Tutors for French

Parent Q&A

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  • My daughter just started at UC Berkeley and is taking beginning French and needs tutoring.  Do you have someone you can recommend?

    Linda Perry

    Linda [at] Peachhead.net

    The best way to get help is through the UCB French department.  The department organizes and sponsors (i.e. FREE) tutoring by more advanced students.  In addtion, there are many graduate students available to help.  Finally, many people post their services to bulletin boards around the department.  The UCB French 1-4 program is stellar.  The best bet is to get someone associated with it.  Tell your daughter to go pop her head into the undergraduate student advisor's office, or to ask her GSI for more contacts.  

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Online French language tutorials classes

Jan 2016

Hi, I want to learn how to speak French! But none of the adult schools around seem to have a class at a time convenient to me. So: have any of you taken an online French class and liked it? Merci! mike

My son's French teacher has a useful website that includes online French language programs. To find it, google Miller Creek Middle School, look up the Teachers, and click on her name Laura Winnett. Here is the link: http://mcms-dsd-ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1344709381944&no_controls=t jk


Seeking French tutor for BHS French 7/8

Sept 2012

We are looking for a french tutor for a student in BHS french 7/8. We'd prefer someone who could come to our transit accessible North Berkeley house, or who is located in North Berkeley/Central Berkeley. The ideal tutor would be able to reduce anxiety around learning French and be able to help prep for the IB SL test this spring. anon

My daughter started working with Laura Truffaut ((510) 845-4882, truffaut [at] pacbell.net) last spring when she was in French 5/6 as a Freshman, and is continuing to work with her this year for French 7/8. Laura has been fabulous, and has given my daughter the extra help and confidence she needs to be successful. I highly recommend her. She works out of her home on the south side of the UC campus. My daughter takes the 51 bus from Berkeley High to Laura's home after school, so transportation is no issue. Sandi

My family had a great experience with Classroom Matters. Here is my daughter's recommendation for Lisa Miller: ''I took AP French at BHS last year and took the AP test. I was tutored by Lisa Miller at Classroom Matters once a week during the whole year, and it definitely helped me to improve my French skills and become more comfortable with the language. We would do reading homework together, which was helpful for succeeding in the class, where there were many native French speakers. When I didn't have homework, we worked on test prep for the AP test. Lisa knows the BHS French teachers and has worked with both AP and IB students before. Classroom Matters is on Sacramento, just a 10-15 walk from school. The environment of Classroom Matters is friendly and easy to work in, and there were times when I stayed later after tutoring and got a lot of other homework done, as well. Overall, I'm really glad that I went to Classroom Matters and worked with Lisa. I not only got a good grade in the class and a good score on the AP test, but I also feel much more confident in my ability to speak and understand French.'' Judith

French tutor for 9th grader

March 2012

I am desperately looking for a tutor to teach French to my 9th Grader. We live in the East Bay but am willing to drive to Berkley/ Oakland. Please help. Thanks, Anonymous

I would highly recommend Lisa Miller at Classroom Matters. Both of my sons have received tutoring in French from Lisa and have found her help invaluable. My older son also worked with other tutors at Classroom Matters and both he and his French teacher thought the tutoring made a big difference in his progress in class. He now feels comfortable traveling in French speaking contries and seems very able to make his way in French when needed. My younger son is still in high school and sees Lisa every week. He struggles with french but feels much more confident with Lisa's help and seems to be doing much better. Karen

Our daughter was struggling with French 3/4 at Berkeley High in IB. She has had a great experience with Lisa Miller. Lisa really understands the high school curriculum and has been able to explain difficulty concepts and help her with strategies for recognizing grammatical structures, etc. Our daughter is improving her grades now and feels much more confident in French. We recommend Lisa: lisa [at] classroommatters.com 2436 Sacramento Street Berkeley, CA 94707 510.540.8646 Berkeley High mom

