Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about World Languages

Language Study

Enrollment Process


Refunds, Transfers, and Billing

Language Study

Why should I choose the Tennessee Language Center (TLC) for my language studies?

Our World Languages team is here to help you succeed in meeting your language goals. All our language instructors and staff, many of whom are native speakers themselves, love languages as much as you do.

Our classes are student-centered, small, and focus on conversation and practical language which allows for individualized attention and a lot of meaningful practice. Studying at TLC provides opportunities to connect with fellow language learners, creating a supportive community that encourages language practice and cultural exchange – and to have fun!

Our classes are designed to use the target language immediately, even at the beginner levels, to prepare students for real-life contexts. We also have need-based scholarships for our group language classes to help cover the cost of enrollment fees as well as offer unique opportunities such as classes like Japanese for Youth, Spanish & Arabic for Educators classes, and an immersion experience in French to Louisiana.

How long does it take to become fluent?

Developing fluency in a language is a life-long journey.  More information about proficiency targets and our courses can be found on this website.

Am I too old to learn a language?

Of course not! TLC currently offers group classes for adults and adolescents aged 16 and older, youth classes in Japanese aged 11-15, and we welcome students aged 6 and above in our custom classes.

Our language students come from very different backgrounds in terms of age, nationality, profession, and motivations (personal and professional). We value this diversity, and it contributes to and shapes the language learning experience at TLC.

Enrollment Process

How do I enroll in a world languages group class?

To enroll:

Find out here when the next registration period is. If it has been more than two weeks since the start of the term, wait until the next time registration is open. In the meantime, let us know at that you are interested in taking classes with us so we can remind you when registration opens next time and answer any questions you may have about our programs.

If registration is open, browse our catalog, If you are not sure which level to choose, reach out at, and we will set up a placement call for you.

Once you choose your class, follow the purchasing instructions. You will receive an automatic confirmation of your purchase, and closer to the start date of the class, an update of the status of your class, and a welcome email from your instructor. Enjoy learning with us!

What discounts do you offer and how do you apply them?

We offer everyone an early bird discount for registering at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the term. Find out about other discounts you may qualify for here. Discount codes are used at checkout when purchasing your course. You can only use one discount.

How do I use my fee waiver?

Full-time employees of the State of Tennessee and those whose paychecks are issued by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee qualify to use a fee waiver at Tennessee’s public institutions of higher education for one class per semester or term. The Tennessee Language Center (TLC) is among the institutions that accept fee waivers. To enroll in a world language group class using a Board of Regents fee waiver form (for University of Tennessee or other Board of Regents employees) or a state employee fee waiver  form (for all other Tennessee state employees), please go to this page. K-12 teachers are county school district employees and not state employees, so they do not fall into the State fee waivers.  However, teachers can apply for a 15% discount at this site.

Do you sponsor student visas?

No, our classes are not certificate programs eligible for FAFSA, federal financial aid, or visa sponsorships.

Do group classes and custom classes have an age restriction?

Students must be 16 or older in order to take regular group language classes at TLC. For Japanese, we have a youth program for students at age 11-15. Email to inquire about the specific language your child is interested in. We may be able to help.

When should I go sign up for my courses?

We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible during the enrollment period.  We offer four 9-week terms a year.  Go here to find our class calendar for current and upcoming terms.  For each enrollment period, we offer an early-bird registration discount that can be used for about 3 weeks after the start of registration. Enrollment remains open until the end of the second week of class.  After that point, you will need to wait until the following 9-week term for a group language class.

If the course for which you wanted to sign up is full or has already started, email our World Languages Administration team (, and they’d be happy to assist!

What level should I take if I am not a true beginner?

You can find descriptions of each level in our class catalog after registration opens for each term. But if you’re still unsure, reach out to, and we will put you in touch with an instructor to schedule a brief and friendly, complimentary placement call. Oh, and if you start a class and realize the level of the class just doesn’t feel right, let your teacher and/or us know, and we will be glad to arrange for you to explore a higher or lower level. We want you to be appropriately challenged and enjoy your class in the most optimal learning environment.

Can I take a trial class for group classes?

While we do not offer trial classes or sit-ins, we do periodically organize free sample lessons for different languages; these events are scheduled in between terms. You can email to find out when the next sampler will be scheduled. We are also here to answer any questions you may have about our classes, and we offer a complimentary placement Zoom call with an instructor.

What is the minimum number of students you require to run a course?

