teach your own child on a long-term basis. Even if your child only completes Level 1 or 2 with Urdu Adventures, my fervent hope would be that your Urdu Adventure didn’t stop there. If you know the language, I want to support you in becoming your child’s Urdu teacher and really owning that title.
I have been able to develop methods that are working with my own children and my students, and I am now ready to share them with you so that you can replicate my tried and tested methods at home.
I feel so blessed, and I’m happier having already got two years’ experience. Coupled with my passion and love for the Urdu language, my ambition of teaching my children how to speak Urdu has got me focused on my goal, and positions me well to help you help your children in the best way!’
When I look back on my life, I can see a pattern emerge. I enjoy spending time with children; I enjoy inspiring others and giving back to the community. As I was studying, my career goals centred around Pharmacy, the aspects that struck me when I was learning to be a pharmacist were those that attracted me to teaching in the first place—helping others to make the best decisions. Whether it’s for their health, mental wellbeing or education, the feeling I get from inspiring the next generation is second to none. The beauty of making an impact and changing the future is a gift I can’t ignore.
Why teach Urdu?
When I was frantically looking for online resources to aid the Urdu learning of my children, what was it that propelled me forward again and again? What was it that meant I couldn’t let this desire go, no matter how hard I was finding it? The answer is one word: Connection.
I had a deep desire to connect my children with their grandparents. I am very fortunate that both my parents speak English, however my kids Dado (Dad’s mum) doesn’t and they have picked up more English due to the grandkids than the other way round. I wanted to instil a lifelong connection that bridged generational gaps and deepened cultural roots all at once. That was language. Our language. My mother tongue. By teaching my children Urdu, I was ensuring that the cultural heritage was honoured and passed on. I felt it was one of our children’s rights upon us. We must strive to fulfil this right as best we can.