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Helen Valls

BA, MA, PhD, PGCE

Subject: French

I have always loved languages. From learning French in school, to German in the sixth form and Latin at university, languages have always been a big part of my life. It is what has enabled me to study in Canada and work in Germany and France, and that has been so enriching.

I firmly believe it is not beyond anyone to learn and make progress in another language. I remember only too well having to learn tense endings and genders. I wondered why, if I could read quite well and understand spoken French, I could hardly speak at anything near the same level. However, it is possible, and following studying at Cambridge and London University I went on to gain a PhD in languages from the University of Toronto.

I have taught languages for many years in state and independent schools. I have become experienced in guiding students along their learning journey, and I’m also adept at encouraging them to enjoy the adventure. There is fun to be had in playing with words and in being able to understand and use another language. There is also a cultural history embedded in languages and the connections between them, and I enjoy sharing that aspect too.

When not working with students at Wolsey Hall, I am teaching, examining, writing, training teachers and generally involved in one way or another in education. Otherwise, I am travelling using the languages I have learnt, with my head in a book or in the clouds! I look forward to sharing my passion for languages with you.

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