Our Team

Since 1970, AFSCV has offered French language classes for all ages and levels as well as cultural events, libraries, two book clubs and celebrations of French holidays. We have 2 centers, located in Los Gatos, Palo Alto, to better serve Silicon Valley including the Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Our main office, foyer, and library are located at the Los Gatos center.

Our Staff

Our staff is here to help you get the best information possible related to your journey. Get to know them better:

alliance francaise staff
Florence Thomas
School Director

French born, she travelled and lived through her youth in cities around the world such as Djibouti and Cayenne. She  moved to the Bay Area in 1996 and joined Alliance Française Silicon Valley in 2001.  When she is not working, she is most likely baking, reading or enjoying the great Californian outdoor.

Alliance française personel
Virginie Zenero
Administrative Assistant 

French native, I’ve been in the Bay area since 2009. I started to work with the Alliance Française of Silicon Valley, in October 2016 as a volunteer for their library. Since then, I am more involved in activities (Ciné-Club, book sales, French Express). I am happy to be part of this organization. 

Our Instructors

Get to know the teachers behind your formation. Our team of professionals is here to give you quality formation so you can learn French in the most comfortable and easy way. With our team of qualified, we offer a large range of courses, including specialised courses, private tuition, workshops, immersion days, outings to museums or restaurants and more!

French instructor
Chantal Adam-Blosse

Born in France, but raised in Madagascar during twenty years. After an extensive scholarly course with multiple Master’s degree; Chantal studied at the Alliance Francaise de Paris to teach French Foreign Language (F.L.E.). Since 2012, I teached french at  AFSCV, FAIS, LFSF, NDV.

Alliance francaise professor
Arnaud Bergerol

Born and raised in France. In 1989, he graduated from the University of Paris I Sorbonne in Economics and Applied Foreign Languages. In 2013, he earned a master degree in French at San Jose State University. He has taught French as a foreign language since 1996 and has also over 20 years of experience as a linguist for major software companies in the SF Bay Area. Currently he teaches also at San Jose State University.

French professor
Karima Bouaziz

Karima studied Langues Etrangères Appliquées aux Affaires at Université Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle (1987 to 1993).

French language instructor
Marie-Hélène Chandra

Marie-Hélène is a French native. She received a BA in English from the University of Bordeaux. She then taught French for four years in Ensham High School and at Westminster College in London, England, before moving to California with her husband. She has been teaching French as a second language at the Alliance Française of Silicon Valley since 1994, as well as in public and private schools in after-school programs. Since 2020 she has been teaching Alliance Française classes online. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, gardening and painting.

French instructor at the AFSVC
Élodie Dalsacco

I’m French and have been living in the US since January 2019. Before coming to work at School for Independent Learners, I taught French at the University, High School, and Middle School in Germany for 9 years. I have also worked with people with disabilities and teenagers with psychiatric issues in French. I’m curious, ambitious, and love discovering new cultures around the world. I enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music, and watching movies at the theater.

French instructor profile
Stephan DeGery

Was born and raised in Bordeaux. He settled in California in 1987 and taught French, from 1993 to today, from very beginners to high levels in Berlitz, Palo Alto (Teacher of the year, 1999), in Languages Studies Institute, Palo Alto (coordinator of the French Department), and joined the Alliance Française Silicon Valley in 2004, and the Alliance Française of San Francisco in 2005. Stephan is part of the Menlo Park team since January 2015. He is a certified DELF/DALF Examiner.

French instructors
Nathalie Dehaudt

Nathalie is a French native from Lyon. When in France, she was already working with children.She came in the Bay Area in 2010 and has been teaching French since then, most of the time to kids between 3 and 12.She joined the Alliance Française in 2018 and teaches French to children in classes or private lessons.

Alliance française instructors
Luce Garrigos

Born and raised in Lyon , France, I’ve been living in Silicon Valley for eight years.I hold degrees in teaching French as a foreign language as well as in English language. I’m passionate about the learning process and how teaching methods can enhance it throughout life. Apart from my career, I love books and reading and I do my best to share this love with anyone, among which my children and family.

Alliance francaise professors
Sophie Goutarel

Hello! I’m a Korean French who grew up in Provence, France. I have lived in the Bay Area for 15 years (already!), where I have had the honor to teach French to college students and preschool children. I enjoy simple pleasures such as a family style meal, a good laugh with my friends, or going on a walk with my 5 year-old twins

French instructors
Loubna Hafid

Loubna has a Master of Art and more than 30 years of teaching French.

About french professors
Sylvie Legon

Sylvie is a native of Voiron, in the French Alps. She earned a Masters degree in French as Foreign Language in Grenoble. Since she arrived in California 20 years ago, she has been teaching French to adults, teenagers and children. She has been an active participant with the Alliance Française Silicon Valley for well over a decade.

French instructors
Céline Signorini

My husband and I moved to the Bay Area 9 years ago and we've just become American citizens! I am passionate and like sharing. I am outdoorsy and enjoy the warm feeling of having a good coffee with friends. We built a pond in our backyard and we have adopted a nice school of colorful fish. I was teaching French to foreign workers when I was in France and I naturally wanted to go on after arriving in the United States. I have a PHD in linguistics and I love teaching my language, my native culture and everything France-related ;) The Alliance Française offers an enjoyable work and learning environment with a dynamic, friendly and dedicated team. I hope we'll meet in class soon!

French instructor profile pic
Christine Zaky

I am a French native speaker, and I’ve been living in the Bay Area for 27 years. I got my Master’s degree in French at San Jose State University. I have 15 years + of teaching experience and I teach all levels. I have worked in a number of settings: high school, community college, State University. My vision as a teacher is to instill the love of learning French and French culture in an engaging way, by using an array of pedagogical methods and material. 

Profile pic for french instructor
Houcine Zarhouni

Houcine  is a French instructor/mentor. He teaches mainly middle/high school students, and adults. He found a great satisfaction in his abilities to engage student in learning process and achieve their goals. Houcine was born In Morocco, and he grew up in Paris-France. He was passionate about languages, math and economics. This passion for math helped him gain profound knowledge in the field of economics during his college years and enable him to be admitted to the Sorbonne University Paris-France for this Graduate work. Today, He is a French language and culture instructor. He is a native French/Arabic speaker with a deep cultural understanding of French/Arabic culture and traditions. He enjoys playing chess and loves travelling.

Photo courtesy of Cyntia Apps Photography

and our Independent Contributors:

Profile pic for french instructor
Marie-Annick Beaumarin
Profile pic for french instructor
Véronique Vassout
Profile pic for french instructor
Élodie Vidal

Join our Team

Be part of a group dedicated to spreading the French language and culture. If you are a native French speaker and have some experience in teaching, you could become a French teacher at Alliance Francaise Silicon Valley, either in Los Gatos or Menlo Park.
You can send your resume and a letter to the School Director of either center who will contact you back. Do note that we do not sponsor teachers for visas. Please do not apply if you do not have authorization to work in the US.

Not a teacher,  you can become a volunteer!

AFSCV is a nonprofit organization which relies on a talented and dedicated team of volunteers helping in a wide range of activities and events. If you are a French learner, speaker or Francophile, feel free to email us to learn about our opportunities. We are very flexible in terms of schedule and location.

Come meet new people in a fun atmosphere while helping us promote French culture in the Bay area! To find out more about our volunteer opportunities, please send us an email at info@afscv.org.