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A course developed to teach adults Gujarati ran from January to May this year at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan mandir, London. The course aimed to address a growing demand from parents unable to read or write Gujarati.

A total of 36 participants enrolled on the inaugural course, all of whom had varied levels of Gujarati knowledge, including some who had no previous knowledge at all. Beginning with the rudiments of recognising the Gujarati alphabet and correct pronunciation, through to comprehension and conversing, and eventually moving on to basic writing, the course moved swiftly to cover all the fundamental aspects of the language. To make the learning process fun and interactive, the course involved reading and practicing in pairs, group discussions and conversations, listening to stories online, copying stencils to develop handwriting, narrating short muted animations in Gujarati, and lots more.

The course ended with a test to assess the progress of the students, which everyone passed successfully. Most can now read, write simple sentences and converse in Gujarati slowly – with some even hoping to go on to study for the GCSE in Gujarati.

Although the course was challenging, all the participants thoroughly enjoyed it. Here is a selection of the feedback received from the attendees:

“Overall, I found the course beneficial, great fun and highly interactive.”

“I am really happy with this course because I had very little knowledge of Gujarati but now I have gained knowledge on many of the basics and can use the different aspects of Gujarati on my own and at home. I would like to thank all the teachers for all their help and guidance.”

“All the teachers were prepared and fully engaged in helping all the students. All were very helpful, smiling and interacted well.”

“I didn’t know what I would be able to achieve from the course but now after it is over I can say the course was well planned, covered a lot of the things we all needed and the atmosphere was very pleasant, friendly and welcoming. I hope I can continue to retain what I have learned and can come back to even help in the future when I know more!”

The next Adult Gujarati Course will commence in September 2010 and will run for 15 weeks, ending before the Christmas holidays.

For further enquiries, please contact gujarati@mandir.org.  

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