Important Announcement

All group and private classes are taught online through March 2021. The Alliance office is virtual, and Kamm House is open only by appointment. Please contact us at 


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

Alexis Bidou

Alexis holds a Masters' degree in teaching from Lewis and Clark College. He has spent over 10 years teaching elementary classes in French immersion formats throughout Portland. As a French-American dual citizen, he has attended French school in French-speaking African countries and finished his studies in France before coming to the US. This has cemented his interest in being internationally grounded, and has made him especially aware of the benefits and joys of being fluent not only in multiple languages but also multiple cultures.

Alexis Bidou'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. She also spent two years in France and four years in Egypt teaching French and English as a Second Language.


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 Bonvalet's Courses

Maxine Borcherding


Maxine Borcherding, Chef, Sommelier, and lover of wine and fine food, will guide you through an in-depth look at the wine regions of France. Maxine’s professional certifications include Sommelier (International Sommelier Guild), French Wine Scholar (French Wine Academy), Spanish Wine Educator (Wine Academy of Spain), and Wine Location Specialist (Center for Wine Origins). She recently retired from 16 years as Lead Chef Instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute. 


Maxine Borcherding's Courses

Isabelle Brunet Le Breton

Isabelle is originally from Paris, and moved to Nantes before coming to Portland in 2017 with her two teenagers.  An environmental engineer, Isabelle had taught in France, and worked in sustainable utilities, the automotive industry, as well as sustainable development and climate change. She enjoys sports, sailing, cooking and has worked with the French association “Mad for chocolate”. Isabelle has been with the Alliance since 2017 in addition to working at the French American International School since 2019.

Isabelle Brunet Le Breton's Courses

Francine Martinie Chough

Francine is a native of Autun, near the Burgundy region. Following a career in teaching in Autun at the Lycée Bonaparte, then teaching French in an English public school near London for a year, she received a Bachelor degree in English and French from Lewis and Clark College. She taught French in a Montessori school in Vancouver, WA, then earned a Master's degree in Education from Loyola College of Maryland with an emphasis on Montessori Education. She taught 3 years as a Montessori Elementary teacher, and taught 1st through 5th grade at the Catlin Gabel School in the Lower School where she developed the French curriculum. She continues to teach all levels of students from elementary to adult, and 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 Martinie Chough's Courses

Jenna Chrol

Jenna Chrol holds a B.A. and an M.A. in French from the Middlebury Language School Graduate program. She also has a Master’s in English: TESOL and has taught English as a foreign language for more than 6 years. She taught at the Université de Poitiers for 1 year after which she moved to Portland Oregon to continue teaching in English and French. Jenna has also performed as a singer and actress in both French and English in the U.S. and in France.

Jenna Chrol'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 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 Gerts'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 currently teaches 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 communication 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. She has sung in rock bands, classical chorales, musical  revues and a gospel choir in San Francisco, France and Thailand. She is currently a member of the Portland Revels Community Chorus and the blues band True Bluesers.

Lyla Menzel's Courses

Pierre Metens

Pierre is originally from Belgium where he studied pedagogy and sociology at the Université de Liège. In addition to teaching at the Alliance, Pierre is also a voice talent for recordings of commercials and guided tours in French for Bruce International. He has been with the Alliance since 2003.

Pierre Metens's Courses

Ivy Mills

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'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 studying 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

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.

Julie Nelson'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

Jack Sieber

Jack Sieber holds a Master’s degree in French Studies from Brown University and has been teaching at the Alliance Française de Portland since 2016. He began his teaching career in 2009 as a teacher of English and has been teaching French for a total of 7 years. Prior to arriving in Portland, he worked at the University of Burgundy in Dijon for 2 years and was a teacher in the French public school system for 2 years.

Jack Sieber'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 enjoys teaching at the Alliance in addition to being 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.

Elene Zedginidze's Courses

Melody Pao

A bona fide Francophile, Melody 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 more recently completed an MA in Teaching Foreign Language at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey.  She has been teaching adolescents and adults for five years. 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.

Melody Pao'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.
Contact us at
Call 503.223.8388 from 12-3pm,
Monday through Friday, or leave
a message anytime.

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