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Alliance Française de Berkeley
L'alternative culturelle  

Alliance Française
de Berkeley

2004 Woolsey St
Berkeley, CA 94703
Tel: 510 548 7481









Nicole Courtet

Nicole Courtet 

Nicole Courtet was born in Paris, grew up in the Loire Valley, spending many vacations in Franche-Comté, the region of her family roots. 

She holds Bachelor's degree in Spanish and in General Linguistics, and a Master's degree in Linguistics Applied to the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language, from the Université de Besançon. She has spent extensive time in Spain where she first had the enriching experience of living in a foreign culture. 

Nicole taught French to adults at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée de Besançon for two years, at the Alliance Française de San Francisco for 20 years, at the Monterey Institute of International Studies for two summers, and briefly at Berlitz. She has been on the staff of the Alliance Française de Berkeley for 12 years. She returns to France every year, with her bi-lingual American husband of 30+ years, for family reunions. 

Outside of the classroom, you will find Nicole in nature on the hiking trails, and on her old beloved bicycle in the streets of Berkeley.


Anne Le Masson

Anne Le Masson

Anne has been teaching at the Alliance in Berkeley for about 15 years and a little longer at the Alliance in San Francisco.

Born and raised in Brittany, she studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and English at the university in Brest. After graduating from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts she moved to London to work and study, then on to California where she worked as an assistant in French in a High School. The next five years she lived in Paris, working at the cultural section of the American Embassy (USIS). Anne moved back to California in 1990 and has been teaching on site at a variety of Bay Area businesses as well as at the Alliance Francaise. Six years ago she started a week-long summer program in Provence in association with a chef, combining French immersion, culinary classes and cultural outings. She has taught French classes at Hillcrest Elementary School in Oakland. Although she enjoyed it very much, she prefers working with adults.


 Oliver Walty


Olivier Walty

Olivier is a native of the Champagne region (hence his bubbly personality!) but spent most of his time in Paris, its suburbs and the French Riviera.

He has been a French teacher for the Alliance Francaise since 2004 in the Bay Area. A Graduate of the French and Literature Baccalauréat, he also has experience in the  cinema industry as an audiovisual student. Olivier is involved in theater, painting, drawing and music-making. At times, he enjoys needlepoint on French tapestries to relax. Olivier's method  in teaching French is based on progressive conversation, grammar and intuition, asking each student to become an element, an actor in class and to interact at every level.      




Claudia Huguenin-Le Lay

I enjoy teaching French to students of all levels of skill. I myself have been a foreign language student - in English, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic and Farsi - the result of having worked and/or lived in countries where these languages were spoken. My empathy for and understanding of the language learning process are keys to what I have to offer as a teacher. 

I earned a Master’s Degree in English & American Literature, History and Linguistics and a post-graduate Degree in International Development at the University of Geneva. I’ve lived for most of my adult life in Paris where I earned a second Master’s Degree in the Teaching of French Language in 2004, graduating with honors from the Paris III-Sorbonne University.

Teaching has always been a part of my life. As a University student, I taught middle and high school students. I trained teams for the International Committee of the Red Cross, and taught French to friends while living abroad in Taiwan and India. French teaching positions include summer courses at the University of Geneva, classes at the European Commission in Brussels, the French National Adult Education Ministry-Adult Education (GRETA), language programs for American expatriates (IOR), the French-American School in Paris, and a medical non-profit for political refugees (AVRE).

My life in California began in September 2006 when the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA hired me in the French department. I worked at DLI for five years as an instructor, team leader, diagnostic assessment specialist, and academic advising specialist. I interviewed and tested DLI students, military linguists, federal employees and other personnel for their oral proficiency in French.

In 2012 I moved to the Bay Area. While teaching, I also accept translation work from English into French. My latest assignment, soon available as e-book, is on women’s health and healing. Sharing my love for words, the internal rhythm of the French language, and the exactitude of its grammar, brings me great joy. 



Myriam Rodriguez

Myriam is originally from Lyon. She is bilingual French/Portuguese as her parents are from Portugal. She studied International trade, and languages : Spanish, Chinese,Italian and
Portuguese. She has taught in several language institutes, both group classes and private lessons, and for all proficiency levels.

Myriam has lived many years abroad, and has been immersed in different cultures and languages. Before moving to San Francisco, she lived in Africa, Autralia and Mexico, where she opened an ethnic cofee-shop and also organized a Brasilian festival. She has travelled all around the world and is passionate about the arts : dancing (flamenco, tango), music, and writing.

She is currently working on her Master's in FLE at the Sorbonne by correspondance.

Myriam draws on her varied and rich language experience to teach adults as well as children.


Véronique Anxolabehere

I was born in Toulon, France. My father worked in sales and marketing for Renault which gave our family the opportunity to live in several countries during my middle school and high school years. I remained fluent in French and also mastered Spanish and English through the Lycée Franco-Argentin and the Lycée Franco-Mexicain. Returning to Paris for college, I earned a Master's degree in Applied Languages from the prestigious Ecole Supérieure d'Interprètes et de Traducteurs (E.S.I.T.).

I resided in Belgium, Argentina, Mexico, France, then Spain and Switzerland, and finally landed in the US. While traveling the world for work and pleasure, I've developed a strong appreciation for many cultures and languages.  I enjoy teaching adults, teenagers and young adults, and helping students master a new language. Speaking, reading and writing in another language not only enhances your communication when you travel, it also gives you a deeper and richer understanding of other cultures.

Although I am busy teaching languages and running my trilingual marketing & communications firm, I manage to spend plenty of time with my family. I love engaging with my two kids; one in elementary school and one in middle school. In my spare time you might find me sailing on the San Francisco Bay, or re-learning how to play the guitar I bought in Argentina when I was thirteen!

Laurence Mazouni 

Originally from France, Laurence Mazouni is a filmmaker and a lecturer living in San Francisco. She instructed film studies and production media at San Francisco State University, at Stanford University Continuing Studies and lectures on French Films at the Alliance Française of San Francisco, where she founded the cinema curriculum in 2003.

She worked in international distribution of African cinema and as editor and film archivist at California Newsreel, a non-profit, media organization in San Francisco dedicated to addressing the injustices of racism and inequality. Her films have been screened internationally.
She is currently Program Director at The Arab Film Festival in San Francisco.

Laurence received a BFA (1987) in architecture/stage design from the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Angers, France and a MFA (2001) in cinema from San Francisco State University.

As she has always been interested in different mediums for transmitting the French language and culture, Laurence became a private tutor and a teacher for French group classes at the San Francisco Alliance Française in 2003 and she is very happy to continue helping new students here at the Alliance in Berkeley.


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