French Lessons in East Bay for 8 year old

Jan 2012

Hello; I am interested in some lessons or social time with kids around my daughters age (8 years) for learning French. I know about the school in Berkeley and the center in Lafayette. But, I wanted to see if there are any other options around the Berkeley area? My daughter will be moving to France in 6 months, and I would like to get her some exposure to French now. Jon

Contact Mark Brosamer - he has a masters in French and is a professor in creative writing (I think), doing French tutoring on the side. He'd be great. Tell him Bronwyn sent you. mark: 510-710-8624 mbrosamer [at] yahoo.com Bronwyn

Native French speaker to tutor 11yo

Sept 2011

I am looking for a native French speaker who lives nearby (Rockridge, Oakland) to come to our house once or twice a week to tutor our 11 year old daughter in French. Beth

I will highly recommend Cindy Sierra, she is a native speaker and she is great with kids. She was our tutor for a year for 3 boys. Now they are old enough to go to preschool, so we stop the tutoring, but they learn a lot and were really happy to be with her. I am French so I can really evaluate how much they learn and know they don't learn mistake. Her email cindy.guyader [at] hotmail.fr French mum

French Tutor for HS Junior

Jan 2011

Can you recommend a French tutor for a HS Junior in French 2. Languages are hard for her and she needs some additional help. needing French tutor

Paul the Tutor's Education Center has a wonderful French tutor name Erin Zaleski. She has a great way with students, and helps them to learn the language instead of just memorize the words. She works at their center and travels to students' homes. You can find out more by going to www.paulthetutors.com, emailing them at info [at] paulthetutor.com or calling them at 510.730.0390. parent and teacher

Hi, We're extremely satisfied with Lisa Miller and consider her an outstanding French tutor. Lisa is affiliated with Classroom Matters on Sacramento.

Our child attended Ecole Bilingue (EB) from age 3 through 8th grade, so she's fluent in French. (We don't speak French at home.) Even with a strong vocabulary, since the Berkeley High (BHS) curriculum emphasizes grammar more so than EB, we felt the need for some focused attention not available at BHS. In fact, we started with Lisa when our child was still at EB in the 8th grade.

Our child likes French, but hates grammar. Lisa has been patient and thorough in her assistance. Lisa has also gone well beyond the usual expectations one might have in communicating with the teachers to make sure that weak areas were being addressed. Lisa and Classroom Matters have been great resources.

Please let me know if you have follow up questions. Rich

We have been really happy with Classroom Matters for French tutoring over the past three years. The business owner, Lisa Miller, is proficient in French and has excellent contacts with the language department at BHS. Our high schooler worked with Lisa herself, and with two other tutors over the years. All have been quite good.

I especially appreciate the active approach the tutors use to communicate with the high school French teachers. For example, they find out about homework, projects, and tests and often get direct feedback from the teachers about our child's work in class.

Classroom Matters also write weekly/bi-weekly emails about our child's doings and progress during tutoring, sometimes including suggestions for how to schedule and prioritize tasks. These personal messages invite parents to add to the conversation; they aren't just newsletters or formulaic, and there is always a prompt reply, often with further insights.

For high school students, tutoring needs to come from a person with a strong background in the subject area and a good grasp on how the child's school approaches the material. Classroom Matters has been especially strong in providing that for our child in French. I recommend it most highly. Berkeley parent of 2

2010 - 2009 Reviews

Sept 2010

Joelle Deloison joelle.deloison [at] gmail.com did a superb job tutoring my son in French in his junior and senior year at Lick Wilmerding (we live in Berkeley and my son commuted to LW on BART). My son was initially very resistant to the idea of tutoring in French, although he recognized at some level that he needed it. Joelle skillfully eased her way into his life and got my son to work hard and to accept her help, which felt like a miracle. She honed in on my sonC,bs strong points and his weak points as a student, and was very practical about helping him prepare for specific assignments and get through a subject he really disliked. In each of the four semesters she worked with him, he wound up with the grade he needed, and is now happily off at his first year of college. Joelle likes kids, having two teenagers herself, and she is flexible and kind, going out of her way to communicate with my son's teacher and to prepare in advance of their sessions to be sure that the time they spent together was productive. She can also establish her authority when limit testing sets in - my son respected her. She is an experienced tutor, a native French speaker, and really knows her stuff. I highly recommend her. If you have specific questions, drop me a line. g.

