TLC Attends Japanese Moon Viewing Event

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in partnerships with the Japanese Consulate General in Nashville, hosted a day of Japanese cultural activities and a moon viewing on Sept. 19. TLC Japanese Teachers Naoko Takeda and Tomi Kowamura taught a Japanese calligraphy class, and TLC Executive Director Janice Rodriguez and World Languages Coordinator Jack Willey set up and manned an information table throughout the event to promote our Japanese and other World Language classes.

 

First Online TESL Class Graduates

Prior to the pandemic, the Tennessee Language Center’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) teacher certification course offered 150 hours of instruction, far beyond the standard 100 hours, and included a 30-hour, in-person teaching practicum. Graduates who completed the program had an advantage obtaining jobs in the field because of this teaching experience. Because of the in-person practicum, the certification training had always been limited to students in the Middle Tennessee area.

This year, TLC made the decision to pilot a completely virtual TESL certification program. On Sept. 11, the first cohort of graduates from the all online TESL certification program graduated. This class is now available to anyone in Tennessee that wishes to get certified to teach English as a Second Language.

TLC Provides Special 2-Day Training to Bilingual Employees at Erlanger Health Systems

Sarah Ryan, Interpretation and Translation Training Specialist, presented a 2-day, virtual medical interpretation training to 13 bilingual Erlanger employees. The training specifically focused on learning and implementing specialized Spanish vocabulary for diabetes, cardiovascular health, and women’s health. This was not a certification course, but certification next steps were discussed for those attendees that were interested.

Students Give TLC Excellent Marks in Satisfaction Survey

TLC is pleased to report that our students from our spring term ranked our language classes 4.91/5.00 in our end of term satisfaction survey. An amazing 93% ranked us a 5.00.

“I like the small size of the class; the balance of listening, speaking, and writing practice; and the teacher’s style and personality,” wrote one student.

“This class is always a highlight for me each week. It’s been a lot of fun spending time with other people at my language level so that we can interact with one another,” writes another student.

We are thrilled that we are meeting your language learning needs and appreciate everyone who submitted feedback. Thank you!

21 Students Complete First Step in Court Interpretation Certification

Congratulations to the 21 Court Interpreter Students who completed the TN State Court Interpreter Ethics and Skills Building Workshop at the Tennessee Language Center on June 7, 2021.  The workshop is the first requirement to becoming a Certified Court Interpreter in the State of Tennessee.

The students were from the U.S., Spain, and Mexico and representing the following languages: Spanish, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, Portuguese, and French. These students will now be put in direct contact with the TN Administrative Office of the Courts , which will guide them through the remainder of the court interpreter registration and, eventually, certification process, after which they will begin interpreting in courts and attorney offices statewide.

Medical Interpreters Graduate June 3

TLC, in collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center Interpreter Services graduated eight students from the 80-hour, 15-week program on Thursday, June 3. Languages represented include Spanish, Russian, and Arabic, and participants connected from across the state and beyond.

Only together can we make a difference.

Only Together Conference 2019

Last month, Woodmont Hills Church hosted the Only Together Conference aimed at connecting Nashville’s refugee service groups to each other. It presented a great opportunity to learn more about the refugees who make Nashville their home and the services available to them, to network with other agencies and to share about TLC’s programs. Erin Keafer, Assistant Director of English Programs at TLC, highlighted our ESL to Go program, which takes the classroom to refugee communities and helps to eliminate the transportation barrier. Since many of the volunteers in attendance teach informal English to the refugees who they mentor, we wanted to remind them what it’s like to sit on the other side of the desk.

Heather Seybold teaching a German lesson to the audience.

When we talk about teaching our new neighbors English, it’s good to be reminded of how humbling the process of learning a new language as an adult can be. We thought it might be better to show rather than to tell, which also gave us an opportunity to talk about our Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and World Language courses. I presented a German lesson using NO English! “What?!!”, you say, “How is that possible??” Well, it’s the difference between explaining the grammar in English or teaching the target language phrases in context. Your brain is MUCH more engaged when it has to work not only to remember the phrase but to understand its meaning based on context. This is what sets our communicative approach apart from traditional teaching methods.

Many of our ESL students don’t share the same primary language in the classroom, so we must teach them in English using different methods that explain the meaning of the words rather than just presenting the vocabulary in the language they are most comfortable speaking. If you have ever experienced teaching or learning a new language using the communicative method, it sounds much easier to do than it is—both as a student and a teacher. The TESL program at TLC helps set teachers up for success using these effective teaching methods.

So let this serve as an invitation. Come learn a language with us or learn how to teach a language — we’d love to help! Only together can we make a difference.

Learn more today by visiting www.tlc.tennessee.edu or calling us at 615-741-7579.

