After graduating with a Master degree in Teaching French as a foreign language in France, my native country, I have taught preschool, elementary, university-level French courses and numerous businesses.
While I was teaching at the University of Puebla in Mexico, I pursued my studies to be an official examiner in French (DELF/DALF) in accordance to the Common European Framework.
At the age of 24, I left Mexico and headed for the bright city lights of London. I was a lecturer in French at Greenwich University, South Bank University and Imperial college, university of London.
Along the way, I have developed the 3-Steps System for Speaking French Fluently through Automatic Reflexes.
My Linguistic Path
Do you like traveling?
I do. I love it. And that’s why I am now a qualified native French teacher and I can speak German, English and Spanish.
I didn’t learn at school. While traveling.
When I was 15, I could speak German fluently. I loved German language. German people. German culture. So I logically wanted to become a German teacher.
But when I reached the age of 18, I started traveling around the world:
Greece, England, Senegal, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Spain, Portugal…
These trips literally opened my eyes. My passion for languages grew year after year.
I’ll never forget when I first arrived in Mexico. I was employed as a lecturer in French at the University of Puebla. But I couldn’t speak Spanish AT ALL!
- Opening a bank account was a nightmare.
- Renting a flat… Well, first of all, looking for a flat was extremely difficult.
- Talking to the landlord over the phone to arrange a viewing was awful.
- Making friends was impossible.
Me. Annette. Usually outgoing, talkative and… such a big laugh!
There, nope. Shyness and disgrace were my first natural feelings.
So I had to find quick and efficient ways to learn Spanish… on my own.
So I know how hard it can be to learn a second language.
I tried everything: textbooks, classes, software, audio lessons, watching TV, private tuition, songs…
But it’s sooo rewarding to learn a foreign language!
I was so proud of myself when I came back from Mexico. I could speak Spanish perfectly! I could even read Mexican literature in Spanish and watch movies!
Later, I moved to the UK, in London. Same things happened.
I “learned” English at school for 6 years.
So why couldn’t English people understand me?
Why couldn’t I understand them?…
… Now I can speak English! Life is beautiful!
I was – and I’ll always be – a language learner. But I’m also a teacher of French as a foreign language..
● I know the traditional teaching methods used at school from both points of view.
● I know the boring textbooks.
● I know the issues related to the learning environment
I understand what makes a great French course.
My students as well complained about the textbook.
Then I thought, instead of complaining and since I’m a teacher, why not creating a new teaching method – and a website – to help people learning French?
Yes. All information I would love to learn easily before going abroad and during my stay.
So, here we are…
My Research Interest…
Exploring the potential of Web 2.0 technologies to support the development of learner autonomy in language learning…. and a view to establish some principles to assist universities and governmental bodies (such as ministry of defence) for the implementation, evaluation and assessment of cross-curricular learning promoting language autonomy.
Over the last twenty years, both goals of language learning and insights into the process of language learning have changed. Research in fields such as psychology, cognitive psychology, sociology, linguistics and others, have added to our knowledge of how language learning takes place. These two developments have, amongst others, led to a greater interest in Learner Autonomy.
Since global changes in the availability of information (the internet, computer databases), people are now expected to deal with a large amount of information. They need skills that allow them to adapt to quickly changing circumstances and develop new skills.
A large amount of time, energy & money are spent on its promotion and implementation. This is especially true for many universities and other Higher Education institutions who have heavily invested, in order to support teaching and to enhance students’ learning experience, in Self-Access Centres (SACs), Commercial Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), such as WebCT or Blackboard, which are believed to be an effective means to the desired end of learner autonomy.
However, the learning experience and outcomes in such environments are not always as expected: students may fail to use the facilities available to them, university authorities may be reluctant to provide adequate support, and language teachers may show some resistance towards new approaches to language teaching and learning.
There is now a large body of literature on learner beliefs, however very little in conjunction with actual learning situations.
Autonomy as a political concept originated perhaps as early as Aristote and has, mainly through Kant, played an important role in both the philosophical & practical expressions of political developments in the 20th century.
It is the individual who is responsible & active in shaping his or her own life and therefore that of others. Education has to prepare learners for this, which involves teaching them the skills necessary to take control over the processes & content of learning.