Our Teachers

The Alliance Française Amsterdam is proud to work with experienced teachers from rich and diverse backgrounds. 
Learn more about their professionnal experiences, their decision to move to the Netherlands and about their attachment to France.



HÉLOÏSE GIRARD


Originally from Poitou-Charente (now part of New Aquitaine), in Amsterdam since 2017.

Why did you choose the Netherlands? After living in Germany, Canada, Switzerland, England and then Romania, I wanted to follow my spouse who wanted to study at UvA.

What do you miss about France? My family (and goat cheese).

Why did you choose to teach French? You always learn things by teaching. Teaching is learning, curiously!

What is your best memory with your students? It's hard to choose one! I would say that I leave each class with a smile on my face and the satisfaction of seeing my students progress quickly and with pleasure.

What is your advice for a rapid progress? To dare!



VIRGINIE LACOMME


From Les Landes,
in Haarlem since 2017.

Why did you choose the Netherlands? About ten years ago I undertook academic research on a manuscript in the library of the library of the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam. As part of this work, I started to come for long journeys to Amsterdam for my research. So the Netherlands came into my path at that time. 

What do you like about the Netherlands? The efficiency, the straightforward way Dutch don't beat around the bush for three hours or waste time, the green of the polders, the bicycle paths, the possibility of travelling alone on foot or by bicycle without danger, the "gezellig attitude" of Dutch. 

What is your advice for a rapid progress? Learning French has to coincide with a passion or talent. Do you paint? Subscribe to an art magazine in French. Do you like cooking? Sign up for a French forum on the subject. Are you an archaeology fan? Take advantage of your holidays to participate in a work camp in France. In French, this is called: " to kill two birds with one stone".



CHARLY LECLERC


He comes from the area around Poitiers, also known as "the City of 100 steeples", because there are many churches there. He studied in Bordeaux.

What do you miss about France? What I miss most in France, apart from my family and friends, is of course the food! But I must also say that I really miss the diversity of French landscapes.

What do you like about the Netherlands? What I like most about the Netherlands is the pleasant living environment. I find that life here is here much less stressful than in France. The small size of the country makes it easy to move from city to another in a short time, which are often full of charm!

Why did you choose to teach French? I chose to teach French because I find it a rich and exciting language. It fascinates me more and more every day! So I decided that I wanted to forward this language and its cultures to those who wanted to discover it.

What is your advice for a rapid progress? My advice for making rapid progress is to practice the language as much as possible outside of class: listen to/watch films or series or programmes in French, talk to French-speaking friends and colleagues. Being confronted with the real language is the best way to learn!



LÉA MONGIS


From Toulouse, in the Netherlands since 2018.

What do you like about the Netherlands? I love the Dutch culture's relationship with water in all its forms - the presence of canals of course, and boats, but also the different engineering systems of dykes, bridges and waterways. ... and even the relationship with rain! I also really like the balance between city and nature, and the word "Lekker", so flexible!

What is your best memory with your students? I think I feel happiest teaching when I see my students making the French language their own in their personal lives: understanding a story in French told by their French-speaking father, writing an important text for their professional activity, succeeding in expressing themselves spontaneously with French-speaking people at a party, making friends in their new school in France, laughing or crying while reading a book in French, calling their French-speaking grandmother and speaking to her in her native language.

What is your advice for a rapid progress?  My advice to help you progress in French is to be sincerely and personally involved in your learning: determine 1) your personal goals, 2) what it will mean to you to achieve them, and 3) don't give up, you'll get there! To make good macaroons, you need to be patient, of course, but above all you need to want to eat them! 



SYLVIE PONS


From the area of Marseille, in South of France, she lives in  Amsterdam since 2017.

Why did you choose the Netherlands? My partner had a job offer, which is what brought us here. I've also lived in in England, Australia and New Zealand.

What do you like about the Netherlands? I have a little boy and we spend a lot of time in parks and playgrounds, which are really nice in Amsterdam. I also like to cycle - I used to cycle in London, but everything is much more accessible here.

Why did you choose to teach French? A friend of my mother's used to teach French in a neighbourhood association for migrants. One day, she asked me to attend one of her classes. I spent the rest of the year assisting her in class before I decided to take a university course to obtain a diploma in teaching French as a foreign language. I loved being in the daily presence of different nationalities, sharing our experiences and helping them to progress and express themselves. I always had an interest for foreign languages and this seemed like the perfect job! Not to mention that I was already planning to live abroad...


nadège lefort


From Beaune (Burgundy), Nadège came in the Netherlands in September 2022.  

What do you like about the Netherlands? I'm still discovering the country, but their cycling culture fascinates me.

What is your best memory with your students? When I was teaching old people in Spain, they were very keen to show me their own culture. This intercultural exchange was quite incredible and I particularly remember the month of Carnival, during which one they gave me a mountain of typical Galician food, so much that I had to find kind souls to share all this food with me. 

What is your advice for a rapid progress? Dare to speak the language even if you don't do it perfectly, dare to ask questions, dare to make mistakes. Outside the classroom, exchanging regularly with non-native speakers makes you less afraid to to express yourself. Everyone speaks a different language from their mother tongue and you feel like you are all "in the same boat". This fosters mutual support and collective progress. 

