Bespoke French Courses for Adult Learners

If you’re looking to brush up your French skills in a class where building confidence and enjoying learning is as important as making progress then my classes will be perfect for you.

I know that learning in a supportive, friendly and positive environment where you feel comfortable to ‘have a go’ is absolutely crucial and I promise that all my classes will offer you this.
A bientôt!

Find out more about the classes, ranging from beginners to advanced level, here

About Sarah

I have always had an unexplained curiosity for languages from being very little. I was desperate to start French lessons at secondary school and from my first class, my love for French and France kept growing. I learned German and also a little bit of Russian but it was French that captured my heart. I feel so lucky to now be able to share my passion for this beautiful language on a daily basis and with so many people. Learning French has enriched my life and taught me so much in so many ways and I hope you will feel the same too when you join my classes.

To find out more about Sarah’s background, click here


All the classes focus on helping you to develop your listening and speaking skills, whilst building your range of vocabulary and structures, to ensure you feel more confident engaging in conversation. Keeping class sizes small (between 6 and 12 learners) is very important for me so that you can feel as comfortable as possible and can quickly build a strong relationship with other learners in the class. No matter when you join us, you will always be very welcome.
If you see a lesson that interests you, please do not hesitate to contact me to find out what we are currently working on and to receive some sample materials so you can make sure it is the right class for you.

Monday9.30am - 11amIntermediateMilnrow
Monday11am - 12.30pmPre-IntermediateMilnrow
Monday1.15pm - 2.45pmElementary PlusNewhey
Tuesday9.30am - 11amIntermediate PlusNewhey
Wednesday9.45am - 11amAdvancedZOOM
Wednesday6pm - 7.15pmPre-IntermediateUppermill
Wednesday7.30pm - 8.45pmBeginnersUppermill
Thursday9.30am - 11amAdvancedNewhey
Thursday11.45am - 1.15pmIntermediateGreenfield
Thursday1.45pm - 3.15pmPre-IntermediateGreenfield

All the classes are delivered in blocks of 6 weeks. Lessons are 1.5 hours long and each block costs £60. When you join the class, you will receive a file for all the resources we use and an exercise book for your notes. You will also benefit from a discount on the lovely journal, 'Mon petit carnet de Francais', which I co-authored with a fellow teacher and good friend, Barbara. The journal is also available to buy for learners of French who are unable to join a class at the moment. Click here to find out more.

about sarah

After completing my BA Joint Honours in French & English Literature at The University of Leeds in 1998, I moved to Toulouse where I lived and worked for nearly 5 years. I worked for a language learning consultancy that took me all around France and gave me the privilege of working with some very senior business people. It was a bit nerve-racking at times but amazing! The pull of home eventually became too much and in 2003, I returned to Oldham to work for the borough’s Secondary School Improvement Team. I missed using my French so much that in 2010, after the birth of my second son, I did my PGCE and was fortunate to teach A level French alongside my studies at the local sixth form college - where I had studied too! I loved my job here but in 2016, I decided to branch out on my own to try to gain a healthier work life balance and have since grown my little teaching business from one class of 8 adult learners to 10 classes of over 75 learners. I also offer some one-to-one tuition and our ‘out of the classroom’ activities play a huge part in our learning. Find out more about these here.

When I’m not teaching, reading about teaching or preparing resources for my classes, you are most likely to find me on the side-lines of football matches watching my sons, walking our gorgeous dog or enjoying a wine with my husband and our friends.


Bringing learning to life and having the opportunities to practise your French in different situations, as well as learning more about France and the French way of life is so enriching. Over the years we have taken part in some lovely activities such as:

  • our annual French Wine & Cheese evening

  • our Christmas and summer meals

  • Walk & Talk events

  • Cookery events

  • Cinema trips

  • Theatre visits including seeing the fabulous Christine Bovill and “‘Allo, ‘Allo”

past events

French Cheese & Wine Evening

End of term meals

Walk & Talk

Cinema & Theatre


French Evening at Caffè Grande Abaco, Uppermill

Future Events

All upcoming events will be posted here!


