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Rachel Smith

BA, PGCE, MA

Subject: French & Spanish

I began learning French at the age of 11, and have never looked back. Aged 13 I spent time in Le Mans on a school exchange, my first experience of living abroad with a family. At first it was all a bit bewildering, but as I spent time with my penfriend, I found myself understanding more and more. I returned home determined to study and to become fluent in the language. This school exchange was the beginning of a love of France and all things Francophone, which is as strong today as it ever was.

I have been lucky enough to spend extended periods in France and Spain; Spanish being my second foreign language at school. As a result, I have seen first-hand not only the benefits of speaking another language but also the joy that comes from understanding and being able to communicate with others in their own language. I have taught French and Spanish in secondary schools for over 25 years and am always so pleased to see my students progress and to hear of their achievements.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading travel writing and travelling. In particular, after a fascinating visit to Uzbekistan last year, I am keen to discover more of Central Asia. Closer to home I enjoy going to the cinema and to the theatre, especially to watch ballet and contemporary dramas.

Learning a foreign language is an academic challenge in itself, but knowledge of a foreign language is a skill that can be useful whatever someone’s profession or path in life. I am delighted that you want to study another language, and I look forward to working with you.

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