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What People Are Saying...

Karen Clothier, Claude Convers Student at Bay Area French Lessons

Taking French with Claude is a whole lot more than just learning French. First off she is a delightful person, full of fun and energy. She always starts stimulating and thoughtful discussions, then there is the homework, always on a wonderfully challenging and evocative subject. I honestly never dreamed I could write the things I have written, never mind in French, and each week I find myself so thoroughly nourished by this creative writing process. I continue to be amazed at how far I've come, and how learning this language in the way Claude teaches it has added a deep and soulful dimension to how I perceive the life around me. The decision to work with Claude has been one of the best and most enriching things I have ever done for myself. I highly recommend her classes—they are a truly fabulous adventure that is the highlight of my week.
 

Karen Clothier, www.karenclothier.com

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It was a lucky day I discovered the website for Claude Convers! I had recently been in France and wanted to take advantage of the momentum I had gathered speaking French during that trip. I knew that I wanted to have private lessons to force me to talk, and I wanted to find a person who presented themselves in a fun and friendly way… Claude is all of that and more.

Who knew I could discuss politics/cooking/poetry/music/Switzerland/France/life in general… in French! I love the feeling of piecing together the puzzle of speaking French; finding the words, the verb tenses, the fun of finding the right phrases and literally carrying on a lengthy conversation in French, every week. Additionally, I write an “essay” every week, on a subject that Claude gives at the end of each lesson. Always a very satisfying weekly challenge!

Claude is a wonderful teacher who has the innate ability to inspire, instruct, and yet be patient as I work to improve my French, find the words, and become an increasingly confident speaker of the most beautiful language ever!

Libby McLaren, Performer, Pianist, Singer, Teacher

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Claude Convers is a natural born teacher. She radiates enthusiasm and brings a kind of infectious joy to her work. Under Claude’s skillful direction her classes become wide-ranging and thoroughly engaging conversations. The wonder is that one soon finds oneself intelligently discussing all manner of topics en français. Her classes thus go well beyond excellent language instruction to become explorations of the world we live in, of ourselves, and of our roles in the world.

James Ransom, Professor Emeritus Haverford College

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I thought I'd like to pick up my French again. I was barely at the intermediate level and was working with Duolingo online, which I liked, but I knew I needed more. I needed a teacher who would fit me, a personal trainer kind of teacher, someone to guide me, someone to talk to, someone to give me assignments, someone to give me some positive reinforcement. That's when I got real lucky, because when I went online, I found Claude.

Claude speaks French like a native because she is a native, maybe not of France, but of French-speaking Switzerland, and to tell you the truth, that was lucky, too, because I love Switzerland.  Claude brings to me not just the precision of Switzerland, but also warmth of her own making. She is so patient!  She really cares about me, and my French!  We have a conversation for half an hour then we discuss my weekly essay for a half hour, and voilà!  The time has flown by and my French has taken another step forward.

If you can find some open time with Claude, my advice is to pounce on it. I predict that you will feel as I do, that it was a very happy day when you made this French connection (OK, Swiss connection, but you get the idea.)

Budd Shenkin, MD

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One of my favorite hours of the week is spent learning French with Claude. With humor, curiosity, patience and kindness she has made learning a new language an absolute pleasure, even the dreaded French Grammar! I've improved my French rapidly over the past year; and was able to speak "travel french" with ease during my trip to France a mere three months after beginning lessons. If you're thinking of learning French I recommend Claude whole-heartedly. Merci Claude!

Anjuli Sherin, www.anjulisherinmft.com

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Before I began studying French with Ms. Convers, my vocabulary was limited to merci and bonjour. Now, I have not achieved fluency, but on a recent trip to Paris I discovered that, thanks to my studies, I was conversant and completely unafraid to use my new found but modest linguistic skills to approach even the most haughty of Parisiens.  And they adore Americans who attempt to speak their language!  

Richard Connerty, aka Monsieur Ganache

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French class with Claude is the perfect mix of fun and challenge. My language skills continuously improve, yet the sessions never feel like work. It’s the same every week: we look at the clock and discover class time has flown by. Thanks to Claude, my writing, comprehension and conversational skills are at levels I only once dreamed.

