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Getting Inspired to Learn French in Pittsburgh

Learning a language takes time and dedication. While there are many books, CDs and software programs that can help you learn a new language, the best method is to study privately with a qualified teacher. A private teacher will tailor lessons to fit your ability and help to keep you motivated. A great way to advance your learning is to apply what you’ve learned by having conversations with native speakers.

If your chosen language is French, you’ve made a great choice. French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. And lucky for you, Pittsburgh is rich in French culture! The French controlled the area until it fell to the British, but even today, there is a strong French presence felt throughout the city. Today, Pittsburgh is home to 30 American subsidiaries of French companies and has a large French-speaking community.

So if you live in Pittsburgh, you’ll have plenty of opportunities outside of lesson time to practice! Home to a large French community and several French societies, restaurants, and social clubs, there are plenty of opportunities for real-world practice after your French lessons in Pittsburgh.

  1. The Alliance Française de Pittsburgh was founded in 1903 and was started to encourage the study of the French language, literature and culture as well as to promote activities in education and the arts. The alliance offers a variety of social and cultural events and programs in both French and English. (http://www.afpitt.org/)

  2. Another great organization is the French Cultural Center of Pittsburgh. This volunteer organization’s goal is to welcome and entertain the French-speaking communities in Pittsburgh, and it offers education, cultural and social events where members of the community and guests can meet and mingle. (http://www.centrefrancophonedepittsburgh.org/)

  3. The Pittsburgh French Meetup Group was founded 10 years ago by a French professor in the Pittsburgh area who has been involved in the local French community for over 20 years. Started as way to help his friends learn French, the group has grown into a social club that meets at various locations in Pittsburgh for fun, conversation, and the exchange of ideas. They also offer a variety of language classes for all levels of French speakers, and most social events are free to attend. (http://www.meetup.com/FrenchLessons/)

  4. In addition to these societies and clubs, if you get hungry after your French lessons in Pittsburgh, there are a number of great opportunities to immerse yourself in French food and culture. One worth visiting is Paris 66 where authentic French cuisine and wines are served in a cozy and intimate French Bistro atmosphere. Voted “Best French Restaurant” by Pittsburgh Magazine, the food is prepared and served by their native French staff, including the chef, sommelier, and servers. The perfect place to practice ordering your meal in perfect French! (http://www.paris66bistro.com/)

Taking French lessons in Pittsburgh with a qualified teacher is only the beginning of your education. The city offers great opportunities to meet others who share your interest in the French language and culture. Make sure to practice your language skills and get out there and enjoy all that Pittsburgh has to offer!

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Rory B.

Pittsburgh, PA

Very proficient conversationally. Would be most helpful to someone who wants to improve their speaking skills. Learned to speak both in middle and high school and also living in France for a few months a a few years ago. In college I took a year of Russian. Languages come naturally to me and I love them so would really enjoy helping someone improve their oral skills. I would say I am between intermediate and advanced speaking wise but that is not an option.

About Rory

Have helped students with their college and graduate school applications (creating a powerful narrative, editing personal statements), tutored the SAT and LSAT. Given this experience and my varied educational background, I am confident that I can teach students in a variety of different subjects.
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Rory B.

Rory B.

Pittsburgh, PA 15232
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Roula F.

Wexford, PA

About Roula

I taught Math and science k-6 for 3 years overseas and keeping up with the new curriculum developments for Math 4-8.

I am certified in Arabic, French and BCIT ( Business. Computer and Technology)

During the school year I teach those subjects in the Mount Lebanon School District. i have been working in the district since January 2010.
I also teach private lessons Arabic and French as well as small groups.
I am currently tutoring a 2nd grade French student to keep up with his French and a 6th grade student who lived and studied in France for three years and need to brush up on his F
rench.

I have taught for several years in Inligua school of languages( currently renames Lengua) French Arabic and ESL.
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Roula F.

Roula F.

Wexford, PA 15090
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Jennifer M.

