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Spring 2022 TESL Students Graduate

TLC held graduation for its Spring 2022 Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) students on Saturday, May 14. Five students completed the certification preparation course, and one has begun teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for TLC.

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Two TLC Teachers Nominated for Adult Educator of the Year

Lorie Adams, one of TLC’s ESL teachers and TESL trainers, and Diane Thomas, one of TLC’s ESL teachers, were nominated for Adult Educator of the Year by Adult Literacy at the Nashville Public Library.

Lorie has taught Beginning to Advanced level ESL classes at TLC since 2014. She is also an instructor in TLC’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certification program. Diane has taught ESL at TLC since 2011.

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Congratulations to our Newest TESL Graduates!

TLC recently held graduation for its newest group of graduates from the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certification program. TLC’s teacher certification course (now presented online) offers 150 hours of instruction, far beyond the standard 100 hours, and includes a 30-hour, in-person teaching practicum.

Executive Director Janice Rodriguez told graduates, “What you are doing for English language learners can be life changing. As you know, being able to communicate effectively in English opens doors. It sets the speaker on the path for success, gives them the confidence to develop personally and professionally, and for those learning in the U.S., makes life here in the United States become more like home.”

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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.

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