I'm a mom with 3 bilingual kids- ages 33, 30, and 29. Currently, I'm working as a personal chef for a firm in Scottsdale. I also am a French/ Italian interpreter, and very proud to have earned my credential to the Maricopa Superior Court. I was substitute teaching for more than 6 years, and think that I added new meaning to everybody's idea of subs, because I care! No matter what the assignment, I tried to get the kids to take away something they didn't know. Did you know that spaghetti a... [more]
My passion for French and all things French started in First grade. As a 6 year old, I told myself I would live in Paris one day and I did. Starting so young and continuing all the way through High School after many hours of language lab,I developed an excellent accent. From junior high on, I had French literature, history, and civilization culminating in AP French senior year. At 17, I spent the summer thanks to the Experiment in Int'l Living program with a French family, who I returned to stay with 4 years later. At 24, I spent the summer in Algeria speaking French with a Berber family. I got my BA in French followed by an extra year to get my teaching certificate in both French and Spanish. Next, I was accepted to the Sorbonne in Paris, taking an entrance exam for foreigners. We were 800 and only 50 of us got into the regular Sorbonne mainly attended by native French speaking students. This is how I finally made it to Paris. I lived there for 3 incredible years. The last two I got my Grande Diplome teaching certificate at Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School. The lessons were given completely in French and our chefs only spoke French. Although I moved to Rome afterwards, we still spent time in France every year.For 15 of those years we drove to England round trip, picking different routes, so I have a wealth of different unusual tourist ideas. Depending on your level and needs, my lessons can be a mixture of Language, Culture, History, Gastronomy, and Tourism. Sometimes I take my students on "field trips" to supermarkets, markets pharmacies,other shops, restaurants, museums etc. I try to make learning French fun by targeting the students interests, hobbies, or work related needs. Two years ago i had a student, who was a Military History buff. He was spending 2 weeks touring the Normandy Beaches and the WWI battlefields with a rental car. Since outside of Paris, it's not so easy to find someone who speaks English, his three months of lessons included car, hotel, cuisine, shopping and tourism info and vocab. I was rewarded with a special post trip visit...showing me his photos-every one with a huge smile. I made his trip so much richer, he said. His enthusiasm made all of my lessons so much richer! A bientot, j'espere (Hope to see you soon)!
I have worked for years in public and private schools, and private lessons to help all ages level the playing field by making Reading and Language Arts easier and more accessible. My last year substitute teaching, I was asked to teach after school a Remedial group of Junior High kids, who I was told had a 2nd or 3rd grade level. Working in a group and then with them one on one, made me realize that none of them were really at that level, but, they needed the correct approach and some individual caring to bring out or improve their capabilities. Many, while speaking good enough English, had no help at home from parents, who spoke minimal or no English. My moderate Spanish, and fluent French and Italian were definite plusses! By the end of the semester, almost all were reading at a 7th grade level! My grandmother taught me to read at 3 and 4, before most people knew the importance, so from the first day of Kindergarten, I have always felt that deep down confidence, which is even more important today. Reading and, especially Writing today are completely different, so by making them fun by interacting with another person, instead of just singular computer-aided learning, opens up all future Communication skills and can make them not only a life long reader, but a life long learner! I try to make lessons fun, by personalizing them for each student's interests, level, and specific needs. Fun, making silly sounds for elementary kids while reading, playing games, getting them to write about funny or unusual topics, doing funny poems to practice rhyming, is all important in any level's strategy. Your goal is not just to give them more confidence with EVERYTHING in the classroom, but to give them confidence in any sector for life. What a precious gift!
Besides being a lifelong reader with a love of writing, I 've studied American, British, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and World Literature. I also have a love of poetry. In order to transmit that love and understanding of Literature and help with assignments, I try to capture the Student's imagination, so they can see the situation in a more modern light, relating it to their or their friend's or family's experiences.
My background in Italian, the most beautiful language of all, started with studies at the University of Tulsa, continued at the Liceo Leonardo Da Vinci (night school for adults) in Paris, and went on at the American University of Rome. I lived in the Eternal City for 24 incredible years! Since moving to Phoenix, I have worked since 2008 as an Italian/French interpreter/translator for 3 different companies. I have also been a consultant for the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce here, organizing appointments, accompanying trade delegations in different sectors, and interpreting for them in order to find representation in the Valley. Two years ago I earned the credential of a court interpreter for the Maricopa Superior Court.
I have been interested in spelling since I was in grade school, having participated for 4 years in the Grade and Middle School spelling bees, and Etymology since Junior high when I started my 4 years of Latin. I have been teaching ESL which starts with beginning Spelling, all the way to Advanced Spelling for many years. While fluent in French and Italian, I speak moderate Spanish, while having studied a year of both Arabic and Russian. I am very familiar with German and Greek words which have filtered into English and have a smattering of Scandinavian, Dutch and Asian words. After 15 Summers in England, I could also teach the variations between British and American English.
As I said in my profile, I've subbed many ESL classes, and feel particularly close to kids, like mine,or adults like my husband trying to assimilate into life in the U.S. I think one of the greatest presents you can give a student is help fitting into their new world.Having coped with culture shock moving from the U.S. to Paris, and then to Rome and with reverse culture shock, moving back to the US after 27 yrs abroad, my interest is not just in transmitting language, but also culture to the student. While here in Phoenix. I finished a class called SEI-Strategies for English Immersion at Paradise Valley Community College.In 2008 I completed Berlitz teacher training in English, French, and Italian. I've been a life long reader and traveler, so Languages, History (U.S., European, and Art), Geography, Literature, are my strong points which come in handy for someone advanced, who either needs help with school work, their business skills or would like to improve their conversation in English. I work well with elementary kids and try to make their subjects fun. For example:reading comes along with silly sounds or actions to help remember vocabulary). I started French, when I was 6 and loved it because we played games. No matter what age or level the student is, I will do my best to make learning English fun. I am more than happy to work with all levels from beginners to advanced. For Hispanic beginners,I have a good grasp of Spanish for the occasional necessary explanation. With English, being the global choice for communication, I hope I can help make your experience here in the States easier and better.
They say in Rome there's a church for every day of the year! One of my Art History courses visited at least half! How lucky was I to spend 24 years surrounded by the treasures of the Eternal City. Little by little, there were new museums or historic sites opened that kept my passion continually fueled! Before that, I took advantage of all Paris had to offer for 3 years. I loved all the museums in Paris and its outskirts, so one Sun. I decided to get on the first bus which arrived at the stop, whether it took me to the Musee Guimet (Asian art) or the Gobelins (tapestries). In both Rome, Paris, and London, I visited several exhibitions a year. One time after a 3 week trip to China, I took the train to Venice to see the Xian warriors and the famous jade funereal suit. I developed my love of Art and its history senior year in high school, where our teacher "grabbed" us with the tales behind the works. This is what I like to pass on to my students. I also studied Art History in college with both the Philbrook Museum and Gilcrease nearby. Over the years I have visited many museums and collections throughout the US. One of my favorites is the Art Institute in Chicago; for folk art-the Shelburne in Vermont. In those 27 years in Europe, I have visited all the major museums and collections in France, Italy, Spain, The United Kingdom, The Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Morocco, and Algeria. I also love small eclectic museums off the beaten path. I even married an artist (as you can see in the photo) and spent our honeymoon on Crete discovering the Minoan culture. On another trip to Greece, in Mycenae, we stayed in Schliemann's residence; in China, we were one of the first groups to stay in Confucius' family compound! I would love to share my experiences with you. Wait until I tell you about the Dali!