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Instructors

We offer a friendly and stimulating environment to help you gain confidence in speaking French. Our classes are conducted in French in small groups with an emphasis on communication. You will learn grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, pronunciation and more, through active participation and conversation. Meet our French teachers and start your language journey today!

Alexandra relocated To San Diego in 2024 after spending 10 years in Raleigh, North Carolina. Passionate about education and the promotion of French culture, Alexandra joined the French International School of Raleigh in 2015 teaching French to children aged 1 to 12 years old before becoming Director of Admissions in 2021. Concurrently she taught Advanced French Literature, French Elementary, and French Intermediate at Skema International Business School.  
Originally from Belgium, Alexandra earned a Master's degree in Law from the Catholic University of Louvain before practicing as an attorney at the Bar of Tournai.
In her spare time, Alexandra enjoys spending time with her children, exploring California, reading, and practicing yoga.

Alexandra Hauffen

Instructor

Alexandra relocated To San Diego in 2024 after spending 10 years in Raleigh, North Carolina. Passionate about education and the promotion of French culture, Alexandra joined the French International School of Raleigh in 2015 teaching French to children aged 1 to 12 years old before becoming Director of Admissions in 2021. Concurrently she taught Advanced French Literature, French Elementary, and French Intermediate at Skema International Business School.  
Originally from Belgium, Alexandra earned a Master's degree in Law from the Catholic University of Louvain before practicing as an attorney at the Bar of Tournai.
In her spare time, Alexandra enjoys spending time with her children, exploring California, reading, and practicing yoga.

Bénédicte grew up in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. She holds a nursing degree with an emphasis in Tropical Medicine and an early childhood and development certificate. She participates to regular workshops by the Association of French Teachers and is certified as an eTEF examinator. She started teaching for the Alliance Française de San Diego at its opening in 2009.
When Benedicte is not teaching, she is drawing and painting or spending time with her husband and their two daughters.

Benedicte Bonaventure

Instructor

Bénédicte grew up in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. She holds a nursing degree with an emphasis in Tropical Medicine and an early childhood and development certificate. She participates to regular workshops by the Association of French Teachers and is certified as an eTEF examinator. She started teaching for the Alliance Française de San Diego at its opening in 2009.
When Benedicte is not teaching, she is drawing and painting or spending time with her husband and their two daughters.

Carrie has taught both English and French as foreign languages and recently relocated to San Diego after completing her master’s degree in Didactique des Langues Étrangères et Tice at the Université Lumière Lyon 2. Fulfilling her dream of living in France, she spent the past four years teaching English to students of all ages in Lyon. A passionate Francophile, she is even more enamored with the French language than when she began studying it in the fourth grade and appreciates how every exchange, whether in French, English, or any other language, is ultimately about communication and building connections with those around us.

Carrie Blanton

Instructor 

Carrie has taught both English and French as foreign languages and recently relocated to San Diego after completing her master’s degree in Didactique des Langues Étrangères et Tice at the Université Lumière Lyon 2. Fulfilling her dream of living in France, she spent the past four years teaching English to students of all ages in Lyon. A passionate Francophile, she is even more enamored with the French language than when she began studying it in the fourth grade and appreciates how every exchange, whether in French, English, or any other language, is ultimately about communication and building connections with those around us.

Christelle, born and raised south of Paris, moved to California in 2021. She holds a Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages from Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, focusing on English and German with International Business. With 15 years of experience in Luxury Retail, she specialized in Customer Relations, Event Planning, and Personal Shopping, always engaging with people. Her passion for languages led her to study up to 7 languages and start tutoring French as a Foreign Language. She joined the Alliance Française of San Diego in September 2022 and holds a DAEFLE, the official diploma for teaching French as a foreign language.

Christelle Losat

Instructor 

Christelle, born and raised south of Paris, moved to California in 2021. She holds a Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages from Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, focusing on English and German with International Business. With 15 years of experience in Luxury Retail, she specialized in Customer Relations, Event Planning, and Personal Shopping, always engaging with people. Her passion for languages led her to study up to 7 languages and start tutoring French as a Foreign Language. She joined the Alliance Française of San Diego in September 2022 and holds a DAEFLE, the official diploma for teaching French as a foreign language.

Elisabeth grew up in Brittany, France, and graduated in French Studies, Linguistics, and Translations at the French Portuguese Institute of Lisbon, Portugal. Elisabeth has taught at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and privately tutored students in the French Language. She has been teaching at Alliance Française San Diego since its opening and is currently the Outreach Director, assisting AFSD alumni in language and cultural development. Elisabeth has a Project Management Certificate (PMP) and is certified in DELF – DALF A1 to C2 from the International Center of Pedagogical Studies of Sèvres, France. She is currently an examiner of the French Evaluation Test of Oral Expression (eTEF) of the Paris-Île-de-France Chamber of Commerce.

