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Armine Tamrazian

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New Base And New Owner For Internationally-Renowned Language School

Bedford Today November 20, 2012 Tuesday UK

A Bedford language school that has helped hundreds of people over the last eight year has started a new era.

Larkhill Language Centre has been taken over by Dr Armine Tamrazian, with a new term starting in January.

And the school is expanding after moving to new premises in Harpur Street, above Beales.

Dr Tamrazian said: "My son has just started at Bedford School, and my mum lived here in the 1950s as a boarder at Dame Alice Harpur School.

"I'd heard wonderful stories about what Bedford was like for all my life, so when my husband and I decided to bring our son over to England from Armenia Bedford was the obvious choice.

"I wanted to stay and do something good in the town. I'm a linguist so a language school was the obvious thing, and when I found out Lucia was looking to sell Larkhill it all came together."

Since the school first opened in its old St Cuthberts Street base in 2005 it has taught hundreds of people, from nuns to rugby players, from all over the world.

Their reasons for studying have ranged from preparing for university, to doctors who need to pass exams in order to work in England, to people who just want more confidence.

At any one time there can be up to 100 students over the 11 weekly classes, with classes including general English, exam English, business English, teacher training courses, and summer courses.

And the centre is a preparation centre for Cambridge ESOL exams and other qualifications.

Dr Tamrazian was born to an Armenian family in Iran, and after studying her first degree in English in Tehran she did her PhD and Masters at UCL in London. She subsequently lived in the UK where she met her husband, before they moved to Canada and then Armenia, before coming to Bedford.

And her predecessor Lucia Polcella-Graf will stay on at the school as a consultant.

Mrs Polcella-Graf said: "We don't always understand or appreciate how useful the English language is. If you live in other countries unless you have English up to scratch, not just your written understanding but a certificate, then there are lots of jobs and opportunities that won't be open to you.

"That even goes for people who have studied at university, and have all qualifications, the English language can be enormously important."

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