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.
TLC Project Manager Genna Linton presented “The Intersection of Law and Interpretation within Special Education” at the Equal Justice University Conference held Aug. 30 in Murfreesboro. The annual event is sponsored by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services. TALS’s mission is to strengthen the delivery of civil legal help to vulnerable Tennesseans.
Three TLC employees were recently recognized by the University of Tennessee Institute of Public Service with a Five Franklin Award, which notes those staff members who demonstrate great work and service to the institute.
Irma Hernandez, Spanish Bilingual Administrative Coordinator, has been with TLC for a short time but has made a significant impact amongst their peers and customers. From day one, Irma has taken the initiative in speaking at a conference, participating in the fundraising team, and meeting with community members, all while learning her new job role. Irma immediately increased their area’s classes and student numbers and performs tasks with a cheerful attitude.
Richard Ponce de Leon, Bilingual Coordinator for Interpretation and Translation, has consistently demonstrated initiative and skill in many areas beyond the scope of the job he was hired to do. Richard is innovative, reliable and a source of inspiration for TLC. Plus, Richard is rather amusing and delightful to work with (and a master of chihuahua memes).
Ramona Wilson, Evening Program Coordinator, has shown flexibility, strength, and a positive attitude through the intense changes we have gone through this past year. Ramona has demonstrated sustained high-quality job performance, initiative, good communication skills, flexibility, and commitment to the agency. When we have in-person classes, Ramona greets students and teachers with warmth and a smile, making all feel welcome. She is always trying to learn new things and be a better version of her great self. No matter what may come around, she is always up to the task.
Congratulations to all three!
Jenny Rish, Director of English Programs, and Irma Hernandez, Spanish Bilingual Admin Coordinator, held an interactive presentation for the Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders (TAMCAR) on Thursday, June 3, about “The Basics for Communicating with All of Your Residents.” TAMCAR is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the municipal clerk and encourages clerks and recorders to continue their professional growth and development through continuing educational opportunities. TLC helped participants think through interactions they have had with people from other cultures who speak other languages and provided some basic phrases in Spanish to help with their work.
Some translation mistakes can have a lasting, if mostly harmless, impact. Like early Biblical translators thinking Moses was “horned” instead of “radiant,” leading to some really interesting sculptures, statues, and illuminations of Moses with horns on his head. Or people thinking that Mars had manmade “canals” on it instead of erosion-created “channels” due to a translation error. But other translation mistakes can have lifelong, or even deadly, consequences, as Richard Ponce-de-Leon Monosalva, Interpretation & Translation Project Manager, illustrated during his presentation “Language Access in the Courts” at a recent MTAS Conference for Municipal Court Clerks from across Tennessee on May 21.
TLC provides certified court interpreters, and also offers training for court interpretation throughout the year.
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.
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.
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