French Tutor for 10th grade girl in beginning French

Oct 2009

Can you suggest a good French tutor for a 10th grade girl in beginning French who has a hard time with languages? Late afternoons or weekends are open times for work with a tutor. Thanks... parent

We are very, very happy with our French tutor, Sophie. She's young, smart, sensitive, and professional. My 15-year-old daughter really likes working with her. She lives in Berkeley, comes to our house and charges $25/hour. Here phone number is: 613-5518 a teen parent

My daughter was tutored in French the last two years through Classroom Matters. I highly recommend this service. Contact Lisa Miller at lisa [at] classroommatters.com. Located on Sacramento in Berkeley. Karen

I would like to wholeheartedly recommend Laura Truffaut as a french tutor. She is a native french speaker with a PhD from Cal, and years of experience tutoring high school students and adults at all levels. She has experience with beginners as well as with advanced speakers, and has prepped students for the AP French exam. She can be reached at truffaut [at] pacbell.net. Your daughter will love her!

Oct 2009

For parents of teens (and younger children too) looking for a great French tutor, I'd like to highly recommend Ingrid. Her rates are very reasonable and she will travel to your home or nearby library to tutor your son or daughter. She is a native French speaker, very engaging, and highly experienced in teaching and tutoring French. Ingrid tutored my daughter during her last two years of high school French. My daughter looked forward to her visits, and the tutoring lead to much improved grades and ability to converse. Ingrid can be reached at (510) 759-1224. Wendy

2008 - 2007 Reviews

Sept 2008

I very highly recommend Joelle Deloison as a French tutor. In just over a month, she brought my son(who didn't know a word of French) up to speed to tackle 4th grade French at a new school!

What I like about her most is that she's so fluent in both French and English, and can quickly shift from examples in one language to another. My son knew a little Spanish, and she was able to harness that information too, with very good effect. My son says he's learned more English grammar from her than at school!

She's highly professional - always is on time, and devotes a lot of time and energy to her student. She had a carefully prepared lesson for each class, complete with new vocabulary, grammar and games. My son and she hit it off right-away and had so many laughs and good conversations that the learning part just happily came along with it all.

BTW, her rates may seem higher than some, but you get WAY more than you pay for. It also helped me greatly that she was willing to come to our house for the sessions. 654-1713 or joelle.deloison [at] gmail.com Gita

May 2008

I'm looking for a native French speaker to teach and converse with my 14 and 12 year old children once a week (late afternoon, eve. or w/e) in the next academic year. They're both eager French students-- this is to make up for not taking French in school this year (for one) and for enrichment/accent for the other. I'd appreciate any leads you could give me. maman

I highly recommend Simone Knowlton (510-232-2819, Sbknowlton at aol.com) as a French tutor for both kids and adults. She loves kids and has worked with both kids and parents from Ecole Bilingue in the past. I studied with her for years and my French improved greatly. She has a wonderful ability to tailor lessons to the needs of her students, and she's also a very warm and caring person. Patty

SIMONE KNOWLTON (510-502-1157) is a fantastic French teacher who teaches private and semi-private classes in her home in Albany. She would be perfect for a class for you and your teen. I have been taking classes from her on and off over the last 30 years or so (since I was a kid). She has a number of students who have been with her consistently for more than 20 or 25 years. Simone is a native French speaker. She is very patient and non-judgmental, and teaches beginners as well as advanced students. This summer I will be taking some classes from her with my 6 year old (who is going to Ecole Bilingue). For me, classes with Simone are much more economical, convenient and flexible than going over the hill to French for Fun. She can tailor a class to your specific needs. Please call me if you would like more information. Amy O