Elizabeth Bergman

Instructor

Elisabeth grew up in Brittany, France, and graduated in French Studies, Linguistics, and Translations at the French Portuguese Institute of Lisbon, Portugal. Elisabeth has taught at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and privately tutored students in the French Language. She has been teaching at Alliance Française San Diego since its opening and is currently the Outreach Director, assisting AFSD alumni in language and cultural development. Elisabeth has a Project Management Certificate (PMP) and is certified in DELF – DALF A1 to C2 from the International Center of Pedagogical Studies of Sèvres, France. She is currently an examiner of the French Evaluation Test of Oral Expression (eTEF) of the Paris-Île-de-France Chamber of Commerce.

Of Portuguese origin, Estela was born and raised in France. She also lived in Portugal, where she studied modern Languages and Literature (French and German studies), and where she has taught children, children with special needs, teenagers, and adults. She also worked as the Head of an Adult Education Program for five years and as the Coordinator of a School Library. She has been certified in DELF since December 2020 and in TEF since December 2021.
She moved to the United States in September 2016 and joined the Alliance Française/French Institute in New York in November 2017. She moved to California in August 2021, where she joined the Alliance Française of San Diego.

Estela Baptista

Instructor I Educational Director

Of Portuguese origin, Estela was born and raised in France. She also lived in Portugal, where she studied modern Languages and Literature (French and German studies), and where she has taught children, children with special needs, teenagers, and adults. She also worked as the Head of an Adult Education Program for five years and as the Coordinator of a School Library. She has been certified in DELF since December 2020 and in TEF since December 2021.
She moved to the United States in September 2016 and joined the Alliance Française/French Institute in New York in November 2017. She moved to California in August 2021, where she joined the Alliance Française of San Diego.

Frank, a passionate Francophile fluent in French from living in Lille, France, and Montréal, Québec, is dedicated to helping students communicate confidently and accurately. He incorporates diverse cultural materials into his courses, reflecting his time abroad and interest in pop culture. Frank has taught French at Virginia Tech, where he earned his M.A. in French and Francophone Studies, and at the Alliance Française of San Diego. He has worked as a legal translator and served as an educational coordinator at the Alliance Française. Currently, he teaches French at the University of San Diego and English to nonnative speakers at AFSD. In his free time, Frank enjoys 18th-century art and music history and 1960s cinema.

Frank Finch

Instructor

Frank, a passionate Francophile fluent in French from living in Lille, France, and Montréal, Québec, is dedicated to helping students communicate confidently and accurately. He incorporates diverse cultural materials into his courses, reflecting his time abroad and interest in pop culture. Frank has taught French at Virginia Tech, where he earned his M.A. in French and Francophone Studies, and at the Alliance Française of San Diego. He has worked as a legal translator and served as an educational coordinator at the Alliance Française. Currently, he teaches French at the University of San Diego and English to nonnative speakers at AFSD. In his free time, Frank enjoys 18th-century art and music history and 1960s cinema.

Gaelle was born and raised in the French Alps. She holds a licence in Journalism, the DAEFLE - diploma to teach French as a second language - and a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. With nearly twenty years of teaching experience, she has taught adults and children in the Alliance Française network, in Glasgow - Scotland, Princeton - New Jersey, and Berkeley - California. She has also taught after-school programs (FLE and FLAM) in many schools of the San Francisco Bay Area with Education Francaise Bay Area and recently taught 4th to 8th graders French in a private school. Recently relocated to San Diego, she is happy to continue her teaching journey, meet new students, and promote "la langue de Molière".

Gaelle Goutain

Instructor

Gaelle was born and raised in the French Alps. She holds a licence in Journalism, the DAEFLE - diploma to teach French as a second language - and a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. With nearly twenty years of teaching experience, she has taught adults and children in the Alliance Française network, in Glasgow - Scotland, Princeton - New Jersey, and Berkeley - California. She has also taught after-school programs (FLE and FLAM) in many schools of the San Francisco Bay Area with Education Francaise Bay Area and recently taught 4th to 8th graders French in a private school. Recently relocated to San Diego, she is happy to continue her teaching journey, meet new students, and promote "la langue de Molière".

Garance was born and raised in Paris. She studied Educational Sciences and Psychology in the city of Nantes, and after she got her diploma, she went back to Paris to learn Japanese and art. She left France to move to Japan in 2008, where she lived and taught French for many years. Since then, she has been teaching French as a foreign language and loves it.
You can find her perfecting dessert recipes or horseback riding when she is not teaching.

