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Ataturk School New York 
Institution name: Turkish Women's League of America / Turkish Center
Address: PS 6- 45 E 81st St
New York City, NY 10036
Telephone: (646) 851-0939
Fax: (212) 685-3518
Web address: http://www.ataturkschool.org
Name: Tulay Taskent
Title: Principal
Address: 40 Irving Plaza
New York CityNY  10003
Email: ttashkent@gmail.com
Telephone: (646) 851-0939
Purposes and goals of the program:
The core mission of the Ataturk School is to provide education and enlightenment according to principals and vision of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk. The Ataturk School's main goal is to teach Turkish language, Turkish culture, traditions, national and religious holidays, theatre, history, music and folk dances.The increase in the number of Turkish families in metropolitan New York and the growing strength of the Turkish Women's League of America with its commitment to respond to the interests and educational and cultural needs of the community have led to increased activities of the Ataturk School. The Turkish Women's League of America hopes that it will continue to develop over the years with strong enthusiasm and support from the Turkish-American community, ultimately being a source of pride and influence in the lives of the children who attend the school.

The general purposes of the Ataturk School come from the background, social structure, goals, and aspirations of the members of the Turkish-American community, from their motivations and ideals for themselves and for their children. Previous school experience, a survey of parents and students, and numerous discussions show that the basic needs of the school-age children are: improving their oral and written Turkish language skills, improving their pronunciation and understanding of the Turkish language, achieving necessary skill levels for fluent communication in Turkish, and learning about Turkey, its history, people, government, issues, culture and music. Considering the needs and aspirations of the Turkish-American community, the objectives of the Ataturk School are for students to learn:the Turkish language at three levels - beginner, intermediate, advanced - emphasizing the whole range of communication skills, speaking,writing, reading and comprehension; the history of Turkey, its government, geography and people at a level equivalent to elementary/middle school education in Turkey; the basics of Turkish music and, if possible folk dances and thus develop an appreciation of them; the basics of Turkish culture, tradition, morals and customs;that they are part of a very diverse community with strong historical bonds based on common values and culture, rather than on race or religion.The realization of these objectives depends on a sound curriculum developed by the Turkish Ministry for Education, and on continual program evaluation by the Ataturk School Executive Committee and the the Turkish Women's League of America's Board of Directors.
Program origin:
Program funding:
Support comes from the Turkish Women's League of America and from tuition.
Languages/dialects taught:
  • Turkish
  • Program type:  Community-Based
    Average enrollment: 16
    Total contact hours per week: 6.5
    Times per week classes meet: 1
    When meetings take place:
    Meetings take place every Saturday from 10:30am until 4:00pm from October to June. From 4:00pm to 5:00pm folk dancing classes are held and the building closes at 6pm.
    Where meetings take place:
    Classes are held at the Turkish Center in New York, which also houses the offices of the Turkish Women's League of America.
    Parents' or guardians' expectations of the program:
    Parents' or guardians' involvement in the program:
    Instructors' expectations of the program:
    Number of instructors in the program
    Full-time instructors:
    Part-time instructors:
    Volunteer instructors:
    Languages in which instructors are proficient:
    Turkish, English
    Educational backgrounds and credentials of instructors
    (e.g., diploma, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, certificate):

    All teachers must be certified by the Turkish Ministry of Education
    Professional development opportunities instructors have:
    Professional development opportunities instructors need:
    Students' expectations of the program:
    Student background
    First-generation immigrants:
    Second-generation immigrants:
    Third-generation immigrants:
    Children of interethnic marriages:
    Children of interethnic adoption:
    Indigenous students:
    Students' countries of origin:
    Turkey, USA
    How the program identifies heritage language speakers:
    The school primarily serves Turks living abroad and their children. Children aged 4 to 14 from first-generation Turkish families are then placed into classrooms based on their proficiency in Turkish. 
    Average enrollment: 16
    Approximate percentage of students who complete the program:
    Approximate percentage of students who continue to study the heritage language after completing the program:
    Possible reasons that students continue to study the heritage language after completing the program:
    Total contact hours per week: 6.5
    Times per week: 1
    Student grouping (e.g., proficiency level, grade, age):
    By grade and by proficiency
    Language skills taught in the program (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, and listening):
    Reading, writing, speaking, listening
    Aspects of culture included in the program (e.g., history, literature, traditions):
    Turkish history, geography, music, folklore, dances, ethics, traditions
    Other content taught in the program:
    Instructional methodologies used in the program:
    Instructors combine curricula from the Turkish Ministry of Education and materials developed by the Turkish Women's League of America and by themselves. The curriculum is the same as the current one implemented in the elementary schools in Turkey.
    Levels of language proficiency reached by the end of the program (e.g., ACTFL proficiency levels, language tasks able to perform):
    Graduates receive a certificate equivalent to a Turkish elementary school diploma. They can also satisfy the foreign language requirement in their regular schools, receiving a 3.5 credit points upon graduation from this school.
    Standard school textbooks by grade level as designated by the Turkish Ministry of Education. Textbooks are imported from Turkey.
    Manuals and workbooks:
    Self-designed materials:
    Varies by class / instructor.
    Films, videos, and DVDs:
    Standardized tests used:
    Other assessments used:
    Connections with local schools or other organizations:
    Sponsored by the Turkish Women's League of America and the Turkish Center (Turk Evi) in Manhattan.
    Credit received from formal education system:
    Types of support received (e.g., financial, time from parents or volunteers):
    Additional support desired:
    Challenges faced by the program:

    Profile created by Evan Alterman on June 21, 2012.

    For more information, please refer to the article in the Heritage Language Journal Volume 7 titled "Heritage Language Maintenance and Cultural Identity Formation: The Case of a Turkish Saturday School in New York City" (http://www.international.ucla.edu/media/files/otcu-hlj.pdf).


    Profile updated by Grace Sullivan on June 3, 2013.

    Updated by Carmen Winkler on 10/6/2017