Claire Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi Claire! First of all, please introduce yourself briefly to our students!
A. Hi! My name is Claire! I come from the south of France, but I’ve lived in Japan for three years. I really love it here!
- Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from - according to your profile you are originally from France. Can you tell us about the town you grew up in?
A. I grew up in a little town next to Montpellier. Montpellier is sunny all year round and people are usually very relaxed and friendly. I live near the sea, so I have a lot of good memories of going to the beach with my friends. It’s also a city with a lot of students and parties! But I parted ways with my friends after high school to move to Paris when I became a college student.
- Q. Right now you are living in Japan. What’s your life here in Japan like?
A. I used to live in Kyoto for a long time, and I just moved to Tokyo a few months ago. I am still trying to get used to this huge city! I live in a small apartment with my husband. We are very happy together, we usually laugh a lot. Japan feels like home now, but I wish to make more friends in Tokyo in the near future.
I used to work as a hostel reception manager in Kyoto, and I was doing modeling job as well. I was very busy ! Since I moved to Tokyo I have more time for myself, it’s very nice.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. I am basically a language geek. I love to study a lot of languages. Right now, I am addicted to learning Chinese. I wish I could speak more than 12 languages someday. It’s my biggest dream! ^^
Also, I have been going to hot yoga for more than one year. When I have time in between Cafetalk lessons, I’d just jump to my yoga studio and take a class. It makes me feel fresh and relaxed. I am not that flexible yet, but at least I’m enjoying myself! :)
- Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background? What got you into teaching, and what motivated you to keep pursuing this career?
A. I always loved to teach. Also, my parents are both teacher and I think it made me value the importance of exchanging knowledge with other people.
The first time I came to Japan I realized that a lot of people wanted to learn French but couldn’t find any French speaking friends, or were too busy to take classes in a language school. When someone wants to learn French, it really makes me want to help them improve! This thought pushed me to study didactics and is pushing me to challenge myself everyday.
- Q. Has helped studying a foreign language yourself define the way you teach French?
A. Of course ! When I was studying Japanese, I saw a lot of people struggling and not making any progress, and it made me realize that the traditional way of teaching language is not fit for everybody. I started researching a lot of information about memory, language acquisition and also stories of polyglots. I try to use tricks that helped me learn in my lessons.
Also, I am probably more patient, as I know the struggle and the energy it takes to learn a new language.
- Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your “lesson style”?
A. A lot of my students feedback says that I am easy to talk to and gentle. I like to have a good time with my students, and as I really love teaching, it’s usually a fun and relaxed atmosphere. But I keep in mind their goals, and try to challenge them as well.
I would say that I try to adjust my style of teaching to each student, and try to be as flexible as possible. I listen to all the requests and suggestions that are sent to me to make my lessons more beneficial.
- Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular? Or can you give a quick overview which lesson might be good for which type of student?
A. You can take a free 15 minutes counseling lesson with me so I recommend that you start here. I can talk either English or Japanese if you are not confident enough to speak French yet.
- Intensive French Conversation : For short, simple lessons based on dialogues and repetition. It’s 15 lessons of 15 minutes. In fact, I am very impressed of the progress of the students who completed this course.
- French Step by Step / Custom lesson : For personalized lessons with a complete follow-up. I will prepare a lesson according to your needs.
- Cafe bla-bla : Usually for intermediate or advanced students. We usually chat about anything. If the student is shy, I ask a series of questions about a theme until they get used to talk in French freely.
- Futsuken / Focus of French Prononciation : These are my most 'serious' lessons. I suggest that you take a trial lesson to see if it’s a good match for you.
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. First I want to thank all the students who took a lesson with me this past three month. I went through a lot of changes in my life recently and I am really glad to have met you all! Thank you for your support and letting me do what makes me happy !
For my future students, bienvenue !
With me, you can make mistakes and not know everything, it's OK!
So please don’t be shy and just ask me anything you want - I will take care of you.