What We Do

Zabaan is an independent language school in New Delhi that offers language training at all proficiency levels. Whether at our learning centre or online, Zabaan provides instruction in the following languages: Hindi, Urdu, English, Persian, Tamil, Punjabi, Pashto, Sanskrit.  Which zabaan, or tongue, will you learn?

Who We Are

Zabaan is run by Ali Taqi and Sahil Girdhar.

Ali Taqi

Ali hails from Chicago, and holds a B.A. International Studies, Minor Asian Languages and Literature, 2003, Loyola University Chicago. After anextensive teaching career there and then in Seattle, Ali moved to New Delhi. He has personally taught over a third of the more than 50,000 classes the school has under its belt. With a special interest in linguistics, semantics, syntax, bilingualism, and foreign language teaching techniques, he is fluent in English, Hindi, and Urdu, and teaches all three languages at Zabaan.


Why Was Zabaan Founded

Language classes in India are typically available at large universities with an academic approach focused narrowly on reading and writing. As language learners themselves, Ali and Neha saw an urgent need for a language learning school in India that favoured practical proficiency built on a deep understanding of grammatical structures and rich vocabulary rather than rote memorization of phrases and a strict academic approach.

Ali Taqi

Ali Taqi

Director, Teacher

How We Teach

Zabaan takes an adaptive approach to teaching that takes into account each student’s interests, learning style, and language learning goals.  While Zabaan has designed a curriculum for its classes that will be effective for the widest number of students, the pace, scheduling, and specific topics covered are entirely flexible to meet the individual student’s needs.

Zabaan’s classes strike a balance between thorough explanation of grammatical concepts, introduction of new vocabulary, and conversation practice aimed at fluid communication. Our classes are taught by instructors who are well versed in the grammar of the language they are teaching and have undergone extensive training to teach it as a second or foreign language.

Although students should expect to be assigned homework, there are no exams at the end of courses unless students expressly request such an assessment. Rather, teachers conduct informal evaluations to chart student progress along the way.  This informs how they prepare for each class, which always includes a clear lesson plan and defined learning objectives.

Since learning a language can be both exhilarating and daunting, Zabaan seeks to create an atmosphere of rigorous study, while maintaining a relaxed personal relationship with students aimed at helping them feel confident to reach their potential.

In short, we are driven by the question, “Is the student learning?”

Who Would Benefit

The Zabaan experience is ideal for anyone with a passion for language learning who wants to improve their communication skills in one of the languages we offer — regardless of learning style, previous instruction, current proficiency level, or individual goals.

Whether you’re looking to achieve basic, intermediate, or advanced conversational skills, read ancient texts in the original language, pass language exams for the diplomatic corps, or process dense texts in order to conduct academic research on South Asia, Zabaan can help you reach your goals.

Over the years we have taught more than a thousand students from fifty countries with sixty different mother tongues. Our students include expats interested in Indian languages and culture, Indians curious to learn a European language or the Urdu script, as well as diplomats, artists, and representatives from the business community.

How to Start Learning a Language

Contact us to speak with one of our friendly language specialists and to find out more. If you’re ready to start studying a language, take a look at our course offerings and sign up. We offer intensive group courses, evening courses, private lessons, and online training.

Our Language Centres

Since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, Zabaan has completely transitioned to online teaching via Zoom, Google Meet and Skype. Please contact us at learn@zabaan.com for more details.

    Our Old Delhi Centre