I'd like to second the recommendation for Simone Knowlton. I took French lessons from Simone for years. Unlike many language teachers, she knows her own native language the way the rest of us learn a foreign one, so she really knows how to teach it. I lived in France for a year in college, so my French was pretty good before I started lessons with Simone, but it improved greatly with her help. Simone is also a wonderfully warm, supportive person and she loves kids of all ages. I highly recommend her. French student

Dec 02 2007

Joelle Deloisen tutored my senior H.S. daughter in French this fall in preparation for the French SAT and to help my kid become less shy about speaking. Joelle is a native French speaker and was wonderful--she established immediate rapport and trust with my daughter. She tailored her teaching style to my daughter's learning style and temperament, customized the approach and content to my daughter's learning goals and came to our house. We highly recommend Joelle! She can be reached at (510) 654-1713 Barbara

Nov 2007

I'm going to be doing some traveling in France and I want to brush up on my French. Does anyone know of a good French tutor in the Oakland/Berkeley area? My friend is also looking for a tutor for her teenage daughter. Thanks for your recommendations Dee

I would like to recommend Yasmina Hadri as a French tutor for adults or children/teens. Yasmina is a native French speaker and has been teaching French for years. She is very patient and excels at working with all levels of proficiency, from absolute beginners to more advanced speakers who want to learn French in greater depth. She makes the lessons fun and interesting and creates a workable program for at-home study (especially good for parents and working adults who don't have lots of time). I can't recommend her highly enough! Contact her at yhadri[at]aol.com or 510/435-7183. You can also see her listing on craigslist if you search for Yasmina under ''Lessons.'' Julie

I highly recommend Yasmina Hadri, an accomplished tutor, and wonderful person, too. I have been taking lessons from her for a few months now and am thrilled with what I have learned. The beauty of the way she teaches is that she can tailor the lesson plans to not only your level of French, but to your personal situation, e.g., you need French for travel, you need it for your job, you need it to socialize, you want to learn from the beginning, etc. For me, one-on-one time with Yasmina is far more effective and valuable versus taking a group course. You can learn more about Yasmina by reading her ad that she posts regularly on craigslist--search under Services, then Lessons, then choose East Bay, and type Yasmina as your search word. Bonne chance! T.P.

A native French speaker living in Oakland is Patrick Bay. I've heard he's an excellent teacher too. (510) 459-7440. Samie

2006 - 2005 Reviews

Sep 17 2005

I am writing to update a recommendation I submitted four years ago. My fourth child just graduated from BHS thanks to the help in French from Julie Owen. I highly recommend her. She is experienced, understands the school curriculum, and is a sympathetic and kind person. Julie had two children at Berkeley High and tutored many others including two of my daughters and my son. She is located in North Berkeley. Her phone is 528-2301. Janet

2004 & Earlier

Jan 2002

Re: French tutor
One suggestion would be to contact the French Dept. at UCB. There are a number of graduate students who have experience teaching ( they teach undergraduates) and who might be available. They are reliable. You could contact the graduate assistant at 642 2712 or at frendept[at]socrates.berkeley.edu and tell her I suggested you contact her. (There are also innumerable signs posted on the bulletin boards outside the department office 4321 Dwinelle Hall.) Suzanne

Nov 2001

Julie Owen is a wonderful French tutor. 528-2301 from Sherry

Oct 2001

To the family looking for a French tutor, I highly recommend Julie Owen. She is experienced, understands the school curriculum, and is a sympathetic and kind person. Julie has had two children at Berkeley High and tutored many others including two of my daughters. She is located in North Berkeley. Her phone is 528-2301. Janet

Feb 2001 We discovered a wonderful French tutor that others may appreciate knowing about. Here's her name and information:

French tutor, born and raised in Paris, loves to teach French conversation to adults and older kids. She charges $25-$35 an hour, and is happy to work one-on-one or in small groups. Flexible hours. Willing to travel from North Berkeley to your home. For more information call Helene at (510) 524-1104