English as a Second Language (ESL) Department
"As more non-native English speakers join the workforce in Tennessee and our surrounding communities, the transition creates a challenge for both employers and their employees. Communicating in English is the key to mobility for non-native speakers. It is imperative that they obtain the English language skills needed to succeed in this new environment. Through TFLI, those who acquire English communication skills in turn strengthen their communitiesand create success for themselves and their business."
-- Angela Harris: ESL Director
Our Teaching Philosophy
The mission of the ESL program at TFLI is to provide quality and affordable English education, helping students become lifelong learners and productive members of their families, workplaces, and communities.
About Our Teachers: Our institute has trained hundreds of teachers worldwide through our 145-hour Teaching English as a Second Language Certification. With new theories, practices, and resources being developed worldwide on a regular basis, the field of teaching English is a very dynamic one. By combining their respective strengths in past and current teaching methodologies and years of experience, our language teachers create effective lessons and learning environments for students at any level of English proficiency.
About Our Methods, Strategies, and Innovation: Using the best practices, our teachers create a supportive learning environment for classes. Our motto is to “adapt, not adopt.”
<hrdata-mce-alt="Communicative Language Teaching" class="system-pagebreak" />
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT): This method is different from traditional teaching methods in that the classroom environment is student-centered versus teacher-centered. Conventionally, teachers are in charge and in control of learning.
In the communicative classroom, students are in charge of their own learning and teachers are facilitators. The teachers still set up presentations, exercises, and directions, but students are active participants—doing the majority of the communication and interactions.
Not only does CLT help increase students’ fluency, but also lead students to an increased sense of confidence in using the language and sparks learners to reach their fullest potential. In this setting, students practice real-life situations (e.g., giving directions, making requests, giving advice, etc.) and complete meaningful tasks.
Language Immersion: In order to prepare students for real world situations, our classrooms have an “English only” policy.
This immersion strategy creates a genuine learning situation for students to practice and produce language in English. Our teachers are trained professionals and have their students’ best interests at heart. Moreover, our teachers are trained to set up situations that convey the meaning of the lesson through visual clues, props, gestures, pictures or contexts. Though students are not expected to understand 100%, or even 80% in an immersion situation, with repetition, practice, and doing authentic tasks, students will start to learn, begin to feel confident, and eventually start to communicate.
Our immersion method creates a situation in which students are forced to find ways to ask questions or express themselves in the target language—it creates a more realistic situation for students so that when they are truly faced with a situation in which there is not an interpreter available to them, they are able to handle the transaction.
Although many of our teachers can speak other languages, we strongly enforce English-only in the classroom. With language immersion, students become culturally aware of their surroundings. Thus, when students are confronted with social, cultural, or situational contexts outside the classroom, they have the tools to generate unrehearsed language.