Garance Gay

Instructor 

Garance was born and raised in Paris. She studied Educational Sciences and Psychology in the city of Nantes, and after she got her diploma, she went back to Paris to learn Japanese and art. She left France to move to Japan in 2008, where she lived and taught French for many years. Since then, she has been teaching French as a foreign language and loves it.
You can find her perfecting dessert recipes or horseback riding when she is not teaching.

Jean-Louis was born in Sèvres, a small town between Paris and Versailles. He has taught at the Berlitz Schools; the Alliance Française/French Institute in New York City; National University; USD; and UCSD, where he obtained his Ph.D. as a part-time lecturer of French literature and French instructor (Literature and Linguistics Departments). He is also a translator. He has done research work on narrative theory and on comic books. He enjoys teaching adult classes because of the personal motivation shown by independent persons who have freely chosen to study. He uses interactive methods, emphasizing role-playing and conversation meant to simulate real-life situations.

Jean-Louis Morhange

Instructor 

Jean-Louis was born in Sèvres, a small town between Paris and Versailles. He has taught at the Berlitz Schools; the Alliance Française/French Institute in New York City; National University; USD; and UCSD, where he obtained his Ph.D. as a part-time lecturer of French literature and French instructor (Literature and Linguistics Departments). He is also a translator. He has done research work on narrative theory and on comic books. He enjoys teaching adult classes because of the personal motivation shown by independent persons who have freely chosen to study. He uses interactive methods, emphasizing role-playing and conversation meant to simulate real-life situations.

Laurence was born in Africa and raised in France. After living in London, she moved to the United States in 2013. She joined the Alliance Française of San Diego in 2022 after spending several years on the East Coast.
Laurence holds an MBA in Economics and Marketing from Paris Dauphine University. With a deep passion for art, she has studied painting extensively, working with watercolors, oils, and now primarily acrylics. Her art classes blend painting techniques with an art history background.
Coming from a family of educators, Laurence is dedicated to teaching and sharing her love for learning. She teaches French and art classes for both children and adults at the Alliance Française.

Laurence de Valmy

Instructor | Director of Cultural Affairs

Laurence was born in Africa and raised in France. After living in London, she moved to the United States in 2013. She joined the Alliance Française of San Diego in 2022 after spending several years on the East Coast.
Laurence holds an MBA in Economics and Marketing from Paris Dauphine University. With a deep passion for art, she has studied painting extensively, working with watercolors, oils, and now primarily acrylics. Her art classes blend painting techniques with an art history background.
Coming from a family of educators, Laurence is dedicated to teaching and sharing her love for learning. She teaches French and art classes for both children and adults at the Alliance Française.

Layla always loved the French language. So she began tutoring French at 15 and didn't stop since. First, she obtained her Master's in economics in Lebanon, where she taught French for five years. Then she moved to France, where she lived for 17 years and volunteered to teach French to immigrants of all nationalities and ages. She is currently teaching in San Diego at a language center and the Alliance Française, and also has her sole proprietorship for tutoring. 

"Good teachers share knowledge. Great ones make an impression that stays in their students' hearts forever." She hopes to be a good and great teacher for you.

Layla Ghalié

Instructor 

Layla always loved the French language. So she began tutoring French at 15 and didn't stop since. First, she obtained her Master's in economics in Lebanon, where she taught French for five years. Then she moved to France, where she lived for 17 years and volunteered to teach French to immigrants of all nationalities and ages. She is currently teaching in San Diego at a language center and the Alliance Française, and also has her sole proprietorship for tutoring. 

"Good teachers share knowledge. Great ones make an impression that stays in their students' hearts forever." She hopes to be a good and great teacher for you.

Lili, originally from Hong Kong and raised in Paris and Meaux, graduated from the Savoie-Léman hotel and catering management school in France. In 2005, she moved to New York, where she began offering French classes for after-school programs. With over 15 years of teaching experience in New York, Montréal, and San Diego, Lili has taught French in public schools and community centers to both children and adults. She specializes in “Ludopédagogie,” using social games to make language learning engaging and enjoyable. Her methods help students learn French confidently without fear of mistakes. Additionally, Lili conducts cooking classes where students practice French vocabulary by reading recipes and tasting their culinary creations.

Lili Chow-Cany

Instructor 

Lili, originally from Hong Kong and raised in Paris and Meaux, graduated from the Savoie-Léman hotel and catering management school in France. In 2005, she moved to New York, where she began offering French classes for after-school programs. With over 15 years of teaching experience in New York, Montréal, and San Diego, Lili has taught French in public schools and community centers to both children and adults. She specializes in “Ludopédagogie,” using social games to make language learning engaging and enjoyable. Her methods help students learn French confidently without fear of mistakes. Additionally, Lili conducts cooking classes where students practice French vocabulary by reading recipes and tasting their culinary creations.

