Skype lessons

Posté le 6 février 2014 par Isabelle

Skype lessons are really comparable to face-to-face individual lessons. I use the same sort of materials, and exactly the same approach.

The material is put on a personal website, designed for each student. It’s a sort of ‘virtual folder’. It can include classical written exercises of course, as well as photos, videos and audio files. This is really flexible.

During a Skype session, both teacher and student are connected to the personal website and we can do several language activities using the material which I choose for the student, and put on the website. A ‘standard’ lesson generally includes tips to develop oral expression, oral understanding, written understanding, and grammar.
Lesson after lesson the ‘virtual folder’ will grow. The student can access this website at any time between the lessons, and we use it as a support for homework as well : for example, I may put some ‘listening exercises’ (audio files) for the student to practise.

Here is a sample ‘student website’. You can explore the folder by clicking on the different ‘categories’ of the column on your right.

Sample, personnal website


Adult tuition

Posté le 5 février 2014 par Isabelle

Adult tuition always appears to be really challenging … therefore really exciting too ! This is why I love my job.

You never find two adults with the same background, and of course they all have their own goals in learning French. They are not all the same age, and their personal natural capabilities to distinguish and to pronounce the sounds can vary greatly ; not to mention the rather significant differences which exist between male and female ways to approach the language.

But finally, after several years of experience, I think I know what really makes the difference, what will quickly boost my student to the desired stage when he or she feels able to relax sufficiently in order to converse for one hour with a native French speaker.
Would you like to know the secret ? I’m going to tell you …. no, it’s NOT age. No, it’s not even living in France and hearing French all day (I have met a large number of people who can hardly speak any French after several years living here…). It’s none of these things.
The secret is : confidence ! People who are generally very confident in their life are generally good at learning a new language. They « jump » into it with no hesitation ; they do not fear making mistakes ; they just try and try again ; they do not feel judged ; and they enjoy learning something new. This sort of attitude works well, and people quickly learn, whatever their background and age are.
The trouble is that confidence is something very personal, and you do not really choose your level of confidence, do you ? Your personality is not going to change in a few days just because you are having a few language lessons. Therefore, part of my role as your teacher will to help you find your own way of learning _ your own style, your own speed,your own rythm, whatever your confidence is.

When I start with a new student I am never capable of predicting how long it will take for me to help him achieve his goals. And if I’m honest I usally do not know myself how exactly I will approach a project with each new student at the start ! Quite often people expect me to have a « good » method, the « one » which works … the right set of books, tapes etc… Well, whilst it’s true that my cupboards are full of books, tapes and other teaching materials, these are all just individual tools from which I may select to use from time to time.
I think my role, as a teacher, is to adapt my method to my student, rather than choosing a ‘ready-made standard method’ to which my student should try to adapt.

Not knowing exactly the way I will teach someone before we start does not mean I don’t have any guideline in my head. On the contrary, I know exactly the key point I want my student to reach before we start the following stage. For example, a student will never start any conjugation with me as long as his pronunciation of the French vowel sounds ‘eu’ and ‘è’ is not accurate enough. Because there is no point on my opinion. I much prefer my student to ‘feel’ and understand how conjugations ‘phonetically speaking’ work, rather then trying to learn by heart a list of verbs !


Immersion activities

Posté le 26 juillet 2011 par Isabelle

immersion : French lesson at the chocolaterie !


Immersion activities

Posté le 24 juillet 2011 par Isabelle

Immersion activities are obviously a fantastic way to introduce quickly to the French language, the French culture. It’s also a great way to develop friendship !

Here are three girls helping  to prepare a meal, one is French, one is American, one is Brazilian.

Immersion activities : a French meal

The classroom is equipped for all sorts of activities, it is here that children find  art materials and everything for manual creations.

Interactions between children of different nationalities help them to become more confident.

Manual creative activities keep the children concentrated and relaxed at the same time. A wide range of vocabulary is used during the activities.

manual and creative activities

Musical activities and songs are one of the most enjoyable ways to learn a new language ! This applies also to adults !

Musical activities

A very special French lesson : create your Chocolates


Learning spoken French – Children –

Posté le 24 juillet 2011 par Isabelle

Making a child speak about a book.

next …


Learning how to read French

Posté le 24 juillet 2011 par Isabelle

When a child arrives in France at the age of 6 or 7, the main goal at school is to learn READING.

If the child is already a good reader of his native language, he or she  will generally understand quite quickly the differences between the two languages.

But if the child  is not yet  a good reader, which can be quite normal at this age, he or she  may struggle to learn to read French !

- How can you read a language you do not understand ?

- How can you read a language when you do not exactly know how to pronounce the sounds ? When you can’t yet hear the subtle differences between several sounds ?

A little help is often welcome.

Here are a few experiences I’d like to share (short videos)

French vowels : easy to pronounce ?

Reading and Pronouncing French : first syllables

Reading French : first words

Personal advice : I believe a child should be able to read his or her native language. When possible, try to find a way for your children to be taught reading their native language, even if it does not seem to be a priority when you arrive in France. This will also help them with their French !


Isabelle on Radio Accords Angoulême

Posté le 13 octobre 2009 par Isabelle

Isabelle is on radio Accords frequency Angoulême 96.8 right now !!

Interviewed by Helen Millar for AngloFile programme for the English ….speaking about French education and the problems the British children may found when they start in the French school.

Isabelle is a little bit stressed as it was her first time on the radio….! ;-)

Thanks to my teacher Richard for his patience in trying to prepare me for this challenge !

Part 1 Radio interview

Part 2 Radio interview

Part 3 Radio interview

Part 4 Radio interview

Part 5 Radio interview

Part 6 Radio interview

Part 7 Radio interview


La rentrée

Posté le 12 octobre 2009 par Isabelle

Nous voilà déjà en Octobre !

Tous les enfants sont rentrés en classe, certains pour la toute première fois en France, d’autres dans une nouvelle école, d’autres enfin dans la même école.

Tous ont repris la classe avec enthousiasme , tous ont progressé en Français pendant l’été.

Les professeurs des écoles ont remarqué les progrès !  Les cahiers se remplissent de « points verts ».

Les enfants ont le sourire :-)

Alors les parents ont le sourire :-) )

Et donc Isabelle a le sourire aussi :-) ))


Protégé : Parents – « Collège » level group

Posté le 25 juin 2009 par Isabelle

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Protégé : Parents – Primary level group

Posté le 18 juin 2009 par Isabelle

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