ATAA UN Related Announcement# 26
In Support of the “International Mother Language Day (21 February)”
Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) and
Turkish Women League of America (TWLA)
Jointly Organize and Present a Webinar on:
Mother Language as the Second Language
Sunday, February 25, 2024
1:00pm ET, 12:00pm CT, 10:00am PT, 21:00 TR
When you are registering, please select choice of your language you would like to participate with Turkish or English.After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Language: Turkish & English
On February 25, 2024, The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), and Turkish Women League of America (TWLA), formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC), will hold a virtual event titled “Mother Language as the Second Language” in support of International Mother Language Day (A/RES/56/262) highlights the importance of multilingual education, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.
This program highlights the role of language and its importance in uniting people that speak the same language. There are many reasons people migrate to other countries. These may be due to economics, education, wars, and etc.. Setting in a foreign country comes with many challenges, language is one most important element impacts people’s lives. It is important for us to embrace the language and culture of the country we live in order to be better successful while we sustain our mother language and culture of our origine; teach our children as well. To be multilingual improves collaboration, exchange of ideas, improves business, commerce and scientific ties. It also helps new generations to link themselves to older generations and enjoy the benefits that come with associating with a culture, the psychological strength that grows with these roots.
Opening Remarks and Introduction by
Video Presentation – TWLA-NY Atatürk School Students
Dr. Nilüfer Esen-Bilgin, ATAA President
Berna Gürdal, TWLA President
Yasemin Ünlüsoy, TWLA–NY Atatürk School Teacher
The Birth Story of Turkish Words – Türkçe Kelimelerin Doğuş Hikayesi
Professor Dr. Belma Haznedar
Bilingual Language Acquisition In Early Childhood
Dr. Esra Taşdelen
A Brief History of Turkish Language
Mar Deniz Gomez-Koldemir
Unlocking the Power of Multilingualism: A Journey through the World of Speaking Multiple Languages
Emre Murat Bozer
The Key Sociolinguistic Factors that Contribute to Heritage Language Development
Importance of Language in Maintaining Cultural Diversity
Arden Ege Van Winkle
Overcoming boundaries with Language
Closing Remarks by
Alev Wieland, Co-Chair ATAA UN Committee & ATAA First VP & ATAA Southwest Region VP
|Sunay Akın is a Turkish poet, writer, TV host, journalist, and a philanthropist. He is the founder of Istanbul Toy Museum. Akın is best known for his poetry; his primary influences include Orhan Veli Kanık and Cemal Süreya. His poems are generally lyric, short, and soft in tone. He also often makes use of satirical forms and puns. Akın has a collection of over 7,000 toys, some of which date back nearly 200 years. 4,000 of them are on display in the İstanbul Toy Museum which opened in 2005. He co-hosts a TV show called “Yaşamdan Dakikalar” (“Minutes from Life”) on the TV channel tv8, together with Hıncal Uluç, Haşmet Babaoğlu, and Nebil Özgentürk. He lectures at Marmara University, and Müjdat Gezen Art School, as well as at his own institution, the İstanbul Toy Museum. Akın regularly stages one man shows in Turkey and abroad, and participates in panels and conferences. He contributes as a regular columnist to the newspaper Cumhuriyet. His column is named after his 2004 book, “Kule Cambazı” (“Tower Acrobat”), in reference to İstanbul’s Maiden’s Tower. Awards: 1987, Halil Kocagöz Poem Awards for his collection of unprinted poems “Noktalı Virgül” (“Semicolon”) and 1990, Orhon Murat Arıburnu Poem Awards for his poem “Makiler” (“Maquis”).
