How everything started
Long story short: Claire arrived to the Netherlands in 2011. Céline followed in 2014.
They have both worked in a lot of different schools, institutes and companies, both in the Netherlands and abroad. They are true professionals, passionate and creative.
One day, they both realised that they wanted to offer more to people who want to learn French in Amsterdam.
So they created their own little companies: in 2015 Claire founded En français while Céline founded École Dandoy. And quite soon, those two little French language schools started growing bigger and bigger…
The two ex-colleagues share a lot of values and are good friends to boot, so they have been talking about starting something bigger together for a long time. In May 2016, they felt that it was time to take the next big step: they found a place in the center of the city and started working 70 hours a week in order to be ready for the summer season. And that’s how L’école de français was born.
And it’s only getting started!
Co-owner and teacher
- Background: Claire is French and was born and raised next to Bordeaux; her parents are from Normandy. They returned to Normandy when she was a teenager. She knows western part of France very well. But if you ask her what her motherland is, she may answer “the French language” (to paraphrase Camus)
- Education: bachelor in French language and literature, master’s degree in Teaching French as a Foreign/Second Language (Thesis: rethinking the class in an interactive approach to make the learning process of communication in a foreign language more efficient.)
- Experience in teaching French: 8 years. 5 countries: France, Burkina Faso, England, Germany, Netherlands. Students between 1 and 87 years old, in language schools, university, primary school, companies… She enjoys working with different sorts of students although she is best known for being very good at teaching little ones!
- Qualified by her students as dynamic, motivated and motivating, outgoing, and dedicated.
- Activities outside the class: she is also a proofreader and a (ghost)writer. Claire also enjoys creating games for her classes and learning new things about teaching, French and the process of learning. And being at the helm of L’école de françaismakes that she has to juggle all her different tasks and talents!
Co-owner and teacher
- Background: Céline is French, she is Parisienne born and bred and spent all her life in Paris until she decided to see what life is like outside of France…
- Education: she has a master’s degree in French Literature from Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. She has also learnt lots of foreign languages (Spanish, Italian, Polish…) so she can definitely explain how languages work and understand what her students feel.
- Experience in teaching French: 8 years. 3 countries: Australia, Poland, Netherlands. From students at the university of Melbourne to companies in Holland, from adults in evening courses to bilingual teenagers (at International School of Amsterdam) willing to expand their language usage and study French culture and literature.
- Described by her students as proactive, professional, challenging, organised, creative…
- Activities outside the classroom: Céline loves creating a variety of creative materials for teaching French. She is a co-author of an French-language e-learning platform for HORECA (Hotels – Restaurant – Catering) for L’institut français. She has also been a columnist at LCFF Magazine, writing every month on modern ways of teaching and pedagogy. She is also a mum while being co-owner of L’école de français, so she is no stranger at multi-tasking!
Nausicaa was born and raised in Marseille, a sunny harbour city near the Mediterranean sea. As she grew up in both French and Chilean cultures, she has been travelling and living in Latin America and Europe since she was little. She holds a Master’s Degree of Cultural Management and then followed the DAEFLE (Diplôme d’Aptitude à l’Enseignement du Français Langue Étrangère) of the Alliance française Paris Ile-de-France. Nausicaa gave private French language lessons to adults in Chile and in the Netherlands when she arrived in 2013.
An economic and financial journalist for more than ten years, Annick also has a strong passion for travelling and discovering new countries, cultures and languages. This led her to study English, German, Japanese and more recently Dutch. A learning process which has improved her understanding of the difficulties and challenges facing language students, as well as the need for teachers to give lessons that are as lively, fun and relevant as possible.
Holder of a TESOL diploma to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages, Annick also followed a training in teaching French as a foreign language at Geneva’s Université Ouvrière. She is experienced in teaching French as a foreign language at all levels, including Business French for advanced students, in classes as well as privately.
Outside of her work, Annick plays the piano and enjoys doing sports, helped by her 3 children who keep her fairly fit!
Jessika was born in Ardèche and lived in Valence and Grenoble where she studied Modern Literature. After a master’s degree, she obtained the CAPES to teach French at college and high school, which she did for 5 years before moving to the Netherlands. She is very familiar with French school programs, but she especially likes setting up writing workshops, teaching theatre, film and practice poetry to her pupils in order to develop their imagination and knowledge. Her students describe her as a challenging teacher but an understanding person with whom you can talk about anything. For her, a good teacher must be benevolent and communicative.
Apart from teaching, Jessika skates, travels, reads, sings (not always well) and learns the piano. She is also back into writing, slowly but surely.
In 2009, Lisa moved from her hometown near The Hague to Amsterdam to study French Language and Culture at the University of Amsterdam. After three years, she moved to Paris for a semester Lettres Modernes at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. As she fell in love with the city, she decided to extend her stay to write her bachelor thesis and do an internship. She returned after one and a half year. Lisa then conducted her master Intercultural Communication at the University of Utrecht while working besides at the Institut français. When the IF closed its doors, Lisa wanted to continue bringing people in contact with the French language and culture. She is very happy to be able to do just that in her current position as “chargée de communication” at the Ecole de français. This way, she also feels very engaged in the intercultural contact between the two countries closest to her heart.
Maxime is a student in International Trade in Strasbourg, France, where he learns communication, marketing and intercultural management. Motivated by music and curiosity, Maxime was struck by his journeys in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, bringing him the desire to do his internship in a field with strong values, as Education.
Hanna was born in the Netherlands and grew up in the French Alps. She learned French in school and spoke Dutch at home. Being bilingual enables her to understand the obstacles in learning French very well. She got a Master’s degree in primary school education at the University of Grenoble and worked as a primary school teacher in France. She also has experience with teaching French as a foreign language to adults. Her students describe her as a positive, creative and professional teacher. Besides teaching, Hanna likes nature, traveling, French literature and cinema.
Although he is a drama teacher first and foremost, he has been working in the theatre business as a comedian and scenarist for more than fifteen years. Vincent has also been the artistic director of the theatre company Les Cochons de l’Espace for the past thirteen years. He is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory in Mons in Belgium, the Cours Florent in Paris and the Compagnie Jean-Marc Chotteau – La Virgule in Tourcoing and Mouscron (Belgium). In the past, Vincent has taught at various schools and institutes in the north of France, in Paris and in Belgium.
Anne-Bénédicte is a French teacher who also writes articles about the cultural life in Amsterdam. She spent the last 26 years reading, travelling, studying the French language and going to performances. After graduating in French modern literature and theater, she obtained a master degree in ‘Design of cultural projects. When she settled in Amsterdam, she discovered a new passion for teaching and started her studies in FLE (French as a foreign language). Children, teenagers, adults, whether it’s a private lesson or conference at the university – she doesn’t have a preferred setting or audience, adapting herself and her pedagogy to a variety of students and environments.