 

 



What our students think: 

Virginie est une enseignante incroyable. Elle assure un suivi continu pour chaque élève. Je me sens vraiment chanceuse d'avoir eu une enseignante comme elle. 

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Etudiant AFA

Héloïse a été de loin la meilleure enseignante que j'ai eue. J'apprécie beaucoup sa méthode d'enseignement et sa patience !

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Etudiant AFA




Margot viemont


Coming from Saumur (Pays de la Loire), she is back in the Netherlands since September 2022, after have lived here in 2020-2021.

Why did you choose the Netherlands? I discovered the Netherlands in 2020 when I lived in Nijmegen. I really liked the atmosphere of the country, being able to cycle and enjoy the nature with my friends. The Netherlands is a country rich in culture and I want to discover it better now that confinements are over!   

What do you miss about France? Cheese!!

What do you like about the Netherlands? I love being able to go everywhere by bike and bitterballens!

Why did you choose to teach French? I have always wanted to teach, I love forwarding and helping others. I am also passionate about foreign languages and the French language, so teaching French was the perfect combo! 

What is your advice for a rapid progress? Take the plunge, always try, even if it means making mistakes! And also, watch some series or French programmes!

margaux brial


Originally from South of France, especially from Perpignan, she lives in the Netherlands since 2019.

Why did you choose the Netherlands? After 9 years of Parisian life and many trips to Amsterdam, it was time to change of city and to reunite with my Dutch spouse.

What do you like about the Netherlands? The feeling of freedom (and bitterballens).

Why did you choose to teach French? Because I am passionate by foreign languages and I like to share, discuss, forward.

What is your best memory with your students? Courses that come to an end by a "karaoké"!

What is your advice for a rapid progress? Listen to some podcasts: even if you don't understand everything, you will soak up the language. Or even better: fall in love with a French boy or girl, obviously!



JESSIKA VEZIAN


She comes from a little town named Saint Georges Les Bains, next to  Valence, in  France. She lives in the Netherlands since 4 years.

Why did you choose to teach French? French language opens up a whole range of other subjects: history, politics, art... And teaching allows you to meet different people from all over the world.

What is your best memory with your students? Once, a student wanted me to taste fresh herring and brought me one during a conversation class. With a good bottle of wine. The smell in the room was terrible but it was a good moment of sharing. I also loved the herring...

What is your advice for a rapid progress? Re-read your courses notes (!), watch cool series in French. Don't be afraid to talk if you are travelling in France. French people can be impatient but they are very talkative so if you say a few words in French, they'll quickly be flattered and talk to you... for hours.



AGNES RICHARD


Originally from Anjou, in the Loire Valley. She came in the Netherlands in August 2022, after 10 years in Vietnam.


Why did you choose to teach French?
I chose to teach French, or rather just to teach, because I like to assist children in their discoveries, to question, to reflect and... to learn!

What is your best memory with your students? My best memory as a teacher is to see children starting to speak French spontaneously after a few months of lessons, it's magic!

What is your advice for a rapid progress? For me, motivation is the key to success. This will comes from the learner, of course, but it is up to the teacher to offer fun and interactive learning that will allow the child (and the adult too) to stay motivated to learn while having fun.

Aude GoolY


She comes from Normandy and she lives in the Netherlands since 1 year.

What do you like about the Netherlands? The atmosphere of the country, its architecture and its open-mindedness. I am under the spell of Amsterdam, a magnificent city, you can feel that Dutch people have a lot of style, each house front is carefully flowered and maintained, it's a pleasure to see this attention to detail and aesthetics.

What do you miss about France? What I miss most in France are my friends, some of the atmosphere of the seaside of the Normandy coast, and some of the museums like the Guimet museum.

Why did you choose to teach French? I chose to teach French to share my passion with students, to introduce them to be curious and interested by another culture and in another language... 

What is your advice for a rapid progress? My advice for a rapid progress is encouragement, confidence and kindness. It's also forgetting that we learn because we have fun...


Saskia Porcelijn

Originally from the Netherlands.

Why did you choose to teach Dutch? I think that it's very important that people living in the Netherlands feel close to the language and the culture. 

What is your best memory with your students? My satisfaction is when the students progress and say that they have practised Dutch outside the classroom.

What is your advice for a rapid progress? Practice the language outside the classroom as much as possible: listen to Dutch conversations in the street, in cafés and restaurants, listen to/watch films, series and programmes in Dutch. Read comics and books. Combine learning Dutch with your passions. Practice Dutch with your Dutch-speaking colleagues and neighbours. 




Originally from the Drôme, not far from Avignon, she lives in the Netherlands since almost 3 years.

What do you like about the Netherlands? What I like about the Netherlands is the simplicity of life. It's feeling the city waves for the slightest ray of sunshine, to see people of Amsterdam organising a boat trip as soon as they can.

