English Language Fellow Melissa Van De Wege facilitated a discussion about cultural identity with women from the English conversation club of the Turkish-American and International Women’s Cultural and Charitable Society (TAIWCCS) in Ankara, Turkey this week. Fellow Van De Wege and women from TAIWCCS gathered for an interactive discussion about cultural differences and similarities between Turkish and American culture. Van De Wege enlivened the discussion with materials from the American English website that aligned with the theme of Integrating Critical Thinking into the Exploration of Culture. The women reflected on their own cultural experiences in travel, work, and family lives. They connected those experiences to how they found ways to adapt culturally and grow as individuals. “I was able to reflect on my life and cultural identity and how I’ve been able to adapt whether at home or traveling abroad,” said Hilal Onat, a TAIWCCS member. 
 
TAIWCCS has a long and storied history promoting women’s empowerment in Turkey. The organization was formed in January, 1950 to foster and promote bicultural, educational, and social exchanges between Turkish and American women. The society is made up of several committees that plan and carry out programs to support organizations throughout Ankara, Turkey’s capital. As a member of TAIWCCS, Van De Wege reached out to the English conversation club as a form of community outreach in Ankara. This connection actively fostered mutual understanding between women in TAIWCCS. Women were encouraged to cultivate a growth mindset in themselves and continue on a path of lifelong learning through critical reflection as they interact with people from all parts of the world. Reflecting on that theme, Onat concluded, “I can share with others how being willing to constantly learn and grow is one of the most important parts of identity.”  

Related Stories

Fellow Eileen Finn Connects with Indian Culture through Art

Based in New Delhi, India, a bustling capital city where cows often wander shanty-lined streets, English Language Fellow Eileen Finn teaches at Ambedkar University. Discover Finn’s life as a Fellow as she attends traditional Indian art classes and develops English language capacity as an English for Academic Purposes instructor and teacher trainer.

Fellow Katrina Schmidt Shares Stories of Training English Teachers in Mexico

Based in Tijuana, Mexico, one of the most visited border cities across the globe, English Language Fellow Katrina Schmidt trains English teachers. More than 50 million people cross the border between California and Mexico every year through Tijuana. Follow Schmidt’s fellowship journey as she increases English teaching capacity and mutual understanding in a growing international…

Follow Us on Twitter

@ELPrograms

In the #Kilamanjaro region of #Tanzania, #ELFellow Jane Petring collaborated with a Tanzanian teacher to lead life… https://t.co/NBhHeC40MG

1 day ago