I've just started learning with Sarah and I can't recommend her enough. She creates a comfortable environment and makes learning enjoyable. I look forward to my classes.

Allison Jayne Sandiford

Oh we have just a wonderful time throughout our French classes. Sarah is not only an excellent teacher, I mean excellent, but has a wonderful sense of humour . We learn , laugh and learn some more . Sarah also arranges such special French outings like a cookery course or a visit to the Home Mcr to see a French film., Walk and Talk walks . We have met and made new friends too . Thank you Sarah a very special teacher 😘

Marie Kenny

I have been going to these classes since September 2018. I can honestly say it’s a joy to be in one of Sarah’s classes. I am an intermediate beginner which means I had school French which I failed the exam and some vocabulary I’d picked up online. Now I have some perfect, imperfect and simple future tenses and lots more vocab. I have even plucked up courage to speak a few sentences in conversation. The lessons are fun and Sarah engages with all her learners. She never picks on people unless she is confident they can answer the question. Each lesson is well prepped and she uses a variety of learning methods to appeal to different learning styles. Sarah has a number of classes from new learners to advanced conversations. Highly recommended.|

Heather Ward


Creating ‘go-to’ Words

♫ You can also listen to an extended version of this blog post here

French is such a beautiful language to listen to and to speak but pronunciation can be quite tricky. There are lots of different sounds in the French language that you may not be used to making as well as silent letters and not forgetting, liaisons and ‘enchaînement’. The rhythm is also different. In French, each syllable is more evenly stressed but in English there is a greater mix of short and long syllables.The French vowel sounds, and the different combinations of vowels in particular, can sometimes cause some stumbling blocks. This is where creating a bank of ‘go-to’ words can really help. I have tried to encourage my learners to do this in the past but after reading a post from the brilliant Dr Gianfranco Conti about ‘Hook Words’* quite recently, it reminded me that I need to do it more often!So, what is a ‘go-to’ word?I’ll explain what I mean by this with an example. When I first went to France, I really struggled to remember how to pronounce the word for water, ‘l’eau’, so asking for a glass of water was really tricky. However, I knew the word ‘beau’ and I knew that I could pronounce this correctly. ‘Beau’ therefore became my ‘go-to’ word whenever I wanted a glass of water. I would transfer the sound I was making from ‘beau’ to ‘un verre d’eau’. I realised that I could transfer this sound to other words that I encountered with ‘eau’; un cadeau, un chateau, un bateau.Once I mastered this, I realised that I could do this with any other word I was struggling with. For example, ‘oiseau’, which had 2 tricky sounds for me. I knew that I already had the ending covered with ‘beau’ and then, I used ‘je vois’ to help me create the first sound, ‘oi’. Again, I could then transfer this sound to other words such as: une boisson, une voiture, un choix.Creating ‘go-to’ words is quite a personal task as the words that you feel comfortable pronouncing will be unique to you. I don’t want to leave you hanging though so here are some ideas that may help to get you started with ‘go-to' words for some common double vowel sounds. I’ve tried to choose words that you may already have encountered as a beginner / higher beginner.

Please remember that this is not exhaustive by any means and there are lots of exceptions and sound changes when you add different letters BUT the principle of creating ‘go-to’ words really works.I would highly recommend you start developing a bank of words and that you add to this as you learn more and more new words.Here also is a little activity that you could try. Can you identify the double vowel sounds within this grid of words?

I hope this helps and please feel free to share your list of ‘go-to’ words with me! 😊Sarah x*Dr Conti and Steve Smith speak about Hook Words in their book Breaking the Sound Barrier. I have also heard them referred to as ‘crutch’ words although this can also mean ‘filler’ words.

~~~ All previous blogs can be found here ~~~

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If you have any questions then please contact me on 07919 072135 or using the form below

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