To provide an interactive, dynamic group class experience, TLC requires at least four tuition-paying students enrolled to run a group course.

Can a company, nonprofit, or work team take classes together?

Of course! We have worked with numerous companies and work teams to offer a language course to students at a similar proficiency level.  Contact and we would be happy to assist you with creating a corporate class that meets your needs.


What qualifications do TLC language instructors have?

We hire the best language instructors through a very rigid hiring process; this involves the submission of a lesson plan and delivering a demo lesson. Moreover, instructors are observed by world language pedagogy experts who offer them feedback and assist in class preparation.  Lastly, we continue to train our teaching team as they receive professional development opportunities at least four times a year to assist in offering a high-quality class experience to our students.

Do I receive university credit?  

No, our world language offerings are all currently non-credit classes.

How much time do students need to study outside of class?

The time can vary depending on the language, level, and instructors’ preferences; however, on average, you should expect to spend at least 2-3 hours outside of class each week completing homework or reviewing class content.  Each course description includes an Expectations/Time Commitment section to provide you with more detailed information on what to expect for each particular course.

Are your courses accredited?

No, our courses are not accredited.

How are the online group classes held?

All of our online classes are held on Zoom.

Where are the in-person classes held?

We offer in-person classes* at the following locations:

  • Tennessee Language Center, 220 French Landing Drive, Nashville, TN 37243
  • UT Offices, 193 Polk Avenue, Nashville TN
  • Montgomery County Extension Office, 1030 Cumberland Heights Road Ste. A, Clarksville, TN 37040
  • UT/TSU Agricultural Extension Office at the Agricenter, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Building B, Memphis, TN

*Not all classes are offered at every location. Please check the schedule for locations.

What can I expect in a typical online group course?

Think “in-person” as the courses happen in real-time but from your preferred location! Students and teacher keep their cameras on and create a fun, supportive learning community, just as you would in an in-person setting.

Our students want to walk out of the classroom and use the language in practical situations like work, family, travel, missions, hobbies, etc. So, we focus on conversation and what we can do with the language rather than only knowing about the language.  You will have multiple opportunities to connect with your teacher and fellow classmates as you can expect to work in pairs, in small groups, in group discussions, and more.

How do I prepare for an online group class?

Before taking your first class, please make sure that you have downloaded the free program Zoom where we host all of our online group classes. You’ll only have to download the software once, after that your classroom will automatically launch when you click the classroom link. Please make sure that your device meets the tech requirements for using Zoom.  To ensure that everything works smoothly, we suggest that you give it a test before your first class using this link:

What happens if I must miss a class/my first class?  Will the online classes be recorded?

Missing a class, and sometimes more than one class out of nine, is acceptable and doable given that the student is able to do the homework assigned by the teacher. The teacher will do a review each week, which is helpful for those who missed class, but also for those who were in class.

It is TLC policy to not record our online and in-person classes.  We find it is important for students to be active participants to acquire the language.  We work with adult professionals and while we strongly encourage class participation each week, we understand that life gets in the way, and we try to make it work so folks can still incorporate our classes into their schedule and learn. In addition, we use a learning management system called Matrix, where teachers post materials there of what was or will be covered and those help students catch up on their own as well.

What happens when a single session is canceled by an instructor due to an emergency?

We will notify you of any changes to your Group Course class schedule. Generally, if a class is canceled by the instructor, we add an extra makeup session at the end of the term on the same day and time the class usually meets.

How long do I have access to the course content on the learning management system?

Typically, it is 14 days (about 2 weeks) after the last date of class.


Refunds, Transfers, and Billing

What is your refund policy for group classes?

If TLC cancels the class, and we cannot accommodate you with another class option, your payment will be fully refunded. Credit card transactions will be credited to the original card used and refund checks will be mailed for cash or check transactions. This process takes 3 to 4 weeks.

If you withdraw from class at least five (5) days before the start date of the class, you have these options:

  • Receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee (This process takes 3-4 weeks), or
  • Use the balance to purchase class materials (if applicable), or
  • Transfer the balance to another student or a gift certificate, or
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to the TLC scholarship fund.

No refunds or TLC credits will be issued for student withdrawals if the class starts in 4 days or less or for missed classes.

For questions about the group class refund policies, please contact the World Language Department at

What is your policy for group class transfers(level transfers)?

If you’re in an incorrect level placement for a world languages group class, we’ll make sure to get you into the right one! Talk to your instructor or contact the World Language Department at