|Professor Belma Haznedar holds a PhD in Linguistics from Durham University, UK. She is currently a full Professor of Applied Linguistics at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul-Turkey. Professor Haznedar’s expertise area focuses on early childhood bilingualism, with special reference to language acquisition in successive and simultaneous children. In her recent work, she also investigates (i) language teaching to young children; (ii) literacy development in monolingual and bilingual children; (iii) language loss and heritage language speakers; (iv) creating online materials for teachers who work with migrant populations (adult and child immigrants with low literacy skills). In line with her recent work for teachers of immigrants and heritage speakers, Dr. Haznedar and her co-authors presented portions of their findings at the United Nations headquarters in 2017 and 2019 in New York. Professor Belma Haznedar has presented and published extensively on childhood bilingualism in national and international refereed journals and books and is co-editor of Current Trends in Child Second Language Acquisition (Amsterdam, 2008), co-editor of Handbook for Teaching Foreign Languages to Young Children in Primary Schools, (Ankara, 2010, reprinted in 2013, 2018), co-editor Acquisition of Turkish in Childhood (Amsterdam, 2016), author of Erken çocukluk döneminde birden fazla dilin edinimi ‘Language acquisition in early childhood, (Ankara, 2021).
|Dr. Esra Tasdelen is native of Istanbul, Turkey. She received her BA degree in Social and Political Sciences at Sabancı University in Istanbul, Turkey (2003). Her MA degree is in Middle Eastern Studies (2005) and her PhD degree is in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (2014), both at the University of Chicago, Illinois. Her teaching focuses on the history, languages, literatures and cinema of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as translation theory. She is currently an Instructor at the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.
|Mar Deniz Gomez-Koldemir is an 11th-grade student at the Dalton School in New York City, NY. She was born in New York City to Turkish and Spanish parents and graduated from TWLA – NY Ataturk School in 2018. Mar Deniz also spent a semester abroad at Robert College in Istanbul. She is fluent in English, Turkish, and Spanish, and has learned Mandarin and French as well. With over a decade of experience, Mar Deniz is an accomplished violinist and currently serves as the concertmaster at the Third Street Orchestra. Looking forward, she has aspirations to study medicine. Mar Deniz Gomez-Koldemir is a multilingual student with a passion for music and a goal to make a positive impact through her future medical studies.
|Emre Murat Bozer is a PhD student in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests focus on language education and multilingualism, specifically in the context of heritage language education at community-based heritage schools. His most recent research project involves a linguistic ethnographic investigation of language ideologies and language socialization practices at a Turkish community-based heritage school in the United States. Emre also holds a minor in Japanese Linguistics and teaches a variety of Japanese courses at UW-Madison.
|Yasemin Knott is a Junior Social Work major at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. She has been on the Dean’s List and the President’s List since attending Siena College. She is a Student Representative on the Siena College Social Work Advisory Board. She is a Community Assistant at Siena College. Through her position as a Community Assistant, she was able to give a successful presentation on the importance of diversity, inclusion, and representation. Yasemin has been a Turkish Women’s League of America youth representative for the United Nations since January of 2023. Since being inducted into this position, she attended the Assembly of the Turkish American Associations’ 2023 Annual Conference, as well as making a presentation on the importance of inclusive education for all. Yasemin has been a member of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations’ United Nations Youth Forum since April of 2023. Yasemin is a 2020 National Honor Society Inductee and a Spanish Honor Society Inductee. She was previously an officer of the Saratoga Springs High School Spanish Culture Club as well as the 2022 Siena College Muslim Student Association Events Coordinator. Yasemin was a cheerleader for 15 years and a dancer for 10 years. She was a Saratoga Springs High School Varsity Competitive Cheerleader and Team Captain for multiple years. She also achieved American Red Cross Certification in Childcare. Yasemin is learning Turkish, Spanish, and American Sign Language. She attended the Turkish Women’s League of America’s New York Ataturk School and earned a New York Seal of biliteracy in Spanish and English. Through college courses in high school, she earned credits from Rochester Institute of Technology, Adirondack Community College, and Schenectady City Community College. Yasemin volunteered at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School for 6 years.
