A few words about us

Bonjour !

    My name is Anne McConnon. I moved to the USA from France about 18 years ago. At the time, I had taught French as a foreign language for 4 years in Glasgow University, Scotland, within a T.A.ship, followed by 1 year in Tours, Loire Valley, France, at a private school called 'CLE' for foreign students in immersion.

I have pursued graduate studies at both Glasgow University and Penn State where I taught French respectively for 4 and 6 years. In parallel, I have been giving private French classes to children (age 4 to 14) and adults since 2003. I also was awarded a first prize (Premier Prix de Conservatoire) in piano as I graduated from High School and have been teaching the piano to children and adults since then. I often integrate songs when I teach French.

I have 3 children, age 14, 12 and 10. I supported and enjoyed their bilingual development with fun activities such as singing French songs, playing vocabulary games, reading French books, watching French movies and spending part of the summer in France to visit our family there every year until we moved to France summer 2018.
The children and I had already spent a whole school year (2013-2014) in France. They benefited greatly from their total immersion in the French culture then, being enrolled in the French public school. 

Over the years, I brought back many French books and material back to the USA. I always thought I would share all this material one day and create ‘une petite école’.
When my friend Stéphanie told me about her great project of creating the French Academy in State College, back in 2010, it inspired me right away. Stéphanie moved out of town a few years later and I taught along with other French native speaker friends at the French Academy until 2018. 

Addy and Yves have been taking over all the classes since I moved to France. Just like me, they also enjoy teaching French to grown-ups with different methods, either didactic books or authentic documents from France, depending on their levels. We have a lot of material and we can easily tailor the class to individual needs, keeping it varied, fun and entertaining for everyone.
Bonjour !

    My name is Addy (Adeline) Aileo. I have a bachelor in Linguistics with a focus on teaching French as a foreign language and I have a master’s degree in translation English-French and interpretation in Sign Language. In a previous life, I was a certified Sign Language interpreter in the south of France but came to the US in August 2013 to start a PhD in Education.

    My focus was in early childhood but more generally on inclusion in educational settings. I have been a research assistant on projects related to inclusion in early childhood and then I taught an early childhood field experience class for 2 years (my students learned about early childhood and did 10 weeks of field experience in a local preschool), students who want to declare K-5 for major are required to take the class. In my teaching philosophy it is all about inclusion: where are you from? What are you looking for? What are your interests?

    Then, last year (2017), I was hired by the French department at PSU to teach French language classes. I taught 2 French III classes in the fall in class, and in the spring I taught French I on line. I taught on line so that I could do my student teaching in a local high school to earn my certification, and I did (spring 2018). During my student teaching, I had students in French I, II, III, IV and V, yes, all of those, everyday!

    What about my PhD? Well... Here is a funny story: in June 2014 I met the man who became my husband in July 2015 and his wonderful son. A year later, in May 2016, we welcomed our twin boys (2 months early wow!). With all those changes in my life, a PhD was no longer making sense and I switched to focusing on my teaching certification.

    How did I come to join French Academy? As I mentioned above, I have a step son and when I met my husband, we decided that we would like to have a French speaking household. I did not want to be my step son’s teacher because I wanted first to focus on being a stepmom and not blur our relationship and maybe make it difficult. So… I reached out to Anne who gave him lessons for about a year and we became friends. I joined French Academy in the spring 2017.

    My interests? I love learning new languages and cultures. I have always loved languages and started to teach myself Sign Language when I was 9 years old (before the internet era, not knowing any signing Deaf person, can you imagine!). Throughout the years I have studied in a capacity or another German, Swedish, Japanese (most difficult so far), Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, Turkish, and am now looking at Chinese (Mandarin).
I love spending time with my kids and doing board games.
I wish my schedule would allow me to be part of the roller Derby team (I made it to the team a few years back but my schedule did not match), or spend more time ice skating with my stepson, maybe one day!


Yves, biographie : La French Academy

Bonjour, my name is Yves, pronounced like the name “Eve” in English. I am a native Parisian and had lived in Paris more or less consecutively until September 2013 when I moved to Seattle, WA with my wife. This past August we made our way across the country to State College, PA where my wife began teaching this 2019 fall semester. Growing up in a multilingual setting with parents and grand-parents who spoke a few different languages, I have always gravitated to language learning. In high school I studied literature and languages and at university I completed my studies in English. Throughout my life I have always loved to travel and explore new places, my favorites being Greece and Turkey, and every time I travel I always try to learn how to communicate in the native languages. After traveling to Turkey on vacation a few times with my family and on a school trip, I can now order items easily at a café or restaurant! After moving to Seattle in 2013 I began giving tutoring classes to a wide range of ages and levels. For example, I helped an older student who loves to write in French edit a book that she then published, Tinker va à Paris. I also tutored a boy who had acquired speaking abilities while living in Montreal for a year with his non-French-speaking parents and, after nearly six years of bi-weekly classes, his French improved to being basically fluent. I taught group classes at a pre-school where my three, four, and five-year-old students learned greetings, colors, food, and clothing vocabulary through games. Every class that I teach, either for individuals or for groups, I always tailor my curriculum to the interests and needs of the students. My approach includes games and lots of oral and communicative activities that allow the student to begin or continue using the language in a fun and effective way. I look forward to helping you or your language learner excel in French.

We feel we make a good, complementary team thanks to our individual skills: the French Academy can taylor classes for a wide range of students at different levels with a variety of goals in the French language.