Nadine Donovan, Author of "Malky Joe and the Great Cruise Caper”

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Claude is a result oriented professional whose method creates lively conversations making French seem effortless. She has fine-tuned my spoken, reading, and written French. I recommend Claude to anyone who truly wants to open his or her horizons and enjoy learning the French language.

Arlene Ori, Tour Guide

I will always be glad that Claude has been part of Lizzie’s high school years. Her life is richer because of her coaching and example. I think it’s funny to observe how Lizzie has a French version of herself as well as an American version, and how it gives her another leg to stand on, more self-contained confidence. 

We watched Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V over the weekend, and in the last scene where the king is trying to court the French princess in broken French, Lizzie was not only snickering at how terrible his language skills were, she was understanding what he was trying to say, and she was sympathetic to his struggle and embarrassment. Watching her, I thought about how many different ways I’ve seen Claude brings French activities to the table, adapting and persisting when sometimes the student was just not inclined to work. I still believe that without Claude's backup, Lizzie would have been too intimidated to go to Toulouse last summer, and that experience was transformative!

Karen Glimme – Lizzie’s mother

Claude Convers made learning French fun! She is patient, intelligent, and a terrific conversationalist. Every class was exciting because we talked about the things that mattered to me personally. After just a few months of practice, I was able to speak conversational French that allowed me to connect with people in my travels through central Africa and, at my return, to give a public presentation in French about that experience. I can’t recommend Claude highly enough.

Michael S., Author

Claude’s style of teaching encourages you not just to speak and write in French, but also to think, reflect and explore in French. Her curiosity and energy are contagious—I couldn’t have imagined that improving my French would be this stimulating and this much fun.

 

Valerie Percy, Speech Therapist

Claude’s method of teaching brings the events of one’s daily life and the study of French together in a natural way. She guides her students to progress in a comfortable and flexible environment, often allowing spontaneous exchanges to move the conversation’s direction. The writing assignments are always thought provoking. They can be delightfully revealing and are a great help in developing French skills. Working with her is a very gratifying experience.

Tim Brennan, Furniture Restoration

Claude Convers teaches French the way she lives life—with wonderful, contagious enthusiasm, and clear, perceptive intelligence. She cares for and respects deeply each one of her students. I love to be in our four-person group because each moment engages and challenges. The class is inter-active through discussion, and reading aloud the written pieces we have prepared on thought-provoking topics of her choice. In a relatively short time, all of us have made considerable progress. Learning French with Claude is a revitalizing, rewarding experience!

Marilyn Reynolds, Artist and Program Director

I will use some French words to describe Claude as a teacher—fantastique and extraordinaire! Every Tuesday evening I sit at her table and converse with classmates as if I were chez des amis à Paris. Claude is an imaginative teacher who uses a variety of tools to launch creative conversation among her students. She is sensitive and gentle, yet never misses an error and is constant in her corrections. Each week she presents me with new challenges, and each week I respond, eagerly. I will always be thankful to Claude for bringing out the best in me.

Catherine Glass, Cuisinière Cordon Bleu

With her gentle, intelligent, emotive, sweeping approach to French, Claude has brought me to a fine summit of language knowledge. In a year, I have learned more French than in all of junior high and high school. Merci bien, Claude!

Sparrow, Poet, Writer, Activist

We absolutely loved knowing and studying French with Claude... such a positive experience. We miss it and our great conversations with Claude in our charming, broken French :-) Perfection is overrated.


Christine Warren, Transformational Training & Coaching

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I came to Claude with a book of poetry I had been working on for several years. It is crafted in my English language mother-tongue, a continuous piece of subtly nuanced metaphors. Claude and I had met through mutual friends, and even though we were now in cities a thousand miles apart, I felt quite confident in turning to her when I decided to venture a translation into French. I felt that she and I could work together to carry my intended meaning across this linguistic bridge. Beyond my expectations, her attention to getting my intention through the semantic and syntactic labyrinth between these two languages was precise and penetrating. There were several discussions along the way, as my answers to her questions generated new insight for me into my own understanding of the images that my writing projects. Working with Claude was a time of personal growth for me, far more than a structural transformation between one language and another, but a true dialogue through which one language might say to another, that there is, I think, another way to looking at your words. I am overjoyed with what we have done together.

John Ashbaugh, Artist, Writer, Educator