Heather Seybold

Assistant Director, Foreign Languages

Contact

Phone: 615-741-7579 x119

Email: heather.seybold@tennessee.edu

Why to Choose TLC: A Testimonial

As a child I was always fascinated with languages and culture, but I never thought I would be able to learn a language myself. I thought that was only for people with family from other places or people that moved out of the country. I took a German class in high school and a French class in college, but to be honest, I don’t remember anything. It was after I went to Guatemala on a mission trip and visited Spain with my best friend that I really found the motivation and dedication to learn a new language. I adored both places that I visited, so naturally I chose Spanish. I googled classes one day in my free time, and I chose TLC because it looked organized, professional and effective. Not a week after that, I started my 1.1 Spanish class with Maya.

This began my journey with learning Spanish, and I instantly fell in love. A whole new world of language and culture was opened up in front of me. The teaching methods that Maya used and still uses are effective for all learning styles and her activities always apply to the grammar/vocabulary point of the class. I love the amount of conversation that we have. Part of the fun of language classes is that you talk about your personal life and the personal lives of those in your class with you. I have made friends that feel like family. Thursday night class is a highlight of my week!

At this point, I have been studying for two years, and I am astonished at my progress. With Maya’s help, instruction and constant encouragement, I have been able to achieve more in learning Spanish than I ever anticipated. The positive impacts of learning Spanish have been numerous. I am better able to communicate with my friends who don’t speak English. I am grateful for the friendships that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have also taught English as a second language in the past. Knowing Spanish has helped me so much in helping students sign up and feel connected with me as we start the journey of learning English together. From patients in my previous medical clinic, friends from other countries, students learning English and the ability to communicate when I travel, I am grateful for this skill. If you are considering learning a new language, I would highly recommend Tennessee Language Center. They strive for excellence in communication!

Submitted by TLC student Liana Brisbon

Coincidence? I think not!

My family and I moved to Tennessee last August from Ohio.  I don’t usually advertise this fact, but on one particular morning, I happened to put on an Ohio shirt before heading off to work.

Recently, a Career Coach from Vanderbilt University Career Center, Danielle Bolling, had contacted me about how Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Language Center might work together.  We set our meeting for Friday, May 31st, but little did we know…

The day of our meeting arrived, the same day that I threw on my Ohio shirt, and coincidentally, the same day that Ohio State would play Vanderbilt in the NCAA baseball tournament. During our meeting, Danielle wanted to know about the services we offer at TLC in order to pass the word on to the students she advises.

I told her about our world language and English classes as well as proficiency exams for those learning a language.  We offer Teaching English as a Second Language and Language Instructor Fellowship programs for those interested in teaching a language, and our Interpretation and Translation Services assist those needing documents or services in a secondary language.  We also offer training to become a court or medical interpreter in addition to our corporate offerings.

Throughout our meeting, Danielle thought of several other connections at Vanderbilt and opportunities to incorporate TLC and its services when advising students, especially those pursuing a World Language degree.

Unlike the baseball game, Vandy did NOT beat OSU that day; the two decided to work together!

That’s all for now.  And remember, an accent is a sign of bravery.

Españolistos!

My name is Heather. I’m new around here and I’d like to tell you a story. This story is the kind you can’t really plan, but are happy to be a part of. I have come to be the interim Director of the Foreign Languages Department here at TLC. We are a small department, Maya Campbell (the tall one) and I (curly hair).

 

 

I was sitting in my office one day attending to business as usual, when I hear a gasp, “It’s him!”

“Who?” I ask

“Nate from Españolistos!”

Maya enthusiastically jumped up from her seat to peer around the corner. At this point, I feel like I should know what’s going on but don’t. I want to share in Maya’s excitement, but cannot figure out why we’re peering around corners at the front desk. Maya took the time to explain that she recognized Nate’s voice from the podcast her class voted on.

That could probably use some explanation at this point, too. Nate and his wife, Andrea, have a business called “Spanishland School”. As a part of what they do, they produce a podcast. They have developed a brand based on thinking like a native, with Andrea as the primary and native instructor and Nate, her husband who learned conversational Spanish through the help of various Spanish teachers, language exchanges, and Spanish Podcasts.

Maya, an instructor here at TLC, was looking for a Podcast to incorporate into her curriculum. Instead of just informing her class which podcast they’d be using, she turned it into a SPANISH debate. Students picked which podcast they wanted to represent. They each made a case for their pick and defended their stance. She did this with 3 classes and “Españolistos” was the overwhelming winner!

So back to the story, we continued to peer around the corner at the front desk, not wanting to interrupt their business with TLC, but also not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to introduce ourselves and explain how helpful their podcast has been. I’m not sure what kind of impression we made, but Nate and Andrea graciously agreed to a sit-down with us.

Over some most delicious fast-food chicken, we deliberated how we could work together. Some might see us in competition until you consider that language is best acquired from multiple sources. Well-formed partnerships can foster more opportunities for students to learn, which is the ultimate goal!

We look forward to Nate and Andrea’s visits next week and hosting workshops for them, and Maya may even get to make a guest appearance on their podcast!!

Until next time and remember, an accent is a sign of bravery.

Heather Seybold