The Board

Meet the Executive Committee and Other Volunteers



The Bureau        

Jane Ryder President
Jeremy Levin Vice-President & TESOL France Lille Joint Coordinator
Debra Hardstaff Treasurer
Dianne Chen Segui Secretary & TESOL France Bordeaux Coordinator
Csilla Jaray-Benn Immediate Past President

The Executive Committee

Rosemary Benard TESOL France Toulouse Coordinator
Yvonne Chappell TESOL France Strasbourg Coordinator & Publishers Liaison    
Gillian Evans TESOL France Lille Joint Coordinator & Publishers Liaison
Colin Mackenzie  
Hélène Pattio Combe Membership Coordinator & TESOL France Lyon Coordinator 
Kate Rabbitte TESOL France Grenoble Coordinator 
Alina Sufaru  Website & E-Comms Coordinator
Jen Taylor Secretary in Training 
Debbie West Workshop Coordinator for Ile de France Events & Logistics 

Other Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters

Ed Bell Teaching Times Editor 
Sophie Pietrucci Swap Shop Facilitator 


The TESOL France Bureau


Jane Ryder


Jane Ryder has been working for over ten years in EFL in the Alsace. For five years she was the pedagogic coordinator for Greta Nord Alsace, the continuing education branch of Education Nationale. In November 2010 she set up ESOL Strasbourg which offers the CELTA & DELTA teaching qualifications.
Jane is committed to changing the status of EFL teachers in France and, with TESOL France, intends to shake things up. She is a published writer (incl. ELT Journal) and holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from Leicester University. Previously she was a TV documentary maker, an ethologist and, in her words, sometimes failed revolutionary.

Vice President & TESOL France Lille Joint Coordinator 

With an American father and French mother, Jeremy has been split between two cultures and two languages his entire life.  Born and raised on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Jeremy moved to Lille, France in 2003.  With a Bachelor’s in French-English language studies, it made sense for him to start his career in translation, but he soon realized that something was missing, and it was that he’d rather work with people than sit behind a computer screen all day.  2006 marks the beginning of his teaching career and it has become his passion ever since.  Jeremy specializes in grammar games and educational technology.  He loves finding ways of making subjects that people typically think are boring into something fun.  When he’s not teaching you may find him working on his electronic music mixes, his second passion in life. 

Debra Hardstaff

My name is Debra Hardstaff (Debbie).  I was born in Dorset, England. I studied Business Studies at Staffordshire University where  I specialised in accountancy.  I am married with two daughters.  We moved to France in 1997 to work on a social project.  The storm in 1999 put a stop to the project.  My husband got a job which took us to Calais where I continued to work in accountancy, was treasurer of two associations and started teaching English.  When we moved to the Douai area I continued accountancy but also set myself up to do professional English training.  The beginning of the financial crisis meant that I lost my main accountancy client and did more and more English training.  In 2012 I had to change the purpose of my business to Adult training only.  My interest in being treasurer for TESOL is to keep my hand in in accountancy, the profession that I miss.  I of course appreciate the exchanges with fellow English trainers too.

Dianne Chen Segui

Secretary & TESOL France Bordeaux Coordinator

For this uprooted Californian, English teaching was not my first career path. Right out of university, I took an entry-level job as a technical writer in a small Silicon Valley start-up. As so happens with many Silicon Valley start-ups, the company went belly up and I pursued a different career path, one better suited to my personality. I acquired a library technician's certificate at the local community college through a night school program and entered the library sector working two part-time jobs, one in the public sector and one in the private sector. I left California in 1999, living in a handful of places including Barcelona and London, where I obtained an MA in Library and Information Studies. I eventually found myself living in Taipei, Taiwan, which had been a tiny little dream of mine (fulfilled). It was in Taiwan where I first started teaching English, primarily to children and teen learners. The experience was phenomenal, yet incredibly challenging. Four years later, my life took a somewhat unexpected turn that brought me to Bordeaux, where I continue to teach English at the university and professional/ continuing education levels. Even though I am a teacher, I feel that I am also simultaneously a student as I am constantly learning from my students and discovering things about myself. This is one of the reasons why I have volunteered at TESOL because I truly believe that, as teachers, we need to continue learning, pushing ourselves and updating our skills. And what better way to do that than with like-minded individuals in an atmosphere of community and sharing?

Csilla Jaray-Benn

Immediate Past President & TESOL France Grenoble Coordinator

Holding MA's in English language and literature obtained at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, in French language and literature and in Theatre arts obtained at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, Csilla has taught English for almost twenty years in Hungary and France. She is specialised in business communication skills training   and is a part-time lecturer at the Université Grenoble Alpes. Csilla designs, and runs business English training courses in companies, runs an English program for teen learners and has introduced an English learning program at a primary school. She founded and owns a professional language training organisation Business English Services. Her main pedagogical interests lie in developing learner autonomy, introducing creativity through collaborative techniques facilitated by technology and building motivation in language learners. She regularly gives talks at TESOL and IATEFL events. Besides TESOL France, she is an active member of IATEFL and IATEFL Hungary. She has been coordinating the TESOL France region in Grenoble since 2014, served as vice-president of TESOL France in 2015 and president in 2017.

