Blog

My background

Aug 8, 2020 | 3 minutes read

Tag: background

I settled in the UK in 1992, and taught Business French in Cirencester, Swindon and South-West Oxfordshire for about 10 years while gradually dedicating more of my time teaching French to groups of primary and preschool children in the Vale of the White Horse.

My passion for promoting bilingual education at home, teamed with previous jobs as French Language Assistant in secondary schools as well as experience in tutoring French since 1990, inspired me to create or adapt a wealth of materials for the needs of younger language learners from both monolingual and bilingual homes.

Over the last 20 years I have enjoyed running French clubs and preschool sessions, helping young children to develop spoken French, along with literacy and other skills. I have also continued with private tutoring at all levels up to A-Level, and occasionally beyond. I made my first steps towards online tutoring from 2018, encouraged by parents of young people studying towards exams. This experience tutoring online was very positive and facilitated my switch to teaching online French clubs during the lockdown in spring 2020.

I enjoy learning and think that it is very important to regularly put myself in the shoes of a learner as it strengthens my tutoring skills. In recent years, I have completed many accredited FHEQ Level 4 courses in the field of Linguistics in order to keep my knowledge active, relevant and directly applicable to tutoring.

Since Covid-19, I have joined online courses that have helped me to understand the challenges and frustrations that some students may face when studying remotely. This has led me to reflect on the importance of teaching approaches that encourage learner autonomy and responsibility while maintaining a high level of engagement, interaction and cooperation - all of which ultimately contribute to sustained motivation.

I have recently had the opportunity to help Baccalauréat students in the French education system to practice and improve their English online. Tutoring across both education systems has reinforced my knowledge of frequently recurring study topics and foreign language assessment objectives at 16+ level in both France and Britain. It has also led me to consider which language teaching techniques are most effective to guide each online learner towards successful communication in a foreign language.

Finally, I am always pleased to support local associations or groups that promote interest in the French language and culture at community level. In recent years I have particularly enjoyed helping small groups of young people with French speaking skills. For further opportunities to practice and develop knowledge of language and culture, I can warmly recommend:

  • Faringdon Twinning Association, Youth Twinning exchange for 12-15 year-olds and leadership/work experience opportunities for 18+ year-olds. For information, please visit Faringdon Twinning.
  • Faringdon & District U3A French groups, for adults at intermediate or advanced level (membership required)
  • Faringdon French Book group, suitable for proficient adults (private house group - please ask)

For further information about my background, please feel free to check my LinkedIn profile.