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!
Sophie was born in Perpignan and grew up in a small mountain village in the Languedoc region at the Spanish border. Three years ago, she moved to Brest in Brittany after having lived in Toulouse for 8 years, which she calls her second home. Sophie also lived in Okinawa, Japan, for a year, where she obtained her degree in “Français Langue Étrangère” (French as second language) and taught French to a diverse and international public.
In her classes, Sophie likes to make use of popular culture, interculturality and a playful way of teaching through video’s and different kinds of games. With her humor and enthusiasm, she brings a pleasant vibe to the class. A part from teaching, Sophie likes drawing and travelling.
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.
Anaïs de la Morandais
Anaïs, French teacher and musician, was born in Brittany and spent her childhood in Vannes, in the Morbihan region. During her life Anaïs has travelled a lot. She did her masters for Choirmaster at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, where she worked as a teacher Français Langue Étrangère (French as Foreign Language) for adults and children at the Institut français. This way, Anais teaches now for over a decade French and music, first in Austria and later in California, USA, where she lived from 2013 onwards. She’ll continue doing this with great passion in Amsterdam. Besides that, she is also qualified as DELF examiner.
In her lessons, Anaïs likes to mix playful with constructive exercises and her enthusiasm is catching. She always tries to adapt herself to the wishes and interests of her students. Anaïs loves to spend her free time singing, surfing, cooking and travelling.
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.
Originally from Marseilles, Sylvie got the travel bug quite young and left her beautiful area to explore the world. London was her second home for the best part of 10 years, then Australia and New Zealand. She moved back to France (Nice) for a few years before making her way to Amsterdam.
She first studied for an English degree before finding out about teaching French as a foreign language. She dedicated herself to the profession and studied for a Masters as well as the British teaching diploma to teach languages in schools. She soon specialised in teaching adults and has worked in companies, adult education institutes, universities, Alliances françaises, etc.
With over 15 years of experience, she is also an examiner for the DELF/DALF exams, a writer for the TCF exam, a teacher trainer and course coordinator.
Besides teaching, Sylvie works as a translator (English into French), enjoys learning and can adapt and reinvent herself, which she also does in her lessons!
In her free time, she tries to find her way around Amsterdam. She likes… a lot of things, depending on where she lives! In London, she spent her time in museums and photography exhibitions; in Australia and New Zealand, she enjoyed the great outdoors and hiked a lot; and in Nice, she explored the surrounding medieval hilltop villages.