TLC’s Director of World Languages Brian Barnett is consulting with Meraki Learning Center about developing a world language curriculum for its students. Meraki is a unique homeschool and enrichment center in Nashville tailored to the learning needs and interests of its students. Brian is also working with the French instructor to develop activities for several students with proficiency in French at Meraki. This work will help Meraki develop a well-planned world languages component to its curriculum to facilitate learning and enrich the language experiences of its students.
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Find out what our current students already know – our classes are awesome! We hope you will join us.
The fifth “Spanish for Educator’s 10-week course began on April 4 with 13 participants. The group are all Metro Nashville Public School teachers from either Glencliff High School or the schools that feed into Glencliff. The course was developed by TLC to help participants with little or no previous Spanish study to develop a cultural understanding and a basic repertoire of conversation skills to engage with Spanish speakers in their schools and local communities.
Director of World Languages Brian Barnett was recently a guest of Cara to Cara radio program sponsored by the Hispanic Family Foundation (HFF). For the Spring 2022 World Languages term, we are offering an in-person beginning Spanish class at HFF. Registration for Spring Term starts March 7 and classes begin the week of April 18. TLC also offers English classes at HFF.
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.”
By now, almost everyone has at least heard of the addictive letter guessing game Wordle, whether you play it or not. It is so popular, that it is being copied in other languages. Here’s just a few of them for you to practice your vocabulary with. If you don’t see your language, you can search the internet – it is probably there!
Find the right Wordle for you!
🏴 Play Wordle in Hawaiian
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!
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.
ESL to Go, a grant-funded program that is part of the Tennessee Language Center (TLC), has been able to provide free English classes to over 1,700 students in the Nashville area with the help of generous funders including the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. ESL to Go was recently awarded another year of funding from Dollar General.
ESL to Go was founded in hopes of helping refugees overcome barriers to attending classes, with transportation being at the top of the list. ESL to Go uses a “classroom on wheels” in the form of a Ford F-650 truck equipped to be a fully functioning classroom to take English classes to the areas where refugees live. ESL to Go also works closely with local refugee resettlement agencies, community organizations, apartment complexes, and churches who allow ESL to Go to use free classroom space, so TLC-trained teachers are able to meet with refugee students close to their homes.
Recently, ESL to Go has expanded class offerings to include virtual classes in order to continue helping students access classes during the time of social distancing.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Connie Barrow, a nurse practitioner from White House who homeschools her two kids, Wesley (age 15) and Shannon (age 13). They have been attending our classes since January and just recently completed their third term. She sits patiently in our lobby twice a week for two hours while Wesley and Shannon take their evening world language classes and has become a dear friend of ours.
One of the reasons Connie sought us out was because of her son’s interest in learning Russian. Private video lessons with an instructor based in the Ukraine sparked an interest in attending an in-person class. With a quick search on the internet, Connie found TLC.
The combination of the private tutoring and attending our in-person classes year round is how her kids achieve the required amount of homeschool credit every year. Although year round classes are a big commitment, Connie appreciates the continuity of the language learning and says it quickly became about more than just achieving the school credit – both kids are very committed to and excited about learning their prospective languages.
Connie says that one of the perks of studying here is that her kids can be around adult learners who take their language studies seriously. Her kids don’t have to worry about other students in class goofing off or distracting them from learning.
She also really appreciates the breadth of world language options when compared to regular school systems who typically only offer a few language options. As a mother, she thought it was important that her kids have the option to choose their own language interests from a large variety of options. Having lots of choices helps them think outside the box and enjoy being different. She is very proud that her kids authentically picked their own languages to study and believes it shows them that learning to pursue personal goals and dreams is valuable. “Sometimes teenagers feel the need to conform, but they need to know that it’s okay not to conform. I definitely recommend TLC to homeschool parents. Even if it’s not for credit, it encourages independence even within their own family and gives them something that makes them unique.”
I was also very happy to hear that both kids absolutely love their teachers. Wesley’s Russian teacher, Tatiana Logsdon, is a native of Russia. Wesley enjoys the stories she shares from her homeland, the culture, and learning what it is really like to live there. Shannon enjoys French because it is different from what her big brother is studying, but also because her French teacher, Jennifer Pitts, is consistent and understands what it is like to be in her student’s shoes with learning a language from scratch. Also, Shannon’s aunt lives in Quebec and speaks French, so it has been exciting for her to have that connection to her extended family members in Canada.
Connie has picked up some world language skills from her kids, too! She can say some basic sentences in Russian and French, thanks to her well-studied kids. The Barrow family recently attended the 2019 International Pathfinder Camporee event in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, where they got to meet and spend time with hundreds of different families from different countries and cultural backgrounds. The Barrow family believes that seeking out and celebrating diversity is important for their kids’ character development. “It is important to know there is a way to show kindness even if you can’t understand what the other person is saying. It is exciting to be in a multi-cultural setting. They are people from other places, but they are just like you and me. There is so much value in being bilingual.”
She also wanted to point out that it was a fairly easy process of registering her kids and getting all her questions answered. “I really like TLC’s gentle approach to helping us, whether on the phone or in person, it was important to me to ask questions. I absolutely recommend TLC to everyone.”
Our current class offerings are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. If you are interested in getting more information or registering for classes, please visit our website at http://tlc.tennessee.edu or give us a call at 615-741-7579.