Sylvie, French and CNED teacher in NYC

Interview with Sylvie, French teacher

Hi Sylvie, you propose French classes for all ages on MyTutorSpeaksFrench, could you please share with us your experience as a teacher?

Hello Emmanuelle, I’m originally an English teacher and I have the CAPES diploma in English. During my English studies, I had the opportunity to spend a year in England where I taught French as a Second Language to middle-schoolers I then went to Nashville, USA, two years later where I taught French 101 (absolute beginners) at  Vanderbilt University. Once back in France, I taught English to French middle-schoolers. After that, I moved to New York where I worked as an adjunct French professor for 3 years in 2 American universities. I did this for few years, then I quit to take care of my daughter. This is when I started to give private classes, often one-on-one, to American students who wanted to lean French. They could be absolute beginners or people with an intermediate level in French willing to practice their conversation skills or their everyday French.

For whom your classes are made?

My first group of students are made of French-speaking children who follow the distance-learning CNED course. I have elementary level children as well as 6th, 7th and 8th graders. We receive a booklet and we follow the lessons that are sent.

IMy second group of students is made of absolute beginners. I really give private classes, as it’s only me with the student. I bring my own material, they also buy books which help them prepare their lessons and do their homework.

And finally, I have a conversation group of 4 people that I meet once a week. We talk about various and different topics. They propose press articles which they are interested in, I bring my own articles and we put everything in common to talk about what we’ve read and about French culture in general because they are interested in it of course.

Sylvie, if I’m a total beginner in French, how much time do I need to express myself or read a novel for example?

It all depends on the student’s commitment. If the entire homework I gave is well done, it can take very few months. They can acquire basic conversation skills in 2 or 3 months. I also give them vocabulary to learn. Most of my students like to listen to French songs on YouTube or I advise them to listen to the radio: France Inter or Franco Info. Naturally, they won’t understand everything they hear but it will help them to sharpen their ear. If they follow these instructions, learning the language can go pretty fast.

Thank you Sylvie!

Sylive, French and CNED teacher


To practice your French, click here to read the French version

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