Important Announcement

Group and private classes are taught online until further notice. The Alliance office is virtual, and Kamm House is open only by appointment. We are not taking phone calls. Please contact us by email at, and we will get back to you shortly.
NOTE: Book Pickup is complete for fall term. Please contact for special requests.


Courses focus on communication and are taught by experienced, professional instructors using European-designed teaching materials. 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.

Rachele Avolio's Courses

Linda Blanchette

Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy with a focus on teaching adults. She has taught French and English as a Second Language both abroad and in Oregon universities and community colleges, including France and Egypt.


Linda Blanchette's Courses

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.

Lucie's schedule is currently full and she is not accepting new private students.

Lucie Bonvalet's Courses

Francine Martinie Chough

Francine is a native of Autun, near the Burgundy region. She holds a Bachelor degree in English and French from Lewis and Clark Colleg and a Master's degree in Education from Loyola College of Maryland with an emphasis on Montessori Education. She has taught French and English in public schools in her native Autun, London, Montessori school in Vancouver, WA, and the Lower School Catlin Gabel School where she developed the French curriculum. She is a certified in DELF/DALF examiner and corrector. Francine has been teaching at the Alliance since 2009.

Francine is passionate about cooking. She's been baking her own baguettes and pâtisseries ever since she moved to the US in the 70's. In the 80's, she taught French cooking at Clark College in Vancouver and created a very popular class "East meets West" with her Japanese friend. She is currently working on a cookbook that she hopes to publish soon.

Francine's schedule is currently full and she is not accepting new private students.

Francine Martinie Chough's Courses

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 her B.A in French in 2016, she traveled to Paris, Saint-Brieuc, Lyon and Annecy. She plans to return to France in the future. 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.
Nirvana's schedule is currently full and she is not accepting new private students.
Nirvana Fairbanks's Courses

Nathalie Gerts

Nathalie has a BA in Philosophy and completed studies of French Literature at the Sorbonne (University of Paris). She earned an FLE (Français Langue Etrangère) Teaching Degree from the worldwide headquarters of the Alliance Française in Paris and is also certified by the French National Ministry of Education. Initially a teacher in French elementary schools, she has also enjoyed a career in the tourism industry in Paris and the U.S., and has taught French in the public school system in Oregon as well as Linn-Benton Community College. Nathalie has been teaching at the Alliance since 2004.

Nathalie's schedule is currently full and she is not accepting new private students.

Nathalie Gerts's Courses

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 Catlin Gabel School.

Marisa Ikert's Courses

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.

Emmanuel Laurin's Courses

Benedicte 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.

Benedicte McAlpine's Courses

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.

Lyla is currently accepting new private students.

Lyla Menzel's Courses

Ivy Mills - Lead Teacher

Ivy holds a Bachelor’s degree in French and Psychology from the University of Vermont and a Master’s degree in French with a focus on second language acquisition and early French literature from Portland State University. Passionate about the French language from a young age, Ivy spent time living and studying in France both during high school in the town of Laval, and during her undergraduate program attending the Université Grenoble Alpes for FLE, literature and art history. Before moving to Portland in 2018, she taught group and private music lessons to children in Vermont. Ivy has experience working with learners of all ages and enjoys incorporating music and humor into her lessons.

Ivy Mills - Lead Teacher's Courses

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.

Monique Myhre's Courses

Julie Nelson - Lead Teacher

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.

Julie Nelson - Lead Teacher's Courses

Clara-Julia Péru

Clara-Julia Peru is a French artist, poet and photographer. She holds a BA in Arts History and a Masters in Comparative Literature/Arts from La Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris and MB in Cultural Events and Production from IESA, Paris. Her essay Huysmans and the minor arts is published this year by Arteliterra. She recently published online her travel artbook Collée au vent : Sunset Highway. She has taught French for the Guild's Men in France, and Pacific and Linfield Universities in Oregon.
Clara-Julia Péru's Courses

Rebecca Raitses

Rebecca is a PhD candidate in French and holds two Masters degrees in French (an MA from Hunter College and an MPhil 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 Associate Faculty of French at City University of Seattle.

Rebecca Raitses's Courses

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.

Lisa Rollot's Courses

Margarita Smagina

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.

Margarita Smagina's Courses

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.

Marie-Pierre Wolfe's Courses

Elene Zedginidze

Elene graduated from the École du Louvre with a Masters 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's been trained in teaching French as a second language from Centre International d'études Pédagogiques and Centre national d'enseignement à distance. She has been with the Alliance since 2017.

Elene Zedginidze's Courses

Parking Information

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.
No calls, please email us at

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