The Board

Meet the Executive Committee and Other Volunteers

 

The Bureau        

Jeremy Levin President
Colin MacKenzie Treasurer & Teaching Times Editor
Dianne Chen  Secretary & TESOL France Bordeaux Coordinator

The Executive Committee

Debbie West  Ile de France Coordinator & Past President
Yvonne Chappell TESOL France Strasbourg Coordinator & Publishers Liaison    
Diane Tisdall  
Emma Hagedorn  
Sinead Namur  
Sophie Pietrucci Swap Shop Facilitator 
Nancy Mitchell  Newsletter / Job Announcements Coordinator

Other Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters

Kate Rabbitte TESOL France Grenoble Coordinator 
Julie Kalopsidiotis TESOL France Toulouse Coordinator
Gillian Evans TESOL France Lille Coordinator & Publishers Liaison


 

The TESOL France Bureau


 

President 

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. 

Colin MacKenzie 

Treasurer

I have been an English Teacher and Director of Studies for fifteen years in Slovenia, Italy, the UK and, for the last six years, France. During this time I have always thought that membership in professional organisations is essential for personal and professional growth. On joining TESOL-France and mentioning at my first colloquium that perhaps we could be using email to contact members, I became responsible for electronic communication. I am also heavily involved with IATEFL, with a particular interest in teacher development, and hope that through this involvement I can help forge stronger links between IATEFL and TESOL France.

Dianne Chen 

Secretary & TESOL France Bordeaux Coordinator

For this uprooted Californian, English teaching was not my first career path. 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?
 

Executive Committee


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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: westlanguage.com.
 

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.
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Diane Tisdall

I am a newly minted English teacher living in Clermont-Ferrand. I completed my CertTESOL in 2020 at the ELT Hub in Brittany and have set up my own business with the cooperative Appuy Créateurs. My teaching week includes Grande Ecole and university classes. I’m also co-developing an English programme as part of Appuy Créateurs’ accreditation bid for municipal councillors’ training. My roots are Anglo-Welsh; I have worked and studied in Australia, Europe and North America. Three threads weave their way through my career – education, music and France. I trained as a violinist, combining a teaching and performing career before an interest in violin pedagogy led me to the Paris Conservatoire archives and a PhD in musicology at King’s College London. When a research post came up in Clermont-Ferrand I jumped at the chance! And when it finished, I wanted to stay in France, so here I am … As a teacher and performer, my interest lies in authentic, clear and engaging communication. This is why I’m volunteering with TESOL France. I believe that when we exchange new ideas and unpack them together, not only do we grow as individuals but we empower and enrich each other, building a stronger and more outward-looking community.
 

Emma Hagedorn

As Shakespeare said, “Passion, I see, is catching.” And so her passion in teaching began when she had her first teaching gig in a Korean school. As a young child, Emma wanted to become a journalist and for some time, she managed to work a bit in radio and for a newspaper. As her school career progressed, she decided to take her TESOL and worked in Japanese school, then moved to Thailand and taught there for 8+ years. From public, private and international school, she has taught all levels with various nationalities. Emma became more excited of her teaching journey and finally took her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. Part of her dream was to travel and teach around the world. The most vital aspects of being an Early Childhood teacher is the competence of development of children and the partnerships developed between herself, the children and the parents. Emma believes that she learns more whenever she interacts with children. When first moving to France in 2019, Emma was a bit lost on where to meet like-minded educators and that’s how she discovered TESOL France. And to be part of TESOL France is a perfect place to grow professionally, to promote self-confidence and promote self-esteem. An avenue to exchange ideas and develop relationships among peer educators. 
 

Sinead Namur


After studying languages at Queen’s University, Belfast, I moved to France permanently in 2000. I lived in the Lyon area for 16 years, where I had the opportunity to teach all ages and levels in both the public and private sector, including Lyon 2 University, Inseec and the British Council. I arrived in the Ile de France area in 2016 and am currently English section coordinator at Télécom Paris as well as a Cambridge Delta local tutor. My key interests include materials’ and curriculum development.  Although I may be new to Excom this year, I’m not new to volunteering. I created my very own association for teaching English to children way back in 2010. I now look forward to developing personally and professionally within Tesol France.  
 

Sophie Pietrucci

Swap Shop Facilitator

I am a French native speaker and I lived in the UK as a child and in the US as a teenager. I taught French and English in France, the UK, India and Laos. I obtained my Master’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in "Sciences de l’Education" (specialised in sociology and psychology) as well as a degree in FLE (French as a foreign language). I studied Spanish, German and French sign language.
 I've been a Tesol France member for more than 10 years and thanks to the association I have the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers and share inspiring ideas readily transferable to the classroom. I therefore never feel that my job is in any way repetitive.
I am currently teaching engineering students and adults at Telecom Paris.
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Nancy Mitchell

Newsletter Editor

If you ask me where I’m from, please be prepared for hesitation and a face of confusion. Given the day, I may find myself feeling homesick for any number of places around the planet, but I grew up in the United States. (No, not all 50, but in the middle, the north, the south, and on the coasts.) I began teaching English in Portugal 20 years ago after getting a CertTESOL. I was hooked and obtained my MATESOL from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. In the two decades since I’ve taught in the US, France, Vietnam, and Chile. Most recently, I worked with pre-service and in-service Chilean teachers of English in undergraduate and MA training programs at two universities in Santiago. (7 years in Chile count as the longest I’ve ever been in one home.) My social and academic passions are in the areas of critical and engaged pedagogies, intercultural awareness, and assessment for learning. When I returned to France in 2019, I made sure to attend a TESOL France event in Lille, my new home, within a week of arriving, because I knew it would help me find my footing and connect me to a network of supportive professionals. TESOL affiliates around the globe have been a key source of professional integration for me everywhere I’ve lived, and I’m honored to be able to give back a little to the community by volunteering with TESOL France.

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Other Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters


 

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.


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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.  
 

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Julie Kalopsidiotis

TESOL France Toulouse Coordinator

Julie qualified with a TEFLA (now CELTA) in 1990 and has been teaching in Europe ever since. She settled in France in 2000 and is currently self-employed. She teaches young learners, business and general English, and works at IH Toulouse where she teaches Exam courses. She is also a Speaking Examiner for Cambridge, does Teacher Training and is part way through her DELTA. She is new to TESOL France, she has been the Regional Coordinator for Toulouse since last year and is a member of the Executive Committee.
  


 


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