Myriam Da Silva

Myriam Da Silva

She has been teaching in different parts of the world for almost 10 years. She is a DELF DALF certified examiner and trainer and previously worked as the San Francisco DELF DALF center director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a master’s degree in Didactics of Languages from the La Sorbonne, in Paris. She is also an art lover (dancing, writing and photography) and loves to share her passion for holistic care.

Cécile Cottus

Born in Angers, France, Cécile obtained her master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Nice. Her work lured her to Paris, “the city of lights”, where she assisted companies with hiring and led motivational groups for job seekers. Helping people confirmed her desire to re-orient her career in the area of health and well-being, leading her take up the study of diet and nutrition, and a diploma as a registered dietician. In her practice, Cécile saw a range of patients seeking help for nutritional disorders and weight management. In addition, she facilitated therapy groups and taught better nutritional awareness in schools, which led to various articles in the press and appearances on health-based TV programs. Since arriving in the Bay area in 2016, along with caring for her family with 3 young children, Cécile continues to see patients and promote healthy diets while sharing her passion for food and cooking.
Stephanie Poulain

Stéphanie Poulain

She studied in Bordeaux, to become a Speech Therapist and graduated in 2009. She practiced 7 years with children and adults in Paris, before moving to the Bay Area in 2016. Currently, she is focusing on helping students and speech therapy clients reach their goals for language learning or re education by taking into account their culture, educational level, skills and hobbies, as well as learning and communication difficulties. Stephanie does tutoring mostly for children and teenagers. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and their two daughters.

Anne Le Masson

Born and raised in Brittany, she studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and English at the University of Brest, France. 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.

Claudia Huguenin-Le Lay

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."

Olivier Walty

Olivier Walty 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.

Laurence Mazouni

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 Film Curator for the French Film Program at the Roxie theater 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. You can check out some of her films here. 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.

Sandrine Demathieu

She received her BA in Visual and Performing Arts Education from UCLA where she specialized in arts integrated learning and project based pedagogy. She’s taught visual and performing arts classes in k-12 schools in LA, Ghana, and France and has exhibited her art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the California College of the Arts in Oakland. You can see some of her art at

Stéphanie Ross

She moved to California 10 years ago with her bilingual family. Her passion is helping people discover her language and culture through French instruction with an emphasis on French art and literature. Over years of teaching, she has developed a fun, lively and supportive approach focused on each student’s individual level and interests. She is also the founder of the children and women’s clothing brand Les Petits Carreaux and the author of the children’s book The Little Paper Airplane