|Ece Yenigün was born in New York, New York as the first-generation U.S. citizen in her family. She is now a third-year student in Political Science major at Union College, Schenectady, New York. Throughout her elementary, middle, and high school years, Ece attended the United Nations International School where she completed the International Baccalaureate Programme and earned her IB Diploma; excelling in biology, socio-cultural anthropology, and French. Her proficiency in four languages (English, Turkish, French, and Spanish) has allowed her to become the aspiring communicator she is today. Within her fourteen years of experience as a violinist, Ece has performed at Carnegie Hall twice and continues to portray her commitment and aspiration for the instrument by playing with the Union College String Orchestra. Ece has also pursued her interest in humanitarian work through internship opportunities such as The New Neighbors Partnership at Columbia University, along with volunteer work with the Turkish Red Crescent Community (Türk Kızılay) in Turkey, teaching and mentoring Syrian refugee children. In 2015, Ece graduated from the Turkish Women’s League of America’s New York Atatürk School.
|Arden Ege Van Wickle was born in Plano, TX to Turkish American family. Arden just graduated from high school who possesses a diverse skill set as a critical thinker and problem solver. Arden graduated from the Dallas International School within the French school system. Fluent in English, French, and Turkish, with a moderate command of Spanish. Arden volunteers his time in the Doctors Without Borders Program Language Education Program and help students in Türkiye to learn English. He is an active youth member of the local Turkish community, provides support on different educational and cultural programs. Beyond multilingual skills, Arden has a passion for music and visual arts. With a scientifically inclined mind and a penchant for out-of-the-box thinking, Arden aspires to continue his education by pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and aiming to make a positive impact in the field of fluid dynamics. Arden Ege Van Winkle, is born in Plano, TX to Turkish American family. Arden just graduated from high school who possesses a diverse skill set as a critical thinker and problem solver. Arden graduated from the Dallas International School within the French school system. Fluent in English, French, and Turkish, with a moderate command of Spanish. Arden volunteers his time in the Doctors Without Borders Program Language Education Program and help students in Türkiye to learn English. He is an active youth member of the local Turkish community, provides support on different educational and cultural programs. Beyond multilingual skills, Arden has a passion for music and visual arts. With a scientifically inclined mind and a penchant for out-of-the-box thinking, Arden aspires to continue his education by pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and aiming to make a positive impact in the field of fluid dynamics.
|Yasemin Ünlüsoy graduated with B.A. from Boğaziçi University, department of translation &interpreting. She worked as a translator, interpreter and language instructor in a number of multinational companies to facilitate the business communication process of expatriate directors in Istanbul. She completed her certificate in English Teaching (CELTA)at New York teaching house and teaches both English and Turkish to adults and Children. Translated five books and miscellaneous articles from and into Turkish interpreted in international meetings on an occasional basis. Yasemin was born and grew up in Izmir. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
|Irem Göçgenci Jakobsen is a certified public service interpreter and court interpreter based in Hamar, Norway. She interprets in the language combinations of English-Turkish, Norwegian-Turkish and German-Turkish. Irem holds a bachelor’s degree in translation and interpreting in English-Turkish and German-Turkish language pairs, from Dokuz Eylül University. Her areas of interest were European Union and international trade, and she majored in conference interpreting. Upon moving to Norway in 2016, she has taken her second bachelor’s degree in public sector interpreting in Norwegian-Turkish from Oslo Metropolitan University. She is also a licensed teacher in English, German and Turkish as a foreign language, and worked as a language instructor in Turkey and as a teacher at Norwegian upper secondary school. Irem continues to pursue her interest in language didactics in her MA project on refugee women learners of English in Norway at the Innlandet University of Applied Sciences, as well as working full time as an interpreter for the Norwegian government institutions and municipalities.
|Ezgi Cohen is Turkish-American professional with a BA in English and a pedagogical certificate, is a versatile individual excelling in the fields of acting, writing, translation, and real estate. A graduate of Stella Adler Studio in 2009, where she completed a rigorous 2-year acting conservatory program, Ezgi has showcased her linguistic prowess by crafting and translating texts in both English and Turkish. Currently based in New Jersey, she seamlessly balances her roles in acting and real estate with unwavering dedication and skill.