Why did you choose to teach French / history of art? I chose to teach at the end of my Master's thesis. I realised that I had a real pleasure in writing, always looking for the right word, the closest to my thoughts. My greatest satisfaction remains writing about art or contemporary dance, my two great passions. It is this love of language and my and my attachment to art that I wish to forward to my students.

What is your best memory with your students? One of my best memories is when I suggested to my students to write poems. When you mix creativity with language, fantastic things can happen! Otherwise, how satisfying it is Otherwise, how satisfying it is when one of your students comes to class and proudly uses an expression they studied in the previous lesson: "oh, il pleut des cordes", a very useful expression here in the Netherlands. 


Matthieu couvreur


Born in Bordeaux, he lives in the Netherlands since almost 24 years.

Why did you choose the Netherlands? The hazard of military service, then love... and work. 

What do you like about the Netherlands? The "toegankelijkheid" principle of Dutch cities. They are accessible in many ways, you can cycle around like a village, and Amsterdam offers as many cultural activities as megacities such as Paris, New-York or London. But here, you don't need a guest list to get into a café and if you want to, you can go to the opera in a jog!

Why did you choose to teach French? I wanted to make a radical career change for the second part of my working life.

What is your best memory with your students? The passion in Manon's voice after she read aloud Aragon's poem "The Rose and the Reseda", on Zoom...

    What is your advice for a rapid progress? To listen to a podcast about a subject that you like once a week in French.

    Véronique janty


    Coming from Montluçon, she is back in the Netherlands since August 2021, after have lived 8 years in Senegal.

    Why did you choose the Netherlands? I wanted to come back to the Netherlands because my daughter lives here and I have very good memories of the country.

    Why did you choose to teach French?
    I have been teaching French for many years, out of passion and also because because it allows me to meet Francophiles from all over the world.

    What is your best memory with your students?
    My best memory with my students? Impossible to answer this question! I have lots of them! Many beautiful moments shared and laughter too!

    What is your advice for a rapid progress?
    Try to speak with French speakers in everyday life, attend the Alliance's cultural events or French café meetings, watch the short videos of TV5 Monde in French, and go on holiday in a French-speaking country!



    Maurane LOCHON


    Originally from Poitiers, Nouvelle Aquitaine. In the Netherlands since 2020. 

    Why did you choose the Netherlands? This country has always attracted me and I have always wanted to live there. After Austria and Thailand, I don't have any regrets!  

    What do you miss about France? Bread! (and also my friends and family).  

    Why did you choose to teach French? To always discover new people, new ways of teaching and to see the world, new cultures. I learn about others and about myself every day.  

    What is your best memory with your students? With my Thai students when we sang a song in French for the language festival. I also remember the French camps where we played games with about 60 children in French. We all had a lot of fun regardless of the cultural and language barrier!  

    What is your advice for a rapid progress? To have fun and to be confident. Stay positive and do not hesitate to ask for some help.

    Juliette Crouïgneau


    From the Pays-Basque (South-West of France).  

    What do you miss about France? Mountains, because I am from the Pays-Basque, in the South-West of France.

    What do you like about the Netherlands?
    The atmospheres of the beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, and the Stroopwafel... ! 

    Why did you choose to teach French?
    I chose this job because I am passionate about intercultural exchange and I love foreign languages as much as transmission. During my university studies, I had the opportunity to teach a wide range of people, of all origins and levels (Japanese as well as Brazilians, Russians and Croatians, ...). I have also taught abroad, especially in the Netherlands. 

    What is your advice for a rapid progress?
    Immerse yourself in the French language every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes, by reading short articles, listening to a podcast or watching French series! Regularity is one of the keys of learning.


    Marie Legrand 


    From Normandy, in the Netherlands since September 2021.

    Why did you choose the Netherlands? 
    I am a big Europhile and after teaching in France, I wanted to go on an adventure again. When my partner was offered a position in Amsterdam, we were delighted to move to the flat country.

    What do you miss about France? The green valleys of Normandy, the Mont Saint Michel, its great beaches, horses and sheeps!

    What do you like about the Netherlands? I love bicycles, green spaces and the omnipresence of water. In Amsterdam, you can breathe!

    Why did you choose to teach French? I am passionate about linguistics. I chose to become a teacher to be able to work anywhere in the world but also to be enriched by all these meetings about the French language.

    What is your best memory with your students? DELF graduation! It was the first diploma for these students who had not been a lot to school. They were so proud.

    What is your advice for a rapid progress? Have fun! Use the French language in situations that give you pleasure: watch series, cook, play board games, talk with a correspondent...


    What our students think: 

    Margaux est une excellente enseignante, avec beaucoup d'énergie et une grande ouverture d'esprit ! Grâce à elle, on se sent à l'aise et donc motivés pour parler !  

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    Etudiant AFA

    J'ai fortement apprécié le travail fourni par Charlotte. J'ai pu acquérir la confiance nécessaire pour oser parler en français pendant ses cours.

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    Etudiant AFA

    Mon cours sur l'histoire de l’art, animé par Charlotte et Margot, était très intéressant ! J'ai fortement apprécié le format en ligne du cours, ce fut une super occasion de pratiquer à nouveau mon français en toute liberté ! 

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    Jacqueline, étudiante AFA


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