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I was born in France, and raised in the United States. I am a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in French and a minor in Spanish. Since graduation, I have lived and worked in both France and the U.S. During my time in France, I also studied fine and graphic arts. I have several years' experience as a teacher and tutor. Having traveled extensively around the globe, I am very passionate about the connection between tourism and language, which led to my creating a French for Travelers class. I return to France regularly to visit family and friends. My other interests include writing, acting, and anything else related to filmmaking/theater, as well as art/illustration, flamenco dance, and yoga.

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Catherine’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Northern Illinois University - Bachelors, French


Flamenco, yoga, filmmaking, acting, writing

Tutoring Subjects

Conversational French

Conversational Spanish


French 1

French 2

French 3

French 4



Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that learning another language is a door to another world, and teaches us to appreciate other cultures.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Get to know the student a little first, and introduce myself. Then, find out what their goals are, what they would like to work on most, any interests or hobbies they would like to include to make learning more personalized for them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Give the students some websites with self-tests, and exercises they can do on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Positive encouragement and support.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Try and find a different approach for them.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Breaking up the section in smaller pieces can help.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Total immersion in my experience does not work well with beginning students. Progressively easing in to only speaking in the foreign language has proved most successful for me. For an advanced student, going back to introductions and finding out what interests them most in learning in order to keep their interest.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would try to use games or visual aids (videos, for example).

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would ask them to repeat the explanation back to me in their own words, or to give me an example.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Positive encouragement and feedback.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate them with sample exercises/questions in order to gauge their needs.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

If a student is more visual, I would use more visual aids. If they respond more to audio, have them listen to examples.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Books, songs, videos, maps, supplemental handout exercises.

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