Teachers

All Alliance teachers are native-fluent and specialize in FLE (French as a foreign language). Many teachers are available for private lessons weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays.

Rachele Avolio

Rachele holds a B.A. in French and a Master of Arts in Teaching French as a foreign language from Portland State University, and has taught in Oregon universities and public schools. Before her teaching career, Rachele spent fourteen years in France, where she raised her two children and worked for a baker’s yeast company in Marcq en Baroeul near the Belgian border.



Lucie Bonvalet

Lucie has two Master's degrees (English and FLE - teaching French as a Second Language) as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Originally from Dordogne, Lucie has taught French to adults and teenagers in high schools, conversation centers and cultural centers in Japan (both Kyoto and Tokyo) and in England. She has also taught French at Portland Community College. Lucie has been teaching at the Alliance since 2005.




Marissa de Alba

Marissa was born in Lorraine, a northeastern region of France, located between Germany and the Champagne region. She studied and obtained a Master's Degree in Education in Montpellier, in the south of France. After moving to the USA in 2019, Marissa found a new opportunity to keep doing what she loves, teaching. Marissa deeply enjoy teaching her language and culture to people interested in French.



Nirvana Fairbanks

Nirvana holds a Master’s degree in French from Portland State University. Her Master’s program focused on second language pedagogy and acquisition, as well as French literature. Nirvana’s passion for French was ignited in high school and grew in college. After graduating with a B.A in French in 2016, she traveled to Paris, Saint-Brieuc, Lyon, and Annecy. Nirvana loves sharing the French language with others and has experience teaching people of all ages. In the past she has worked with children at Le Monde and FAIS immersion schools. She believes that learning a language should be fun and interactive and strives to reflect that in her lessons.



Audrey Ike

Audrey hails from Saint-Malo, Bretagne, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Social and Educational uses of New Technologies from Université Rennes 2. She taught basic computer skills to elders and assisted in individual classes of FLE in France. Audrey later worked as an aupair in both London and San Francisco for French-American families who insisted on the importance of the French language and culture in the education of their children. Audrey moved to Washington State in 2019 and joined the Alliance in 2022.



Marisa Ikert

Marisa holds a Bachelor’s in French from Whitman College and a Master of Arts in Teaching French from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has a decade of experience teaching French to learners of all ages and levels. She also taught English for a year in Bordeaux, her favorite French city. Marisa credits her passion for French language and culture, as well as her ideas about the importance of immersion and play in language learning, to her many summers spent at Canoe Island French Camp as a camper and counselor. She is thrilled to return to her hometown of Portland from the east coast to work at the Alliance Française and the Catlin Gabel School.



Emmanuel Laurin

Emmanuel hails from Rochefort, Charente Maritime, on the west coast of France. He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, and a B.A. in History and English language from the University of Poitiers. He lectured at the University of Créteil and Paris 8 before moving to Oregon where he has taught all levels of French.



Karim Maalem

Karim holds a Master's degree in French as a Foreign Language from l’Université des Antilles and has been teaching French as a foreign language since 2007. He holds a diploma as a DELF-DALF examiner and trainer. Karim is a native French speaker who grew up in an Arab-French environment. As a pedagogical coordinator and teacher at an Alliance Française in Brazil, he was trained at the University of Montreal and l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3. 



Bénédicte McAlpine

Bénédicte is an experienced teacher from France and a specialist in second-language acquisition methods. She has a Master's Degree in communications from Paris and is also interested in teaching French through arts.



Lyla Menzel

Lyla has been teaching French for over 25 years in Japan, Thailand, France, New York and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in French and Russian from New York University and studied voice for 10 years under Dr. Helen Dilworth in San Francisco. She is also a music coach, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, and is currently a member of the Portland Revels Community Chorus and the blues band True Bluesers.



Anna Alexis Michel

Anna is an FLE and FOS French teacher and artist (author, photographer and playwright.) She is certified in FLE/FOS/ Français des Affaires by CCI Paris, the Institut Français, and Cavilam and is currently adding a Master of Didactique and Management du Français at the Université des Antilles. She has a Master's in Law from UCL and degrees from Sotheby's Institute of Art and Raindance. Anna has taught French at the Alliance Française of Miami Metro and the Alliance Française of Philadelphia and writing classes for the Lycée Français of NYC. She is the author of three novels, Le peignoir aux alouettes, Irma et les autres (Finaliste Prix Plume du Jury des plumes francophones 2020) and Les palmiers de décompression, and a writing guide available in French and English, The Narrative Journey.