Executive Committee


Rosemary Benard

TESOL France Toulouse Coordinator

Despite having grown up in a teaching family who warned me off this career path, I followed my heart in 1992 and left the UK with a BSc in French and German to teach English in Japan for a few years. I gained the DipTEFLA in 1998, and I also have experience in environmental impact assessment from my time working in an architects’ practice in N Ireland. In France I have taught at a Grande Ecole and primarily at a language school in Toulouse. As Director of Studies I’ve been involved in a wide range of teaching from one-to-one to children’s groups to exam preparation courses, and teacher training for the TKT qualifications. I have an innate interest in pronunciation, and a firm belief in teachers sharing experience and developing their skills, which is why I stepped into the role of coordinator for TESOL in Toulouse this year.


Yvonne Chappell

TESOL France Strasbourg Coordinator

Yvonne Chappell is currently a lectrice at a Grande Ecole in Strasbourg. Prior to this, she worked as an English instructor in a private school teaching business English and as a vacataire at Strasbourg University. She is currently experimenting with teaching English to 4-year-olds using games and songs in a nursery school-hard work but fun! Before moving to France she worked in London for the government. She holds an MBA  in promoting quality in organizations and degrees in Law and policy and a CELTA certificate in teaching English. She is passionate about raising the status of  English teaching in France as she believes that this would benefit both student and teacher. It is her belief that we should be aiming for excellence in what we as teachers offer.

Gillian Evans

TESOL France Lille Joinr Coordinator & Publishers Liasion

My working life and professional career began not as a teacher, but as a production assistant in the Latin American Service of the BBC. As both my parents were teachers, I thought there were enough in the family, so decided to use my language degree in other ways. From working in Latin America Embassies and in companies as a translator in both England and France, I gained an insight into the business world and the life of a company. I never regretted my decision to study for a teaching diploma and for the past twelve years have been teaching business English in a variety of large companies and designing programs for students of English in all fields of industry. I have given evening classes at the Mairie de Paris and organized programs for the unemployed. I am now very happy to help on the TESOL ExCom team. The teaching world is my world.


Kate Rabbitte

TESOL France Grenoble Coordinator 

I arrived in Grenoble in 2016 to start a new teaching position. It was soon after that I discovered TESOL France and started attending workshops. As a newcomer to the city, I found them a great opportunity to meet like-minded teachers and develop professionally. It was the warm welcome at these events which inspired me to join the organisation and become more involved in the English teaching community.
I discovered my passion for teaching quite by accident during a sabbatical from the UK civil service when a chance encounter led to me covering a spell of maternity leave at the local language school. Although I had no experience, I walked into the classroom on my first day and knew instantly that I would never look back. 
Since gaining my CELTA in 2010, I have worked across Europe teaching general and business English to adults of all levels. I have also coached teenagers and young adults for a wide range of exams, including the Cambridge suite, as well as IELTS and TOEFL. Additionally, I have worked as a speaking examiner and often use insight from this work to boost speaking confidence in my students. I am currently working on a freelance basis.


Alina Sufaru

Website and E-comms coordinator 

Alina Sufaru is a PRCE at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, where she teaches language and American history classes to Applied Foreign Language and English majors. Alina completed her Master’s in American Cultural and Ethnic Studies at Clark University, Massachusetts, and at the University of Versailles, France conjointly. As a Ph.D. candidate in American Cultural Studies at the University of Paris-Saclay, she has published several articles in her field of research but also in TESOL, has participated in several conferences, and has actively contributed to the organization of conferences, workshops, and seminars. 
Following her probation year after passing the CAPES (the French national competitive examination to become a tenured teacher), Alina became more committed than ever to making an active contribution to the advancement of English teaching in France. Her EFL interests include inter/transcultural communication, Business, and Legal English, English for tourism and HR, project and task-based learning, teaching and learning with technology, and curriculum development. 
As of lately, she has developed a keen interest in the neuroscientific discoveries regarding memory processes and to how they relate to second (or third, fourth, etc.) language acquisition. She is working on finding concrete ways in which to apply this research in the classroom.     

Debbie West

Workshop Coordinator: Ile de France

Debbie West, UC Berkeley grad, brought up in a military family, has done almost everything from teaching French to being International Student Advisor in the United States to now teaching English to all levels and ages here in France. An educator at heart, she sees education as broader than in a classroom and is definitely not very traditional in her methods. With a love for developing programs and an ever-present bank of ideas, there never seems to be enough time, energy and money to do everything. Being single helps and sometimes doesn't. Here in France she is an independent (after all the accountants were just "trying to help") and teach English and do a bit of translation. Debbie is a Representative for the International Business Program at UC Berkeley Extension, and is trying to develop a Total Summer Immersion English Program (in August). She tries to do her part in developing people's English skills. She can be reached using her website:



Other Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters


Sophie Pietrucci

Swap Shop Facilitator

I am a French native speaker and I lived in The United States as a teenager and in the UK as a child and later as a French teacher. I first studied English at university in France and got my master’s degree specialised in American cinema. I also have a master’s degree in FLE (French as a foreign language), as well as in Sciences de l’Education (specialised in sociology and psychology).
As I have always been interested in languages, I studied Spanish, German and French sign language. I’ve travelled around the world (especially in Asia) to discover different cultures, languages and ways to communicate with people.
Thanks to TESOL, I have had the opportunity to meet other teachers and share fruitful ideas, and acquire more knowledge on teacher development which I could use right away in my teaching practice. I therefore never have the feeling that my job is in anyway repetitive. Belonging to this association really keeps me moving.
I am currently working in several different Engineering Schools, Business Schools, and Grandes Ecoles.

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