Tennessee Foreign Language Institute

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Tennessee Foreign Language Institute
Formation 1986
Type Governmental
Purpose Teaching and learning of languages
Coordinates 36°11′35″N 86°47′44″W / 36.19317°N 86.795425°W / 36.19317; -86.795425
Website tfli.org

The Tennessee Foreign Language Institute (TFLI) is an agency of the State of Tennessee that provides language classes, language teacher training and certification, and interpretation and translation services.

TFLI was created by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1986 to promote the learning and teaching of foreign languages.[1] [2] It is the only state-government-supported organization of its kind.[citation needed]

TFLI, which is located in Nashville, has four major departments: English as a Second Language, Foreign Languages, Curriculum and Training, and Interpretation and Translation Services.


The legislation that established TFLI (Tennessee Code Annotated 49-50-1303) called for its governing board to consist of the state commissioners of economic and community development and tourist development or their designees; the commissioner of education; the chancellor of the state university and community college system or a designee; the President of the University of Tennessee or a designee; the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission; and three other persons appointed by the Governor.


The official goals of the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute can be found in the legislative mandate in the Tennessee Code Annotated. The legislation outlines the purposes of TFLI, "which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Coordination and provision of foreign language skills needed by state government for purposes of industrial recruitment, tourist development or any other state purpose;
  • Original research into the most effective methods of foreign language instruction and the dissemination of such knowledge;
  • Improvement of the language skills and teaching methods of foreign language instructors at all levels in the schools, colleges and universities of Tennessee; and
  • Coordination and provision of foreign language instruction to the citizens of Tennessee."


Fees for services are a major source of funding for TFLI. State appropriations, which totaled $349,100 in 2009-10, provide about 20% of its budget. Additional funds come from grants and donations.[3]


  • Cabbies' English skills targeted, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - March 10, 2008
  • News of note in Williamson County, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - September 17, 2007
  • People in business, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - September 9, 2007
  • Push for English-only driver's test stirs debate, Greenville (SC) News, The - July 30, 2007
  • EXECUTIVE Q&A. DAVID BEREZOV, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - June 10, 2007
  • Immersion programs: Local opportunities, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - February 6, 2007
  • Starbucks brewing at MetroCenter, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - August 4, 2006
  • PEOPLE IN BUSINESS, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - July 23, 2006
  • EDUCATION NOTEBOOK, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - July 3, 2006
  • PEOPLE IN BUSINESS, Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) - June 11, 2006


  1. ^ "Education-Related Programs" (PDF). Tennessee Blue Book 2007-2008. p. 188. 
  2. ^ Title 49 Education Chapter 50 Miscellaneous Part 13 Tennessee Foreign Language Institute Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-50-1301 (2011) 49-50-1301. Establishment. There is established a Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. HISTORY: Acts 1986, ch. 801, § 1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-50-1301
  3. ^ "How is TFLI Funded?" (PDF). Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 

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