Monique Myhre

Monique, born to a French mother and Polish father, grew up in the U.S. as a first generation American.  Her foreign language background includes a Bachelor of Arts in French with a focus on ESL and second language learning and study abroad in Albi, France. Monique also earned a B.A. in Child Development which prepared her to create individualized, student-centered curriculum. For the last 35 years, Monique has been teaching various subjects to children and adults in non-traditional settings through one-on-one tutoring and small-group lessons.



Julie Nelson

Julie received her Bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Oregon and her Master’s in French with a strong focus on second language acquisition and pedagogy from Portland State University. She previously studied FLE and French literature at the Université of Poitiers in France, then spent three years teaching English in Spain. Julie has extensive experience teaching French, Spanish, and ESOL in a variety of contexts to language learners of all ages. She is currently teaching French at PSU and the Alliance Française de Portland in the position of Lead Teacher.



Melody Pao

A bona fide Francophile, Melody lives in Paris and has been in love with the French language and cultures since childhood. She studied French at Wellesley College, holds an MA in French literature from Middlebury College, and an MA in Teaching Foreign Language at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. She has been teaching adolescents and adults for over five years and most recently taught at Stevenson School, where she rebuilt the entire French curriculum from scratch. A true polyglot, she can speak Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Italian, in addition to French and English. Prior to teaching, she worked in fundraising and arts administration. 



Rebecca Raitses

Rebecca is a Ph.D. candidate in French and holds two Master's degrees in French (an MA from Hunter College and an M.Phil. from the Graduate Center, CUNY). She has studied at the Sorbonne Nouvelle and has worked on organic farms in France. She taught French at Hunter College for three years and, in addition to the Alliance Française, is also currently on the  Associate Faculty of French at City University of Seattle.



Lisa Rollot

Lisa holds a BA in French and Spanish, and MA in French and Second Language Acquisition & Teaching, as well as a PhD in French and Francophone Studies. She is specialized in sociolinguistics and has done research in the revitalization of minority languages all over the French speaking world. Her mother's family are native French speakers from Louisiana. She has taught French, Spanish and English as a second language to students of all ages since 1994. She and her husband, a French national from Dijon, have raised their three children in both the US and France to be bilingual and bi-cultural.



Margarita Smagine

Margarita holds a PhD in literature from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and is a professional translator, working with English, French and Russian. She has extensive experience teaching languages in a variety of learning contexts. Having grown up in the south of Russia, Margarita has since lived in Saint-Petersburg, Lyon, Paris, and Berkeley, and currently resides in Seattle. 



Hervé Vermot-Desroches

D’origine de France à Besançon Titulaire d’un baccalauréat en Français du diplôme d’aptitude d’enseignement Français langue étrangère à Nancy. Mais aussi d’un diplôme d’informatique de gestion (Ecole supérieure en Suisse) Ma passion est : enseigner le français dans un contexte chaleureux et motivant avec l’humour. Avec 18 ans d’expérience dans l’enseignement de Français aux apprenants de tous âges (enfants et adultes) et de tous niveaux en France, en Suisse et au Brésil. Je suis aussi un passionné de cyclisme : Ancien Amateur Elite en Suisse.



Marie-Pierre Wolfe

Marie-Pierre is originally from Lyon and was one of the founders of the French Elementary School program of the Eugene 4-J public school district. She served as a school principal in France before returning to the US where she was an adjunct professor at the University of Washington in Vancouver. Marie-Pierre has been with the Alliance since 2008.



Elene Zedginidze

Elene graduated from the École du Louvre with a Master of Arts in Museum Education and Cultural Studies. Originally from the Republic of Georgia, she was exposed to French starting from elementary school. She enjoyed teaching children and adults in various Parisian museums and researching for her doctorate at the University of Paris VIII before moving to Portland in 2014, where she is raising trilingual children in a multicultural household. She has been trained and certified in teaching FLE since she started with the Alliance in 2017.




 

PARKING

Street parking on SW 20th St. facing the Kamm House is limited. Free parking is available in Lot B at SW 18th and SW Columbia. Please obtain a parking pass from the office. After 6 pm weekdays, students may park in the Willamette Dental lot at SW 20th and SW Jefferson as available.

OFFICE HOURS

The Alliance office is virtual
during the COVID pandemic.
Quickest contact is  info@afportland.org.
Leave a voicemail at  503.223.8388. 

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