Gavel resting on a desk with a book and balance in the background to illustrate our Court Interpreter Workshop

Congratulations to the Fall Court Interpreter Graduates

21 students completed TLC’s November Court Interpreter Workshop which qualifies them to register with the TN Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) as interpreters. Most of the students were fluent in English and Spanish, but there were two who were fluent in English and Kurdish who completed the course.

Fall MITC Students Graduate

: The Fall cohort of TLC’s MITC program recently completed the 70-hour, 18-week course. 12 people completed MITC, including a high school student and a participant from Argentina. 11 are Spanish speakers and 1 speaks Arabic. 7 counties were represented. TLC’s program prepares students to take the test to become certified medical interpreters through either the CCHI or the NBCMI, the two organizations that certify medical interpreters in the U.S.

Fall TESL Students Graduate

Congratulations to our newest Teach English as a Second Language (TESL) program graduates! Four students completed TLC’s Fall TESL program. It was the 64th cohort to graduate.

TLC Executive Director Announces Retirement; New Interim Director Named

Dr. Janice Snow Rodriguez, the Executive Director of the Tennessee Language Center (TLC), has announced her retirement, effective February 1, 2024. Eric Amos, currently Director of TLC’s Interpretation and Translation Services (ITS), has been named Interim Executive Director, a position he will assume on Dec. 1, 2023.

Dr. Rodriguez joined TLC (formerly the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute) in 1999 and has been the executive director for 22 years. She leaves a legacy of substantial contributions, notably the introduction of a certification program for court interpreters in Tennessee, which gained state adoption.

Dr. Rodriguez’s career at TLC included extensive community involvement across various boards, including the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Committee, the Metro Nashville Police Department’s El Protector Program, and the Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission. Additional boards on which Dr. Rodriguez has served include the Japan-America Society of Tennessee, the College of Public Service Board of Advisors at Tennessee State University (TSU), Sister Cities Nashville, and the International Education Advisory Board at TSU.

Staff headshot of Eric AmosHer efforts have earned multiple accolades, including the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Bridges Award and recognition from TSU as an Outstanding Doctoral Alumna. Under her guidance, TLC and its precursor, the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, garnered significant honors, including the Nashville Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity and Best Places to Work awards, and a Level Two Baldrige National Quality Award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.

Amos, the new Interim Executive Director, joined TLC as a project manager for Interpretation and Translation Services in 2018. He was named interim director of ITS in November 2022 and was named director of ITS in June 2023. His recent receipt of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service’s Pinnacle Award underscores his commitment to excellence. He has both bachelor‘s and master’s degrees in Intercultural Studies.

As we navigate this transition, TLC remains committed to our mission of fostering language and cultural understanding in Tennessee and beyond.

TLC Receives 2023 TNCPE Commitment Award

TLC is excited to be recognized with the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence’s 2023 TNCPE Commitment Award. TNCPE helps organizations with affordable, in-depth assessments with the goal of performance improvement. TLC’s award was the result of a rigorous assessment and site visit process. An organization recognized with the Commitment Award demonstrates serious commitment and implementation of performance improvement principles.

“TNCPE’s vision is to be a trusted partner and regional resource in achieving performance excellence and one of the many ways we do that is through the Awards Program,” said TNCPE President and CEO, Heather Schoch. “Organizations being recognized this year have demonstrated a strong commitment to improvement and have chosen TNCPE and the Baldrige framework as their path to excellence. They have completed a rigorous assessment and site visit process which provides valuable feedback on their excellence journey, and I commend them! TNCPE is proud to be associated with these organizations.”

Established in 1993 as a public-private partnership, the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence strives to strengthen economic development and organizational health by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today’s global marketplace through affordable, in-depth assessments. A nonprofit, TNCPE is grounded in the Baldrige Excellence Framework—a holistic framework used by organizations across multiple industries to improve their performance and achieve sustainable results. More than fifteen hundred (1,500) organizations have participated in and benefited from the TNCPE award program.

 

Man standing in front of a project screen in a classroom

TLC Participates in TWLTA Annual Conference

Brian Barnett and Maya Campbell from TLC’s World Languages department participated in the annual Tennessee World Languages Teaching Association (TWLTA) conference. In addition to promoting our Spanish and Arabic for Educators programs, Brian also presented “Enriching the World Languages Curriculum: Incorporating Language Varieties and Registers,”  as one of the conference workshops.

Four women standing in distillery lobby

TLC Provides Portuguese Interpreters for Company Celebration

Portobello America, a Brazilian-owned porcelain and ceramic tiles company, celebrated the grand opening of its U.S. headquarters and first production facility in Baxter, TN. TLC provided Portuguese interpreters for the leaders, managers, and stakeholders from Brazil for the several-day celebration. We provided interpreters for Nashville trolley tours on Friday, the grand opening celebration and event in Baxter on Saturday, and a tour of the Jack Daniels distillery on Sunday.

Classroom from the back with adults sitting at tables

TLC Offers Spanish Toolkit for Medical Personnel Training

Training Specialist Richard Ponce de Leon and Project Manager Genna Linton presented TLC’s “Spanish Toolkit for Medical Personnel” training for the second time at VUMC. The class was full with 50 participants and a waiting list.

This 4-hour training introduces the participants to aspects of Hispanic culture and key Spanish phrases that might be helpful as they interact with patients and families during the course of their day-to-day work. Better communication leads to better care and outcomes for patients.

Group of women in blue graduation cap and gowns

TLC Partners with Head Start to Offer English to Parents

TLC’s ESL program is offering English classes to parents at three Head Start programs. This is the 7th year TLC has offered this program. This Fall, around 100 parents will take English classes at Paragon Mills Elementary, Glenview Elementary, and Susan Gray Elementary Head Start programs in Middle Tennessee.

Learning English helps these parents be more involved in their communities and schools as well as helping them be more successful. Combining the classes with the Head Start program for their children makes learning English more convenient and accessible.

Headshot of woman on a card announcing diversity award winner

TLC Recognized with Helping Hand Diversity Award

The Tennessee Language Center and Executive Director Janice Rodriguez were recognized by the Nashville Business Journal as Leaders in Diversity.

The NBJ’s inaugural class of 25 honorees in Middle Tennessee includes those individuals and companies leading the charge to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.