Pittsburgh, PA

I have taught beginning French to college French

About jennifer

I adhere to the John Rassias (Dartmouth College Prof.) motto:
Please and instruct… entertain with a purpose.
Like Rassias, I believe in the power of Drama, of movement, rapid engagement, rhythm and emotion. I have tried to rid myself of any inhibitions, so the students in turn can do so too… so they can gain confidence and inner pride. Using this artistic expression of empathy, any teacher will become closer in his/her relationship to the students; the students can see, feel and hear just how much the teacher believes in them, believes that anyone can learn a language.

I like to offer
a full immersion experience, a fast-paced, active class where students find themselves on the edge of their seats excited and ready to participate. Ideally I try to allow little breathing room between exercises, which are themselves varied and creative. I make every effort to render contagious my own excitement about the subject at hand. My goal is to make learning itself a genuine pleasure and an eye-opening cultural experience which imparts a sense of accomplishment to my students.

I have an affinity for drills (à la John Rassias) and this is particularly useful when teaching grammar, and turns the lesson into a type of game. My drills also emphasize accurate pronunciation and intonation, and I convey the meaning of difficult sentences through rather dramatic, humorous gesturing and intonation. Although my classes very much stress the oral, I am nevertheless sensitive to the needs of the more inhibited, less-theatrical oriented students, and work with them at a pace that is comfortable for them.

While I myself am a very energetic teacher, my class is student-centered and focuses on their active participation and interaction. Group activities are part of every lesson, as well as skits, improv. and brief presentation. I try to have my students teach me as well and encourage them to incorporate subjects from their life experiences or other classes into discussions or writing assignments.

I teach beyond the text book and the given syllabus, incorporating as much authentic material as possible −whether it is stack of metro maps I have brought back from Paris, photos of me on the Eiffel Tower, post cards of Corsica, a video of the concert with IAM that I attended, an Yves Montand’s rendering of Jacques Prévert’s poems, a recorded lecture by Hélène Cixous via Youtube, cinematic versions of French novels, a pause-café, an episode of Extra sit-com, etc. In short, my method is eclectic and provides a variety of learning situations for the students.

I do not like having much downtime in my classroom and so for the classes other than AP (that is a whole other essay!), there is a Question of the Day on the Smart board to which the kids must immediately start answering with peers the moment they cross the threshold of the classroom. I then either give them a riddle to solve, or a pronounciation/tongue twister exercise or a song to sing. Then I jump into a quick assessment of how the homework went and gauge their grasp and then continue accordingly. The rest of the class can proceed in any number of ways: pair work, PowerPoint presentation, listening comprehension, game, dialogue writing, story telling…

Student’s work is always returned the following class. My comments and corrections are fairly elaborate but if I feel a student needs more help, I approach him or her and encourage him or her to make an appointment with me. I probably spend as much time outside the classroom with a student as inside. I believe in in high standards with a high amount of support, and I believe that children don’t care what you know until they know that you care. I appreciate the opportunity to help each individual within a classroom develop his or hers full potential and I realize that teaching goes well beyond the classroom. I am looking for an opportunity to help students get through not just their French assignment, but through the very real challenges of learning in any setting of this continually changing world.

I feel it is important for students to have a mentor, to guide them in expanding their minds, whether it be in learning a language or literature, learning to think critically and creatively, independently and collaboratively, or be it learning the importance of difference, respect, curiosity and communication. I am more than delighted if somehow I inspire a student to make Francophone countries and French a part of their lives and career; ultimately however, this is not as important as sharing the best of myself so that students might show the best of themselves. My role as teacher intrinsically sets me up as a role model, and in the presence of my students I do well at becoming someone to whom they can relate and look toward for encouragement and advise. Finally, because I try to bring out the individual strengths of each student, I believe I impart to them not just the tangible (audible) −that sexy accent, for example −but rather a confidence in themselves that will serve them well throughout their entire lives and careers.