Olivier, who grew up in Bordeaux, France, holds Master's degrees in Education and Biochemistry and is certified in DELF – DALF levels A1 to B2. Since 1999, he has taught in French schools in Japan, Libya, South Korea, and Florida, before moving to California in 2013. For six years, he worked with students of all ages at the Alliance Française de San Diego. Currently, he teaches 5th grade in French at the Language Academy, a public magnet school in San Diego, after four years in Kindergarten. He has developed interactive teaching methods to share the French language and culture. Outside of teaching, he enjoys gardening, exploring National Parks, and traveling.

Olivier Pélanne

Instructor 

Olivier, who grew up in Bordeaux, France, holds Master's degrees in Education and Biochemistry and is certified in DELF – DALF levels A1 to B2. Since 1999, he has taught in French schools in Japan, Libya, South Korea, and Florida, before moving to California in 2013. For six years, he worked with students of all ages at the Alliance Française de San Diego. Currently, he teaches 5th grade in French at the Language Academy, a public magnet school in San Diego, after four years in Kindergarten. He has developed interactive teaching methods to share the French language and culture. Outside of teaching, he enjoys gardening, exploring National Parks, and traveling.

Perrine was born in Liège, Belgium, and has always loved traveling, learning new languages, and sharing her culture. These passions led her to become a French teacher abroad.
She holds a Master's degree in French as a Foreign Language from the University of Brussels and has been teaching French since 2014 to students of all ages and levels. Perrine creates a warm, interactive, and dynamic learning atmosphere.
She has taught in Mexico, New York, Paris, Belgium, and now California. Her goal is to positively impact her students' lives by sharing her knowledge, Belgian culture, and native French language.
Perrine is also certified to prepare students for the DELF/DALF and TCF exams.

Perrine Dellicour

Instructor | Certification Coordinator

Perrine was born in Liège, Belgium, and has always loved traveling, learning new languages, and sharing her culture. These passions led her to become a French teacher abroad.
She holds a Master's degree in French as a Foreign Language from the University of Brussels and has been teaching French since 2014 to students of all ages and levels. Perrine creates a warm, interactive, and dynamic learning atmosphere.
She has taught in Mexico, New York, Paris, Belgium, and now California. Her goal is to positively impact her students' lives by sharing her knowledge, Belgian culture, and native French language.
Perrine is also certified to prepare students for the DELF/DALF and TCF exams.

Pierre-Olivier, born in Nancy, France, holds degrees in Sociology, Socio-Anthropology, and Education, including a PhD in Sociology from Aix-Marseille University (2018). He has been teaching at various universities since 2016. In 2020, he founded the Caribbean Observatory of School Climate in Martinique and collaborated with the Alliance Française in Saint Lucia and Barbados. He obtained a California Teaching Credential in Social Science in 2024 and began teaching at San Diego Miramar College. His research focuses on school climate, violence, and discrimination. He enjoys traveling, exploring cultures, playing basketball, and baking.

Pierre-Olivier Weiss

Instructor

Pierre-Olivier, born in Nancy, France, holds degrees in Sociology, Socio-Anthropology, and Education, including a PhD in Sociology from Aix-Marseille University (2018). He has been teaching at various universities since 2016. In 2020, he founded the Caribbean Observatory of School Climate in Martinique and collaborated with the Alliance Française in Saint Lucia and Barbados. He obtained a California Teaching Credential in Social Science in 2024 and began teaching at San Diego Miramar College. His research focuses on school climate, violence, and discrimination. He enjoys traveling, exploring cultures, playing basketball, and baking.

Susanne is a part-time Lecturer in French at San Diego State University and University of San Diego, with a Master's in French and Francophone Studies from SDSU. She previously served as President of Le Cercle Français. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature at the University of Washington and participated in a year-long study abroad program at the University of Montpellier III - Paul Valéry. Susanne has worked in bilingual customer service and technical support roles for companies like Sony Online Entertainment LLC, Brown Paper Tickets LLC, and CDK Global Inc. In the classroom, she blends social circus scaffolding and improvisational engagement activities with evidence-based learning techniques for an inclusive, fun, and interactive classroom experience.

Susanne Forrayi

Instructor 

Susanne is a part-time Lecturer in French at San Diego State University and University of San Diego, with a Master's in French and Francophone Studies from SDSU. She previously served as President of Le Cercle Français. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature at the University of Washington and participated in a year-long study abroad program at the University of Montpellier III - Paul Valéry. Susanne has worked in bilingual customer service and technical support roles for companies like Sony Online Entertainment LLC, Brown Paper Tickets LLC, and CDK Global Inc. In the classroom, she blends social circus scaffolding and improvisational engagement activities with evidence-based learning techniques for an inclusive, fun, and interactive classroom experience.

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