I was born and raised in London as an English-Turkish bilingual, and educated in the UK. My first name ‘Yasemin’ is internationally recognised, and thus pronounced or spelt in differing ways, yet the two phonetic variants I use interchangeably include: /jɑ.se. ˈmin/ with my Turkish accent, or /ˈjæz.mɪn/ with my British English (BE) accent. My surname ‘Yildiz’ (without a dot in /i/ in Turkish orthography) is of Turkish origin, and means: ‘Star’ and pronounced interchangeably as /jɯl.ˈdɯz/ with my Turkish accent or /ˈjiːl.diz/ with my BE accent. My parents are of Turkish origin and moved and settled to London, UK, from Turkey in 1971. My father is from the Black sea region (hometown Rize) and my mother is from the Aegean region (hometown Denizli) of Turkey. I therefore represent the ‘second generation’ of the Turkish-English bilinguals living in London. Whereas my child represents the ‘fourth generation’!
I received my B.A. degree in English Language, Literature and Linguistics from the University of Westminster in 1998. I later moved to the University of Essex, where I completed my postgraduate education, in the Department of Language and Linguistics. I received my M.A. degree with a ‘Distinction’ in Descriptive and Applied Linguistics in 2002, with my dissertation entitled “Language Contact and Phonological adaptation: A Sociolinguistic study of language use by three generations of English-Turkish bilinguals living in London”. I then received my Ph.D. in Linguistics in 2006, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Scholarship. My doctoral thesis was entitled as “Age Effects in the Second Language Acquisition of English Onset Clusters by Turkish Learners: An Optimality-Theoretic Approach”. I also hold a Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
I have worked extensively as a lecturer and teacher educator for universities in the UK, UAE and Turkey. Currently, I am a Visiting Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Westminster, London. In 2015, I established the Mehmet Osman Corpus, which is an ongoing longitudinal documentation of my son’s English-Turkish bilingual speech development. My work focuses on- but not limited to: developmental linguistics, phonetics, contact linguistics, multilingualism, and teacher education. I have engaged in multidisciplinary research which involves structuralistic, sociolinguistic, ethnolinguistic, cognitive-linguistic and corpus-linguistic approaches to language inquiry. My language specialization is English, Turkish and Arabic linguistics. My scholarly work has been published in leading international journals and books, and I have also acted as a reviewer for The Language Learning Journal and Essex Graduate Papers in Language and Linguistics.
My extracurricular interests include: playing with my son, swimming, jogging, gardening, doing embroidery, experimenting with my culinary skills, reading classical and contemporary novels, travelling, and enjoying the simplicities of life!
Further information for academic and research background of Dr. Yildiz can be viewed from the following link Curriculum Vitae.