Foreign Language at Community Education
Foreign language classes have always been a staple of Nashville Community Education programming. Offerings have ranged over the years from Spanish to American Sign Language. Currently, we offer Spanish and Italian at our Cohn location. The rosters of Spanish and Italian bring a crowd to NCE each week. We’d like to think that high quality instructors are a big part of what brings students to our classes. This year our foreign language instructors are from a new partnership with the Belmont University Department of Foreign Languages.
A University Partner
Nashville Community Education started working with Dr. David Julseth of the Belmont University Department of Foreign Languages to find young, enthusiastic language students looking to gain teaching experience. “Nashville Community Education offers a unique opportunity for Belmont students to gain experience teaching adult learners, who are not the traditional focus of university education programs,” says Dr. Julseth.
This year we welcomed to the NCE team Spanish instructor, Warren Ray, and Italian instructor, Jessica Spradlin. Ray, a graduate of Belmont in December 2012, had been tutoring and teaching Spanish for several years prior to joining NCE. Spradlin, also a December 2012 graduate, joined the team this Winter to teach Italian. Students return because they like our passionate and knowledgeable instructors and are eager to learn more from them. Of Ray, Spanish students say, “Learning is easy when it’s fun. Our instructor [Ray] made class fun for us, and I enjoyed coming every Wednesday to class”. Italian 1 students shared that Spradlin is enthusiastic, always cheerful, and supportive of her students. Her students enjoyed the class so much that they petitioned her for a level 3 Italian class.
Studying the Language
Both Spradlin and Ray discovered their love for language and culture while studying abroad as Belmont University undergraduate students. Ray studied abroad first in Grenada, a small city located in South Central Spain, and then in Barcelona, the second largest city in the country.
What was his favorite thing about Spain? “In Granada,” says Ray, “It was most definitely the tapas food culture—cafe food given out for free just to encourage people to linger and chat.” As for Barcelona, Ray says it was the people that made the city; “Friends I made studying, living, and working in Barcelona came from all over the world.”
Spradlin began her study of Italian simply at the request of her mother so that she could understand the Italian in The Godfather without subtitles. After diving in with the goal of understanding The Godfather, Spradlin soon found other reasons to continue to study Italian, including the opportunity to travel abroad.
Last year, Spradlin participated in a travel-study program through Belmont that led her through Bologna, Venice, Florence, and Rome. Reflecting on her time in Italy, Spradlin says, “The passion of Italy is my favorite part. In everything Italian, it seems like there is some deeper passion—in their food, in their hand gestures, in their words.”
Joining Community Education
Both Ray and Spradlin came to NCE looking for the opportunity to teach and share their love for language. “I like trying to communicate something to someone and seeing their eyes light up when they finally get it,” Spradlin explains. For Ray, it is the experience teaching all kinds of learners that makes NCE a great teaching experience. Both instructors agree that it is inspiring to see adult learners studying foreign language.
If you missed starting a new language this Winter, look for Spanish and Italian in our upcoming Summer classes, including level 1 of both languages and level 3 of Italian. Spanish 1 is set to begin June 3rd, costs $50, and will meet every Monday for 6 weeks from 7 to 9pm. Italian 1 begins May 30th, costs $40, and will meet every Thursday for 6 weeks from 6 to 7:30pm. Italian 3 begins June 3rd, costs $50, and will meet every Monday for 6 weeks from 6:00 to 7:30pm.
To students looking to start a new language this summer, Spradlin offers her favorite Italian phrase, “In bocca al lupe”—a phrase literally meaning “into the wolf’s mouth” but translating to “Good luck!” Join us this summer at Nashville Community Education!
Leah Jennings is a new teacher this winter and shares why Zumba and Community Education are so important. Leah became a certified Zumba instructor in 2012 after taking the classes for several years herself. She started attending classes at her local YMCA and loved it so much that she found herself attending more than one class in a day! Learn more about our new instructor by checking out her wellness blog Sanity Over Surface
and sign up for her class today at
. Come join the party at Nashville Community Education’s Zumba and get in shape!
40+ Year Old Nashville Community Education Gets ‘Winterized’ in Time for New Semester
Adult Education Program Rolls Out New Website, Tagline, and Blog
Nashville, TN (January 15, 2013)— For more than 40 years Nashville Community Education has been a staple in adult education—evolving from a MNPS department into a now stand alone agency. While classes have varied over the years, there is a consistent theme to meet the needs of the community through personal and professional development; serving as inspiration for a hobby, job and career preparedness, or just a great place to meet lifelong friends. With 75 classes, the new catalog provides something for every age group (12 and up). Classes begin January 22, 2013 at the Cohn Learning Center, 4805 Park Avenue.
The top of the year is met with great excitement as NCE rolls out some new branding initiatives which includes an upgraded
website, designed to be more user friendly and interactive; the use of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter and the latest addition, The Connection blog; and the new tagline–Connect, Impact, and Explore—meant to provoke action from students, teachers and the community. It will encourage students to connect with a variety of classes, excite residents to impact others through teaching, and allow participants to explore new opportunities as a result of the program. Later in the month there will also be the addition of the new online registration system that allows for more convenient class selection and payment;
“We have taken a great deal of time to listen to the needs of the community, and I am proud to say we have worked diligently to implement many of those additions,” shares Executive Director Lovette Curry, Esq. She goes on to say, “As such, we have seen an increase by more than double in enrollment and participation in our programs and are forecasting a tripling of our numbers from 2011.”
As a community organization, NCE has created a strong partnership program that aligns new reasonably priced classes with the community who would benefit most from them. Along with a consortium of courses in technology, art, language, and fitness, there are new and returning community and business partnerships. New Horizons will provide more specialized technology classes; the UT Extension EFNEP program will enable those eligible for WIC, SNAP or Head Start to learn about hands-on nutrition; and Financial Literacy hosted for six weeks by local financial institutions will teach the basics of banking, how to budget, understanding credit, and more. A favorite from last semester will also be returning, The People’s Law School presented by The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, and will present eight weeks of key legal issues. As a result of these partnerships, each of these classes, outside of New Horizons, will be offered at no cost to the students.
Registration is currently open and is encouraged prior to the class date, although students can sign up for classes, as available, through the first day of class. Many classes start January 22 and registration is available online, in-person, or through the mail. For more information visit
, call 615-298-8050 or give us your feedback on Facebook.com/NashvilleCEC or Twitter.com/NashvilleCEC.