Urdu Becoming Popular in Scotland

via www.timesonline.co.uk

IN LESS than three months, Thomas Watters has mastered 38 letters of the Urdu alphabet, twisted his tongue around unfamiliar vocabulary and learnt to write in script.

The first-year pupil at Shawlands Academy in Glasgow is one of several non-Asian children in his class who have chosen to study a language that is not part of the mainstream curriculum but is spoken by many of their friends and neighbours.

In Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, where there are significant Asian populations, there has been a surge of interest in Urdu among Scottish pupils.

In the community where Thomas goes to school, on Glasgow’s multicultural south side, Urdu is spoken by the immigrant population, who come from Pakistan.

Last year a record number of pupils sat the Standard Grade exam. Interest in the subject has encouraged the Scottish Qualifications Authority to consider developing Higher Urdu for fifth-year students…