Language for Fun was created when I realised that traditional teaching methods in adult education weren’t supporting adults to talk confidently.
At the time, I was teaching in an FE college, and in a Primary School children and studying for a PGCE in adult education. I quickly realised that many of the games and interactive techniques that the children enjoyed could be adapted for adult pupils. I decided to trial a language course for adults where the focus was on fun and conversation, rather than results and written work.
So in 2007 I created French for Fun and held my first classes in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Through trial and error, I came up with a regular weekly format that worked. The classes are now built around a series of conversations, so everyone gets up and talks in every lesson at the same time (no trembling in front of the class). In January 2010, after enrolling our 60th student, I decided to see if French for Fun worked with other languages. In March 2010, Sally and Alejandra started to translate the programme in to Spanish with great success and now Sigrid is busy creating Italian materials.
I also started to offer licences to other teachers, training them to use my materials and supporting them to set up their own language teaching business. We now have 25 teachers dotted around the country and we’re training more all the time, so there will be a class coming to somewhere near you soon. Yippee! If you know anyone who would like to get involved in the next chapter of this story, either as a learner, a teacher, or to translate the programme in to their language, get in touch!
Alejandra Castro: Bristol
Alejandra is a Spanish and Portugese teacher and native speaker. She has been teaching both languages for 22 years in various positions within universites, schools and companies, with students at all levels. Alejandra also teaches Physical Education (dance, gymnastics and sports) – her other passion! Her studies of Social and Educational Psychology help her to apply perceptions and views to suit the needs of both the individual and the class as a whole. Since becoming a British citizen and raising her children to an age where they are a little more independent, her ambition is to continue teaching, developing and updating her knowledge and at the same time sharing it with those who may want to benefit from it.
Anne Holt: Marlow and Henley-on-Thames
Brigitte Lacoste: Harrow
Brigitte was born and bred in the unspoiled and tradition-rich area of the Auvergne. She has been working in London since her mid twenties leading and training multi-cultural teams. Brigitte is very much involved within the French community in London and is passionate about creating networking opportunities between people and cultures. She has a M.A. in Applied Languages (English and German).
Jessica Bonnard: Founder
Jessica has lived, worked and studied in France and is passionate about the land and the language. Frequent travel to the Alps and a French husband keep her knowledge of the language and culture up-to-date. She has a First class French and Marketing degree from Lancaster University, a PGCE from Staffordshire University and is a full member of the Institute for Learning. Jessica spends most of her time running the Language for Fun business and writes two blogs: The Lazy Language Learner and Le Metro et moi.
Lynne Pickwell: Wokingham
Lynne Pickwell studied French at the University of Glasgow, graduating with an M.A. (Hons), 1st class, then studied for a P.G.C.E. in French and English at the University of Strathclyde. She subsequently headed south, and taught French for over 10 years in schools in Berkshire, before having her 2 daughters. In addition to her French for Fun classes, Lynne also runs Lingo-a-gogo French classes for kids in Wokingham.
Mathilde Briens: Harpenden and St Albans
Mathilde is a native French speaker who grew up in Normandy and later moved to Paris. She has lived in England for almost nine years, working in science and management. Learning, teaching, sharing knowledge and culture have become a way of life for Mathilde who has taught a variety of subjects (including bee-keeping) and is now teaching French for Fun, quite literally, in St Albans. Mathilde 07875 101 604 [email protected]
Pascale Courteix: Maison-Laffitte
Pascale is a native French speaker who has lived in the UK for 6 month. After being a lawyer in France, she has been teaching French as a second language and specialised French for eight years in Higher Education and companies in Paris and has now started in London tutoring and teaching. She grew up in Paris where she went to University, firstly for her Master of Arts in Law and fifteen years later for her Master of arts in French as a foreign language and interculturality. She loves teaching and sharing her own culture and is also interested both professionally and personally by the intercultural aspects between the French and the British. Pascale 07584 695874 [email protected]
Richard Robards: Alsager, Biddulph, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stone
A graduate in French from Leeds University, Richard also has Advanced Level qualifications in Spanish, Italian and German. Having spent all of his career until recently working in Export Sales for British manufacturers of a variety of products ranging from ceramic tiles to mens shirts and from woodworking machinery to bathroom sanitaryware, Richard has been fortunate to travel the world extensively on expenses and to use his languages in International Trade environments. Turning to teaching later in life than usual, he is currently studying for a Diploma in Education and is due to graduate this summer. He has worked for Language for Fun as a tutor since the beginning of 2011 and has recently taken over the licence for Spanish in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Spanish& French for Biddulph, Congleton, Leek and Alsager all of which he is looking to expand over the next few years.
Sigrid Watkins: St Albans
Sigrid Watkins did a first degree in Translation at the University of Geneva, followed more recently by a Masters in Applied Linguistics at the University of Bedfordshire, which qualifies her as an EFL teacher. Having grown up in Brussels and studied in Geneva, she speaks fluent French, and French has always been a natural part of her life. A native German, she is also fluent in several other languages and has raised two bilingual children. Sigrid enjoys sharing her love for languages and different countries with others. She has been working as a private language tutor in St. Albans for several years and is passionate about helping people communicate across the cultures.
Vanessa Muller: Newcastle & Stone
Vanessa is a French native speaker who comes from the North of France, near Lille. However, her family is scattered between Normandy, Brittany, Alsace and the Riviera. This has given her the chance to get to know several areas of the country. She passed her English degree with honours at Lille University, then came to England to practice her English working in a school as a French assistant. She then decided to stay to share her knowledge of French language and culture. She studied for her PGCE and taught in high school and college for 11 years before joining French For Fun as a tutor and then as a licensee. She likes going to art lessons and Tae Kwon Do. This all gives her the chance to savour different ways of teaching and adapt to different needs and levels. Vanessa loves sharing her passion for language and culture, which is why she joined French for Fun.