Empowering minds through the “The Secret Language Method”

Hovnanian Armenian Cultural Student Event booth showcasing my books and HYEChains

My journey with my first book, The Secret Language Method, over the past year has been nothing short of transformative, both for myself and for the countless individuals I’ve had the privilege of connecting with along the way. From the launch of my book on April 4, 2023, to the culmination of an inspiring book tour spanning from October 2023 to April 2024, this experience has shaped my understanding of the power of education and the beauty of linguistic exploration.

The Secret Language Method isn’t just a book—it’s a philosophy and methodology that seeks to redefine how we approach teaching language. Grounded in practical techniques and an appreciation for cognitive processes, this method motivates young readers to use their mother language in different scenarios, making it enjoyable and effective.

Sourp Hagop Ecole

One of the most rewarding aspects of the tour was the diversity of experiences and perspectives I encountered. Whether I was in sunny Florida, vibrant New York City, windy Illinois, snowy Canada or mountainous California, I witnessed a common thread of a shared passion for speaking Armenian and loving our language.

At the heart of The Secret Language Method is a call to embrace one’s mother language as a tool to build confidence and express emotions effectively. For me, that language is Armenian, a rich and expressive language that holds deep cultural significance.

Concurrent with this book tour, I’ve been pursuing my master’s degree in healthcare administration. Balancing the demands of academia with book tours and school visits has been a challenging yet rewarding experience, reinforcing my belief in the importance of lifelong learning and personal growth.

I vividly recall being urged by my grandmother from a young age to speak Armenian consistently to preserve our heritage. However, this directive often felt more like an obligation than a choice, because I was unaware of its importance at a young age. This experience fueled my motivation to create this book—to make speaking Armenian enjoyable and appealing for children. Additionally, while teaching at the local Armenian school in Florida, I try to raise awareness about the evolving nature of Armenian identity in the diaspora. As we embrace multicultural experiences, it becomes increasingly vital to maintain our language and cultural roots.

Through my book and tours, I’ve encouraged individuals to use their mother languages more often, not only for practical communication but also to connect with their heritage and express their true selves. My goal has been to inspire young people to incorporate their native languages into daily communication.

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The journey began with the excitement of introducing The Secret Language Method to the world. As I embarked on my book tour, visiting 38 locations across 13 states and Canada, I was met with enthusiasm and curiosity. From bustling classrooms to intimate book signings, each stop reinforced my belief in the transformative impact of education. Interacting with students and educators was a highlight, and it was inspiring to see students embrace their mother language and grow in confidence as they expressed themselves more freely.

One memorable moment was visiting Sipan Armenian School in New Jersey in late October. I was in awe that the event was held on a Friday night after a long day of regular school. I was so proud of the students and their love for attending Armenian school and making memories with friends on a Friday night. At the end of my reading, I met a sweet boy named Vicken. He wanted to purchase a book to take home and read to his little sister. Vicken mentioned that his mom’s name is Narine, which is the book’s main character’s name. During my tour in New Jersey, I also attended the AYF’s 90th Anniversary Gala. I desperately needed a makeup artist, so I searched on Instagram to find someone local. I came across a lovely lady named Narine. After chatting, I discovered that she was little Vicken’s mother! She mentioned how inspired Vicken was after I visited his school, so much so that he asked her how to say specific phrases in Armenian in order to DIY a book himself.  

Another memorable moment took place back in November 2023. I was working with a group from the ANCA to prepare for a rally during the Miami Republican debate. I connected with member Nerses Semerjian from Philadelphia to discuss the details. We realized that I had met Nerses’ son, Harout, while on tour visiting the Armenian Sisters’ Academy in Philadelphia. After the rally, Nerses sent me a sweet video of Harout introducing himself and reading my book’s first couple of pages so proudly. It was heartwarming to hear a little voice read my book.  

Armenian Sisters Academy in Pennsylvania

One last memory was on my recent tour to California. I traveled over an hour from where I was staying in Glendale to visit the Ari Guigos Minassian Armenian School in Orange County. This day was the first anniversary of publishing my book. After I read to more than 50 students, to my surprise they began to sing “Happy Birthday” for the book’s first anniversary. It was a goosebumps feeling. At every school I visited in California for my “anniversary tour,” I passed my reading book around for students to sign as a memento.  

AGM Armenian School in Orange County, CA, where they sang Happy Birthday to the book

As I look to the future, I’m already hard at work on my next book, eager to delve deeper into the theme of cultural identity. For schools and institutions interested in hosting me or learning more about my books, I encourage emailing tamarkassarjian@gmail.com. My Instagram account, @tamarkassarjian, offers a glimpse into my journey, showcasing the places I’ve visited and the incredible individuals I’ve had the honor of meeting. Education is a lifelong journey, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with the younger generation. 

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Reflecting on the past year of adventures, lessons and connections, I’m grateful for the support and encouragement that have fueled this journey. What a journey it’s been in Florida, New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston, Providence, Montreal, Detroit, Chicago, California and Texas. I wanted to give a huge thank you to three individuals who supported me every step of the way: my mother Lara, my morkour Sose and my best friend Francesca. Without you three, my tours would have been impossible. As they say, it takes a village, but it’s not only about raising a family – it’s everything in life. I would like to also extend my deepest gratitude to the principals, educators, ARF/ARS/AYF/ABGU members, parents, family and friends who helped make all my tours possible. Also, thanks to my employer for working with all my days off. This book is dedicated to my Dede, who passed away when I was 16. I hope everything I’ve been able to do with this book has put a smile on his face as he watches over me. Together, we’re shaping a future where language is not just a means of communication but a bridge to cultural understanding, self-confidence and authentic expression. Here’s to a beautiful summer and the next tour!

Tamar Kassarjian

Tamar Kassarjian

Tamar Kassarjian is a native Floridian and currently working toward her masters in healthcare administration. She serves on the executive of the ARS "Sosseh" Chapter, where she’s been a member for nine years. She also serves as the secretary for the AYF South Florida “Arev” Chapter, where she has been a member for five years. Tamar is active in her local Armenian community as an Armenian dance teacher at Arevig Dance Ensemble and an Armenian language kindergarten teacher at the local Sunday school.

4 Comments

  1. This is so wonderful Tamar! To say this was quite a feat is an understatement! It took a lot of hard work to make all those visits happen and the kids were so lucky to have you read with them. Keep up the great work!

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