Ma Methode
My Approach

The majority of speakers of English as their main language or mother tongue struggle with exactly the same issues when speaking French – mainly pronunciation due to the difference in sound and spelling of most French words and of course the distinctive French accent.

English speakers can however overcome these difficulties by following some rules which I explain very clearly, knowing how and when the rules get broken and of course through practice, support and encouragement. The historical relationships between England and France have also of course influenced our two languages and sometimes the similarities (words known as cognates or near cognates) can work in our favour for communication and understanding, however there are also many 'false friends' which can lead to great misunderstandings! So, if you want to speak better French, sign up for some lessons. My philosophy is producing fun lessons with plenty of speaking and I will tailor the lessons to suit your individual needs, whether it is for business purposes, exams, travel or just for your own intellectual progression and improvement. I really enjoy teaching people of all ages and watching them progress.

It is frustrating, however, that despite some excellent French teaching, many people continue to speak French with poor pronunciation or a lack of confidence and then sadly they give up.

Perhaps some of the problems are summed up in this superb quotation from R F Delderfield's Diana written in 1960 but set in the thirties and forties – but has anything really changed?

Quotation – taken from the novel 'Diana' by R. F. Delderfield)
French teacher speaking to young hero Jan
"It's quite dreadful when one reflects that of all the thousands of children that are taught French at school not one - not one, mind you - can make himself or herself understood when they set foot at Calais. The trouble is of course, that the method of teaching is ridiculous, quite ridiculous! A child is bored with unintelligible grammar before its ear is attuned to the language. Now you have a dozen of my oral lessons and listen to my set of records on the phonograph, and I'll have you speaking French as well and better than you can speak English before the next Christmas!"

Don't worry I won't have you listening to old records, it will be downloads or CDs but I will do my best to have you speaking better French before next Christmas!

Les faux amis

Attention! Les Faux Amis:

Cognates and near cognates :

Useful links providing high quality information and materials for French learners

I think Emma is a fantastic teacher. She has made me more confident in speaking French and spelling. –Ellie, age 10, Leeds
Thanks to Emma's top tips and hints I got an A* in my French speaking GCSE coursework - Emma is fab!" –Lucy, age 14, Devon
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