I delight in my interactions with my students, with whom I can share my various and rich “French” cultural perspectives. I believe it is essential to acquire first-hand knowledge of francophone cultures, especially as our world has becomes more interconnected via technology. Thus I am always aspiring to be more proficient in extending my knowledge of other francophone climes to my students so that they may better enrich themselves and know that there are a myriad of francophone regions at their fingertips to study and explore. French does not simply belong to the beloved Hexagon. I want my students to discover that Québec, Cameroun, Haiti, and other francophone regions are every bit as enticing as Paris. I hope to foster, if not Francophonic fanatics, then at least students who develop a strong and life-long interest in the learning process and who are eager to continue the exploration of a global spectrum of ideas and values.

Learning another language is learning about another perspective on life. It helps to foster compassion towards others. It gives the learner the ability to step inside the mind and context of that other culture. Without the ability to communicate and understand a culture on its own terms, access to that culture is very limited. Ultimately, a person competent in other languages can bridge the gap between cultures, and in a world where nations are ever more dependent upon on another, understanding other cultures is paramount. Finally, learning another language develops an understanding of one’s culture and language.
Wellesley’s core values are: academic excellence, cooperative and caring relationships, respect for human differences; commitment to community. I like to think I am very attentive to all of these. Outside the classroom, I can often be seen watching a soccer game, attending a school play or concert. I am involved in GSA, French club, Peers and Facilitators class, the French exchange and am very sensitive to some of the unique needs of METCO students in our school
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Jennifer M.

Jennifer M.

Pittsburgh, PA 15213
starting at
$100 / 90-min
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Gizelxanath R.

Pittsburgh, PA

About Gizelxanath

Gizelxanath was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. A naturally talented opera singer, she has extended her repertoire range to an almost all encompassing one which includes musical comedy, french popular songs, latin american boleros, jazz, sacred music, Afro-Peruvian-style pieces, Argentinean tango and Mexican folklore, in addition to the standard operatic repertoire. 
Her artistic qualifications include operatic studies and Masterclasses in highly prestigious universities such as: The Mozarteum Hochschule für Musik (Salzburg, Austria), The Ark Institute for the Performing Arts (San
Diego, California), The Conservatory of Music (Tijuana, México) and The University of Baja California. She has  been the recipient of many noteworthy awards including: The University of Fresno Zarzuela Scholarship, and The Metropolitan Opera Encouragement Auditions Award 2003.

The intrinsic beauty of her voice has been recognized and praised by many of today’s best opera singers, composers and musicians, including: Grace Bumbry, Francisco Araiza, Jaques d’Ambroise, Jerome Korman, Judith Lynn Stillman, Georgetta Psaros, John Bills, Pablo Zinger, Pancho Navarro and Enrique Gonzales Medina.

Among the many professional achievements throughout her musical career, it is worth to highlight her brilliant performance as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Small Opera of San Diego, 2000), Lola, in Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (2002 - 2003), Serafina, in Enrique Medina’s Serafina and Arcangela (Los Angeles Eutrepe’s Opera Company, 2003), Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (New York at Lincoln Center National Dance institute 2010).

Her Recording catalog includes three solo albums: Cartas de Amor (1998), Passion Tango (2009), and Piensa en mi (2010), as well as many collaborations with world-renowned artists.
 
Today she thrives as one of the most versatile Mexican sopranos, performing regularly throughout the United States and internationally.
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Gizelxanath R.

Gizelxanath R.

Pittsburgh, PA 15213
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Nora P.

Pittsburgh, PA

I studied French and Spanish while in college, and I studied for a semester in Rennes, France. I have good conversational skills as well as great study techniques for anyone frustrated with learning a foreign language.

About Nora

I'm a recent college grad who just moved back to Pittsburgh. I studied art and foreign languages at Alfred University, and am currently living in Bloomfield working as a waitress and teaching sewing a few hours a week. I eventually hope to work solely as a teacher, I love working with kids. I have experience both in a classroom and a more individual tutoring setting.
In my free time I love to knit and sew. I am an artist and I use those processes in my work pretty frequently. I think they're really underrated and valuable skills. Something that I wish more people appreciated. I can literally
teach anyone to sew or knit.
I do have plenty of welding experience, although mainly with an oxy acetylene torch, if anyone is interested in that.
...
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Nora P.

Nora P.

Pittsburgh, PA 15224
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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