Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 lucky ESL volunteers will get TFLI certification for free, thanks to Nissan Foundation

The Tennessee Foreign Language Institute (TFLI) announced that it has received a $23,000 grant from the Nissan Foundation for scholarships to train ten volunteers who currently teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Applicants who are selected for the scholarships will enroll to become certified instructors for adult immigrants and refugees learning English as a second language in Davidson County.

Scholarship applications are due October 15.  Application details are below.

The Nissan Foundation grant will utilize TFLI’s 145-hour (four-month) Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Certification program to formally train volunteer instructors at immigrant and refugee community centers.  The TESL course provides trainees with the foundation to plan, prepare and execute solid and effective lessons for adult English language learners at levels from pre-literacy to superior.  

“The Nissan Foundation supports programs that build appreciation for diversity,” said John Dab, secretary of the Nissan Foundation. “TFLI’s ESL programs help cultivate language proficiency and cultural understanding throughout our community, and align well with the Foundation’s core values.” Since 2000, the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute has directed four intensive certification courses per year and continues to be the leading provider of TESL Certification for teachers of ESL in the state.

According to the TFLI, a TESL certificate opens the door to employment, either overseas or in the U.S., with most overseas work being full-time, and most local jobs being part-time:
Local part-time jobs are abundant. Most institutes that employ ESL teachers will have part-time work available. ESL teachers tend to move where the need is so you will need to be mobile and able to handle a flexible schedule. Usually classes will meet in different locations for two hours at a time.   As you do with any job, you have to promote and market yourself. If you are creative, resourceful and flexible you can find enough part-time work to keep you employed full-time!
For more information, read the additional materials and the FAQ page, and if you still have questions, please contact the TFLI at

TESL Certification Scholarship 2012 Guidelines
Click here to download a printable copy of the Guidelines

• TFLI will accept applications from August 15, 2011 to October 15, 2011.  TFLI will not accept applications, reference letters, or any documentation after October 15, 2011.
• Any incomplete registrations will not be considered for the scholarship. Through a registration screening process, 10 applicants will be chosen from among all the applicants who have applied. The scholarship winners will be announced on November 15, 2011.
• Applicants will be responsible for the $25 registration fee and if awarded, the scholarship recipient will be responsible for $175.00 of the program's cost (total $200.00).  No other coupons, discounts or fee waivers apply to the scholarship recipients.
• Applicants will choose to enroll in one of the TESL courses offered in Winter 2012Spring 2012Summer 2012 or Fall 2012.

Scholarship applicants will adhere to the following guidelines:

1) Applicant should have or should be approaching completion of a Bachelor’s degree.

2) If an applicant is a non-native speaker of English, The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is mandatory.  Applicants must prove a total TOEFL iBT score of 85.  Individual skill section scores are: reading score of 21, listening score of 21, speaking score of 21, and writing score of 22.

3) Applicant should be prepared to devote a full-time schedule to this course.

4) Applicant must obtain a passing grade on all assignments and practice teaching sessions.

5 Applicant should have access to a computer at all times. Applicant must have basic word processing skills, internet, and e-mail. 6) Applicant must demonstrate a commitment to his or her center by having taught, or worked, for at least 50 consecutive hours (or) for at least 6 consecutive months at the center.  In addition to the two reference letters, a letter from the applicant's direct supervisor must be presented to prove this work history.
7) Applicant must complete the TESL scholarship registration form (includes letters of reference;  a letter from the applicant's direct supervisor, financial information, an essay stating purpose and need).  Print thisapplication checklist to keep track of your application progress.

8) If the applicant withdraws from the course before the required components of the course are completed, he or she will also be responsible for repaying a pro-rated portion of the scholarship funds as determined by TFLI.  9) After the applicant has been awarded the scholarship, s/he will be asked to sign a contract with TFLI and with the center in which they are working, stating that they agree to teach at least 100 hours (during and/or after the TESL class) for the center. The applicant will not receive the TESL certificate until s/he has completed this requirement.  The contract will be mailed to the applicant with his/her acceptance letter.

TESL Scholarship recipients must adhere to the evaluation process as stated below: 

There are two evaluation components for scholarship recipients. The purpose of this evaluation is:
• to ensure a standard level of instruction;
• to improve the teaching and learning experiences of volunteers, staff and ESL learners in the community center ESL classroom; and
• to enrich individuals' experience in their jobs.1) Standard Evaluation for all TESL participants. The TESL program maintains on-going formative and summative assessments through the established feedback and grading system processes.  Trainees can earn a total 500 points throughout the course.  Each component of the course receives either written and/or oral feedback. Below is the TESL grading rubric:

OBSERVATIONS Observation 1 – Pass/Fail Observation 2 – Pass/Fail

PRE-CLASS ASSIGNMENTS Methods & Approaches – 20 points Research Assignment – 6 points Grammar Assignment – 44 points Pronunciation Assignment – 30 points

IN-CLASS TRAINING Quiz 1 – 10 points Quiz 2 – 10 points Quiz 3 – 15 points Participation/Attendance ­ – 40 points Presentation Plan – 10 points Peer Teaching – 40 points

FIELD TEACHING (PRACTICUM) Class 1 – 75 points Class 2 – 95 points Class 3 – 105 points Class 4 – Pass/Fail Class 5 – Pass/Fail

2) Evaluation for Scholarship Recipients. The second evaluation component is structured around the scholarship recipient and the community center leadership.  In order to give constructive post-graduation feedback, a designated person in the organization must be responsible to supervise the employee or volunteer and to periodically review his or her performance.  By instituting a formal supervision and evaluation process, recipient can be observed on the job, and his/her work can be monitored on an ongoing basis.  An evaluation rubric will be given to the organization in order to fulfill this requirement. The evaluations will be returned to TFLI's TESL Director for review, reporting and filing.
Upon successful completion of the course and their 100-hour teaching requirement, scholarship recipients will graduate and be presented with TFLI's 145-hour TESL certificate.

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